MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Up 13,005 this week

The Story of Mankind (1957)

4.9
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 4.9/10 from 644 users  
Reviews: 26 user | 9 critic

The devil and the spirit of mankind argue as to whether or not humanity is ultimately good or evil.

Director:

0Check in
0Share...

On Disc

at Amazon

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 28 titles
created 10 Jul 2011
 
a list of 31 titles
created 01 Jul 2012
 
a list of 23 titles
created 10 Oct 2013
 
list image
a list of 477 titles
created 9 months ago
 
a list of 27 titles
created 3 weeks ago
 

Related Items

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: The Story of Mankind (1957)

The Story of Mankind (1957) on IMDb 4.9/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of The Story of Mankind.

User Polls

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Horror | Thriller | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A master magician murders his greedy employer, who legally owns every trick he can invent, and finds himself having to kill again.

Director: John Brahm
Stars: Vincent Price, Mary Murphy, Eva Gabor
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 X  

A harried, overworked advertising executive is being pursued romantically by one of his clients, a successful perfume magnate ... and his former fiancée. The latest client of the agency is ... See full summary »

Director: Richard Wallace
Stars: Hedy Lamarr, Robert Cummings, Anna Sten
The Big Store (1941)
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A detective is hired to protect the life of a singer, who has recently inherited a department store, from the store's crooked manager.

Director: Charles Reisner
Stars: Groucho Marx, Chico Marx, Harpo Marx
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Hank Whirling tries to keep his financially troubled circus on the road despite the efforts of a saboteur who has determined that the show must not go on.

Director: Joseph M. Newman
Stars: Victor Mature, Red Buttons, Rhonda Fleming
Copacabana (1947)
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Agent has his only client pose as both a French chanteuse and Brazilian bombshell to fool nightclub owner.

Director: Alfred E. Green
Stars: Groucho Marx, Carmen Miranda, Steve Cochran
Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.9/10 X  

When a vacationing couple in Tangiers run into an old friend there, they discover that he is searching for his missing girlfriend who has been kidnapped by an international gang of white ... See full summary »

Director: Jeremy Summers
Stars: Vincent Price, Martha Hyer, George Nader
Drama | History | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

The twisted Richard III is haunted by the ghosts of those he has murdered in his attempt to become the King of England.

Director: Roger Corman
Stars: Vincent Price, Michael Pate, Joan Freeman
Drama | Romance | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Vincent Van Der Lyn, a Dutch freedom fighter in WWII, is forced to neutral Lisbon to escape the Nazis. There he meets a small band of underground conspirators. The group's leader, Ricardo ... See full summary »

Director: Jean Negulesco
Stars: Hedy Lamarr, Paul Henreid, Sydney Greenstreet
Copper Canyon (1950)
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Johnny Carter, performing sharpshooter, is asked to help a beleaguered group of copper miners.

Director: John Farrow
Stars: Ray Milland, Hedy Lamarr, Macdonald Carey
Comedy | Crime | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Peanuts White, a burlesque comic, is recruited by U.S. agents to impersonate international spy Eric Augustine (whom White resembles) in a mission to purchase a million-dollar microfilm in ... See full summary »

Director: Norman Z. McLeod
Stars: Bob Hope, Hedy Lamarr, Francis L. Sullivan
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.4/10 X  
Directors: Marc Allégret, Edgar G. Ulmer
Stars: Hedy Lamarr, Massimo Serato, Alba Arnova
Action | Film-Noir | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

A policeman tries to protect a young woman against a hit man, when she flees New York after witnessing a mob killing.

