The Man Who Saw Tomorrow (1981)

PG  |   |  Biography, Drama, History  |  January 1981 (USA)
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Hosted by Orson Welles, this documentary utilizes a grab bag of dramatized scenes, stock footage, TV news clips and interviews to ask: Did 16th century French astrologer and physician ... See full summary »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Philip L. Clarke ...
Nostradamus (voice)
The Warlord
Bob Ruggiero ...
French Soldiers
Roy Edmonds ...
French Soldiers
Ray Chubb ...
French Soldiers
Richard Butler ...
Jason Nesmith ...
Howard Ackerman ...
Brass Adams ...
The Grandfather
Terry Clotiaux ...
Nostradamus' Father
The Friar
Bob Bigelow ...
The Dinner Host
Marji Martin ...
The Maid
Thor Nielsen ...
The Cook


Hosted by Orson Welles, this documentary utilizes a grab bag of dramatized scenes, stock footage, TV news clips and interviews to ask: Did 16th century French astrologer and physician Nostradamus actually predict such events as the fall of King Louis XVI and the French Revolution, the rises of Napoleon and Hitler, the assassination of President John F. Kennedy? And are there prophecies that have yet to come true? Written by Eugene Kim <>

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Release Date:

January 1981 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Az ember, aki tudta a jövőt  »

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Did You Know?


Although the movie gets many of its predictions of the future wrong (Ted Kennedy winning the 1984 Presidential election) some are very close, especially the speculation about a massive earthquake in California which the movie predicts will happen in 1988 but in fact happened in 1989. Also the movie predicts that America would be at war with the middle east and that the war would begin early in the 1990s and in fact, at the beginning of the decade the country was in the Persian Gulf War. See more »


Psychic Jeane Dixon's name is misspelled onscreen as "Jeanne Dixon". See more »


Presenter: [about the predictions of the future] But before continuing, let me warn you now that these predictions of the future are not at all comforting - and I might go on to add that these visions of the past, these warnings of the future, are not the opinions of the producers of this film. They're certainly not my opinions.
See more »


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User Reviews

Pitch Man for Nostradamus...Orson Welles' Legacy?
25 March 2004 | by (Las Vegas, Nevada) – See all my reviews

Every time the world faces a disaster, somebody intones, self-righteously, "Nostradamus PREDICTED it..." Be it a flood, an earthquake, an assassination, or anything in-between, the sixteenth century French cleric wrote about it, somehow, in the midst of his hundreds of ambiguous quatrains. His writings have become the nonbelievers' Book of Daniel and the Revelations of St. John the Divine, reference works almost occult in stature about the future of the human race.

As a potential source for a 'cheap buck', his writings are invaluable, as they can so easily be twisted to mean ANYTHING, so low-budget documentaries pop up frequently with "definitive" interpretations, and THE MAN WHO SAW TOMORROW is, perhaps, the most famous of the lot. Best-known for having Orson Welles, looking suitably Satanic, as the Host/Narrator, pouring over ancient documents and looking up at the camera as if he were 'channeling' Nostradamus' spirit, himself (Once a ham actor, always a ham actor...), the documentary jumps to stock footage of natural disasters, the Nazis, Hollywood renditions of Napoleon, and newsreels of John and Robert Kennedy, all the while stating how dictators ('Anti-Christs'), Popes, Kings and Presidents' lives and deaths were foreseen with unerring accuracy.

The problem arises when the 'future' is predicted, using his writings. Whether our world survives or falls into chaos, there has NEVER been a 'fortuneteller' who predicted what lies ahead correctly. It is only AFTER the fact that one can 'interpret' the writings to 'fit' what has happened. It reminds one of the old joke about fortunetellers...if they are so accurate, why aren't they all rich from winning lotteries, horse races, and such? From Nostradamus to contemporary 'visionaries' like Jeanne Dixon, what HASN'T happened that was 'predicted' as coming to pass always trips them up...while their supporters quickly offer excuses that we simply 'misinterpreted' what was foreseen.

So don't face what lies ahead with fear, when watching THE MAN WHO SAW TOMORROW...just enjoy it for the cheesy spectacle it is, and perhaps mourn the fact that non-film fans may remember Orson Welles more from his overripe performance, here, than for CITIZEN KANE or TOUCH OF EVIL.

Nostradamus probably predicted THAT, too...

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

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