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Alexander Korda's bit for the British war effort shows the world both at peace and on the verge of Nazi domination. Spliced together to form a documentary style film of both newsreel and ... See full summary »
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Oil-tanker Captain Manson rescues Kathie Hall after her ship is sunk by a U-boat. He marries her. When his ship is sunk and she is suspected because she has no identification. Manson tries ... See full summary »
Edward G. Robinson,
Gilbert Archer, a Broadway gossip-columnist for a newspaper, learns that his best friend,a priest, has been murdered and one of the suspects is a pretty girl, Patricia Foster. In one of the... See full summary »
George McWhirter Fotheringay, while vigorously asserting the impossibility of miracles, suddenly discovers that he can perform them. After being thrown out of a bar for what is thought to be a trick, he tests his powers and eventually sends a policeman to Hades by accident. Worried, he sends the police officer to San Francisco, and seeks advice from the local clergyman, Mr Maydig. Maydig, after having Fotheringay's powers demonstrated to him, quickly planning for reform of the world by means of miracle, but eventually Fotheringay orders a miracle which, due to clumsy wording, backfires. He relinquishes his power and returns to the time before he had it. Written by
Anthony Pereyra <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Col. Winstanley, who was obviously meant to be the "old colonel", describes George Fotheringay as being young, but Ralph Richardson, who played him, was 35 years old - 15 years younger than Roland Young, who played Mr. Fotheringay. See more »
In the final scene in the pub, Fotheringay is shown with his hands on the bar as another patron addresses him, but in the next immediate shot, his right hand is up to his cheek. See more »
What would a world without want be like? The answer has been the subject of countless stories, not a few movies, & every sensitive soul's nighttime sighing for ages. H. G. Wells poses the question by having godlike beings give a department store clerk, George McWhirter Fotheringay, that ability, & watching it evolve, as he bounces from adviser to adviser, from the sexy girl he desires to a retired British Army man.
The film is a treat, especially for those of us accustomed to (& maybe a little bored by) the Star Trek treatment of absolute power conferred on lowly mortals. I don't know much about the history of science fiction in the movies, but Wells goes about everything (he wrote the script, based on his novel) with the fabulous in mind, while adding purely sci-fi touches, which I won't give away.
Fotheringay is no bleeding-heart aching to turn the world into a painless utopia, nor is he a selfish, power-hungry perve, but a nondescript man who takes his time to figure out just what has happened to him before bringing everything to a head. In the meantime, we're given what amounts to a funny English comedy of manners, as well as a peek into a time (& place) where science fiction took a different direction. (For example: if you found out you had miraculous powers, would you tell anyone? I don't think I would. & if you told anyone, wouldn't you imagine the authorities pouncing on you at the first opportunity? Not so in 1930's Essex!)
The ending seems Gene Roddenberry-esque, & perhaps the Star Trek creator admired & shared Wells' humanism; but the film shines with neat-o special effects (some cool stuff, for the time) & a wonderful performance by Roland Young. A must-see for those who like their sci-fi earthbound & thought-provoking.
(My subject line, by the way, refers to anarchy as a form of government in which there are no governments, just self-government; I don't mean it in the common usage of disorder or chaos. The movie touches on the idea that, without their lives being controlled by those in power, who have a vested interest in people needing money & goods, people might find other ways to spend their time - like, for example, in creation.)
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