Director: Louis King
Stars: Victor Mature, Piper Laurie, William Bendix
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
The Spirit of Man
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
High Judge
...
Spanish Envoy
...
...
Marie Wilson ...
Edit

Storyline

The council of elders of outer space is deliberating on a very important subject: Must mankind be allowed to survive, or is it so esentially evil that it must be destroyed? A devil and an angel act as prosecutor and defense for the human race, and the movie presents in a very interesting way a series of episodes of the human history. What will be the final veredict? Innocent, or Guilty? Written by Jose Beltran-Escavy <pepe@prince.pe.u-tokyo.ac.jp>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The Story of Men and Their Women From the Beginning of Creation! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Fantasy | Sci-Fi

Certificate:

See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

8 November 1957 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A História da Humanidade  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Film debut of Melinda Marx. See more »

Quotes

First Angel: This story here in the newspaper... Some devilish fellow down on Earth has actually discovered the secret of the super H-bomb!
Second Angel: That's impossible! The super H-bomb is not scheduled for invention by the Devil until the year... let's see... until... here it is... 2016. Why, they're not ready or wise enough to handle it yet. According to our heavenly statistics, if exploded now, the bomb would blow Man and his Earth sky-high. No one would be left alive. Everyone would be dead.
First Angel: My, my, the housing ...
See more »

Connections

Edited from The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
THE STORY OF MANKIND (Irwin Allen, 1957) **
17 December 2008 | by (Naxxar, Malta) – See all my reviews

The opening titles of this historical epic – one of the most notoriously misjudged films in Hollywood history – boast no fewer than 25 stars but, having personally gone through it, I have to say that its reputation is entirely justified! I'd always been interested in it, of course, yet I'd practically given up hope of ever catching the film…and, eventually, I only managed to come across a soft-looking, panned-and-scanned VHS copy with forced Spanish subtitles (which will more than suffice under the circumstances).

Actually, the central premise isn't half-bad – a tribunal in outer space(!), presided over by Sir Cedric Hardwicke, convenes to determine whether mankind should be allowed to go on living or else let it obliterate itself via the misuse of nuclear weapons! In fact, the opening half-hour or so is fairly decent but, as soon as one realizes that the film will be a constant parade of Hollywood stars stolidly appearing (portraying is hardly the correct term to use here) as famous historical figures – who are subsequently given little of consequence to do – it becomes a depressing, repetitive and altogether rather dull charade!

At least, the main roles of The Spirit Of Man (a suave and gracefully aged Ronald Colman in his last film) and Mr. Scratch aka The Devil (a typically genial turn by Vincent Price) are ideally filled – something which, alas, can't be said of most of their colleagues: Hardwicke himself merely gets in a few inane phrases between Colman and Price's rebuttals, but, for good measure, we also have to contend with John Carradine (as a campily-dressed Pharaoh), Peter Lorre (as a thoroughly miserable Nero, which is ironic given that the role had often inspired actors towards hamminess!), Virginia Mayo (unrecognizable as Cleopatra), Hedy Lamarr (an embarrassingly miscast Joan of Arc), Dennis Hopper (as a wimpy Napoleon Bonaparte!) and, surely the weirdest casting choice of all, the Marx Brothers (appearing in their final team effort, albeit separately: Chico barely registers as a monk in the Christopher Columbus episode, Groucho incongruously appearing fully in character, with glasses and wisecracks intact[!], as obscure American Pilgrim Peter Minuit, and Harpo, ditto, as a mute and harp-playing Sir Isaac Newton)!!

The various re-enactments (amidst which Colman and Price are free to roam) display a rampant use of stock footage – thus making the film seem more expensive than it actually is – and naturally end with the present i.e. 1957 crisis; in hindsight, the script's constant reference to the "Super H-bomb" is amusing and dates the show more than anything else! At a mere 100 minutes, such an ambitious enterprise was doomed from the start and, indeed, it feels too much like a crash-course in World History (intercut with elementary bits of Philosophy). Perhaps, the kindest thing that can be said about THE STORY OF MANKIND is that, for better or worse, it did pave the way for Irwin Allen's heyday as a producer of star-studded Hollywood blockbusters.


14 of 16 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Awful! Should Have Been Called HAM, STOCK FOOTAGE, and HOT AIR! Sproketer
The Marx Brothers Call it a Day (on different days in different scenes) Sproketer
the book skiddoo
Other Movie Footage ID 42ndStreetMemories
That dang laugh track yourauntgussie
Favorite Line rdott
Discuss The Story of Mankind (1957) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?