6.7/10
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112 user 81 critic

Things to Come (1936)

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.

Writers:

H.G. Wells (novel), H.G. Wells (screenplay)
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
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 Maurice Braddell ... Dr. Harding
Sophie Stewart Sophie Stewart ... Mrs. Cabal
Derrick De Marney ... Richard Gordon (as Derrick de Marney)
Ann Todd ... Mary Gordon
Pearl Argyle ... Catherine Cabal
Kenneth Villiers Kenneth Villiers ... Maurice Passworthy
Ivan Brandt Ivan Brandt ... Morden Mitani
Anne McLaren Anne McLaren ... The Child
Patricia Hilliard Patricia Hilliard ... Janet Gordon
Charles Carson ... Great Grandfather
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Storyline

A global war begins in 1940. This war drags out over many decades until most of the people still alive (mostly those born after the war started) do not even know who started it or why. Nothing is being manufactured at all any more and society has broken down into primitive localized communities. In 1966 a great plague wipes out most of what people are left but small numbers still survive. One day a strange aircraft lands at one of these communities and its pilot tells of an organization which is rebuilding civilization and slowly moving across the world re-civilizing these groups of survivors. Great reconstruction takes place over the next few decades and society is once again great and strong. The world's population is now living in underground cities. In the year 2035, on the eve of man's first flight to the moon, a popular uprising against progress (which some people claim has caused the wars of the past) gains support and becomes violent. Written by Kevin Steinhauer <K.Steinhauer@BoM.GOV.AU>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

H.G.Wells' "Things To Come" will astound the entire world! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Sci-Fi | War

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

14 September 1936 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

A Vida Futura See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

£300,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

London Film Productions See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (video) | (premiere cut) | (original) | (cut) | (DVD)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Included among the "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die", edited by Steven Schneider. See more »

Goofs

In his first scene Theotocopulos maintains the same position, leaning on his statue, but his sculpting mallet vanishes between shots. See more »

Quotes

The Boss: Who are you, I said!
John Cabal: The law. Law and sanity.
The Boss: I'm the law here!
John Cabal: I said law and sanity.
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Crazy Credits

There is no 'THE END' title or any credits at the end of the film. See more »

Connections

Featured in SP FX: Special Effects - The Empire Strikes Back (1980) See more »

Soundtracks

The First Noel
(uncredited)
Traditional 18th Century Cornish Christmas Carol
Arranged by Arthur Bliss
Heard during opening montage.
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
great,...because there is NOTHING like it!
29 March 2006 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

Aside from the great movie METROPOLIS, this is about the oldest pure sci-fi movie. While at times the film is a bit preachy and the acting can be a bit broad, it is a great film for two reasons. First, it is extremely original in both style and content. Even in the 21st century, there are no films I can think of that are anything like it. Second, for its time, the special effects were absolutely incredible--using matte paintings, models and huge casts to create amazing scenes of both a post-apocalyptic world and a vast city of tomorrow. Sure, you could sit back and knock the film because, by today's standards, the effects are only so-so. But, you must appreciate that this was state of the art when the film came out in 1936 and it must have really amazed audiences. In many ways, the sets look highly reminiscent of the "modern cities" featured at the 1939 WORLD'S FAIR.

I think the movie is also interesting because it seems torn by the question "are people really THAT stupid or are we destined for greatness?" The end result seems to be a little of both! How true!

A final note: I saw this twice on TV and just a short time ago on video. All three times the sound and print quality stank--particularly the sound. If this is available on a DVD, hopefully it is a lot cleaner and will provide optional captioning. As the sound on the video kept cutting out, I really would have appreciated this!


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