IMDb > Things to Come (1936)
Things to Come
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Things to Come (1936) More at IMDbPro »

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Things to Come -- A decades-long second world war causes plague and anarchy, and then a rational state rebuilds civilization and attempts space travel.
Things to Come -- A story of 100 years: a decades-long second world war leaves plague and anarchy, then a rational state rebuilds civilization and tries space travel.
Things to Come -- A story of 100 years: a decades-long second world war leaves plague and anarchy, then a rational state rebuilds civilization and tries space travel.

Overview

User Rating:
6.8/10   4,252 votes »
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Down 7% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Writers:
H.G. Wells (novel)
H.G. Wells (screenplay)
Contact:
View company contact information for Things to Come on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
1936 (Austria) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
What will the next hundred years bring to mankind? See more »
Plot:
The story of a century: a decades-long second World War leaves plague and anarchy, then a rational state rebuilds civilization and attempts space travel. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
User Reviews:
Often Lyrical, Logical and Beautiful On its Own Terms; a Classic of Ideas See more (95 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Raymond Massey ... John Cabal / Oswald Cabal
Edward Chapman ... Pippa Passworthy / Raymond Passworthy

Ralph Richardson ... The Boss
Margaretta Scott ... Roxana / Rowena (as Margueretta Scott)

Cedric Hardwicke ... Theotocopulos
Maurice Braddell ... Dr. Harding
Sophie Stewart ... Mrs. Cabal
Derrick De Marney ... Richard Gordon (as Derrick de Marney)
Ann Todd ... Mary Gordon
Pearl Argyle ... Catherine Cabal
Kenneth Villiers ... Maurice Passworthy
Ivan Brandt ... Morden Mitani
Anne McLaren ... The Child
Patricia Hilliard ... Janet Gordon
Charles Carson ... Great Grandfather
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Gordon Bailey ... Undetermined role (uncredited)
Patrick Barr ... World Transport Official (uncredited)
Noel Brophy ... Irishman (uncredited)
Tony Bruce ... Undetermined role (uncredited)
John Clements ... The Airman (uncredited)
Hilda Davies ... Undetermined role (uncredited)
Aubrey Dexter ... (uncredited)
Don Gemmell ... Undetermined role (uncredited)
Florence Harwood ... Undetermined role (uncredited)
Anthony Holles ... Simon Burton (uncredited)
Allan Jeayes ... Mr. Cabal (uncredited)
Eugene Leahy ... Undetermined role (uncredited)
Pickles Livingston ... Horrie Passworthy (uncredited)
Kim Peacock ... Undetermined role (uncredited)
Clarence Rigge ... (uncredited)

George Sanders ... Pilot (uncredited)

Abraham Sofaer ... The Jew (uncredited)

Terry-Thomas ... Man of the Future (uncredited)

Directed by
William Cameron Menzies 
 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
H.G. Wells  novel "The Shape of Things to Come"
H.G. Wells  screenplay

Produced by
Alexander Korda .... producer
 
Original Music by
Arthur Bliss (music specially composed by)
 
Cinematography by
Georges Périnal  (as Georges Perinal)
 
Film Editing by
Charles Crichton 
Francis D. Lyon  (as Francis Lyon)
 
Costume Design by
John Armstrong 
René Hubert  (as Rene Hubert)
Cathleen Mann  (as The Marchioness of Queensberry)
Sam Williams (uncredited)
 
Production Management
David B. Cunynghame .... production manager
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Geoffrey Boothby .... assistant director
 
Art Department
Vincent Korda .... settings designer
Frank Wells .... assistant art director
John Bryan .... assistant art director (uncredited)
Frederick Pusey .... assistant art director (uncredited)
 
Sound Department
A.W. Watkins .... recording director
Desmond Dew .... sound recordist (uncredited)
 
Special Effects by
Lawrence W. Butler .... assistant special effects (as Lawrence Butler)
Edward Cohen .... special effects photographer
Ned Mann .... special effects director
Ross Jacklin .... special effects (uncredited)
George J. Teague .... special photographic effects (uncredited)
Wally Veevers .... assistant special effects (uncredited)
Harry Zech .... special effects (uncredited)
 
Visual Effects by
Jack Cardiff .... special effects camera operator (uncredited)
W. Percy Day .... matte painter (uncredited)
Peter Ellenshaw .... assistant matte artist (uncredited)
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Robert Krasker .... camera operator
Bernard Browne .... assistant camera (uncredited)
Jack Cardiff .... camera operator (uncredited)
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Eugene Joseff .... costume jeweller (uncredited)
 
Editorial Department
William Hornbeck .... supervising editor
 
Music Department
Muir Mathieson .... musical director
Gordon Jacob .... additional orchestrator (uncredited)
Lionel Salter .... assistant musical director (uncredited)
 
Other crew
Nigel Tangye .... aeronautical advisor
 
Crew verified as complete


Production CompaniesDistributorsSpecial EffectsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
100 min | UK:117 min | Canada:91 min (VHS version) | UK:108 min (premiere cut) | UK:113 min (original version) | USA:92 min (cut version) | Spain:89 min (DVD)
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Sound System Noiseless Recording)
Certification:

Did You Know?

Trivia:
Before filming started, author H.G. Wells told everyone connected with the movie how much he'd hated Fritz Lang's film Metropolis (1927) and how he wanted them to do the opposite of what Lang (whom he called "Lange") and his crew had done.See more »
Goofs:
Continuity: In his first scene Theotocopulos maintains the same position, leaning on his statue, but his sculpting mallet vanishes between shots.See more »
Quotes:
Roxana:I don't suppose any man has ever understood any woman since the beginning of things. You don't understand our imaginations.See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Time Flies (1944)See more »
Soundtrack:
The world in ruinsSee more »

FAQ

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61 out of 71 people found the following review useful.
Often Lyrical, Logical and Beautiful On its Own Terms; a Classic of Ideas, 16 June 2005
Author: silverscreen888

This early sci-fi masterwork by Herbert George Wells with music by Arthur Bliss is a powerful piece of film-making. Adapted from Wells' somewhat different work by the author, it presents a look at the human future with the subject of periods of war as versus periods of 'peace'. The structure is that after a contrasted-pair of episodes of normalcy and gathering clouds of war, the script allows the war to happen. Two families, the Cabells and the Passworthys disagree about what may happen; Passworthy takes a hopeful view of civilization's "automatic" progress; Cabell is the thinker, the doubter. Their city Everytown--obviously London-- becomes wrecked by a war featuring tanks, a magnificent war march by Bliss, and the end of civilization. The second portion finds people living in the wreckage of what had been the city under a "Boss", played with bravura by Ralph Richardson, whose woman, lovely Margaretta Scott, is as fascinating a dreamer as he is a concrete-bound dictator type. He is trying to rebuild old WWI airplanes so he can attack a nearby hill tribe to complete his petty kingdom; a young scientist complains about having his work continually interrupted demands for planes--etc.--everlastingly; this is Wells' comment on war versus progress. The survivors are subject to a plague called "The Wandering Sickness" also. Enter a modern flying machine piloted by the Cabell of the first section of the film, now part of Wings Over the World, an International Scientists' Coalition, who are planning to end warfare forever. This flight-suited modernist has fascinating conversations with the Boss and his woman, their attraction being evident; then Boss sends up his aircraft against them, the Scientists come with huge numbers of planes and drop the "Gas of Peace" onto the ruins of Everytown. Only the Boss dies, fighting too hard against the pacifying. The film then shows ore being mined and by slow steps being made into the girders of a magnificent new futuristic city of towers. In section three, a future Cabell argues with a future Passworthy over the morality of human science. Passworthy wonders if they have a right to send men to the Moon; Cabell champions man's right to advancement and the need to expand his horizons. The son of Passworthy and Cabell's daughter, are the astronauts being sent. Theotocopulos, a religious-minded Luddite, makes a fiery speech on a huge screen in the city's Forum and leads an attack on the 'space gun' that is to fire the new rocket free of Earth's gravity. The climax of the plot is the firing of the space gun successfully; the denouement and ending is a speech by Cabell praising worth and science that is universally considered to be the most profound defense of the mind ever penned. "It is all the universe--or nothing!" Cabell tells Passworthy. "Which shall it be?" As Cabell, Raymond Massey gives perhaps his greatest screen performance; he is thoughtful, compassionate, and reasonable, a true scientist. As the rabble-rouser who wants to end the Age of Science, Cedric Hardwicke is perfect and powerful. Edward Chapman playing Passworthy does admirably impersonating the voice of convention and fear. The storyline is logical, frequently beautiful and always interesting. Given the near-extinction of mankind, the idea of a civilization run by rebuilder scientists is rendered plausible and credible to the viewer. This is a triumph for the director, William Cameron Menzies, for Bliss and for all concerned. Listen to the dialogue with someone you love; within its constructed limits, this is a thinking man's drama debating two possible human futures--progress or its reactionary opposite.

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