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Things to Come (1936)

Not Rated | | Drama, Sci-Fi, War | 14 September 1936 (UK)
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.
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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:

Things to Come See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

GBP300,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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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

According to an article published in "Variety", this was the first million-dollar movie produced in England. The budget for the movie was close to three hundred thousand British pounds sterling, but with an approximate exchange rate of five U.S. dollars for every one British pound sterling at the time, the budget easily exceeded the million-dollar mark. 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: This is an independent sovereign state.
John Cabal: Yes, we must talk about that.
The Boss: We don't discuss it.
John Cabal: We don't approve of independent sovereign states.
The Boss: You don't approve...?
John Cabal: We mean to stop them.
The Boss: That's war!
John Cabal: If you will.
The Boss: All right, I think we know how we stand. Burton, take this man. If he gives you any trouble, club him. You hear that, Mr. Wings Over Your Wits?
John Cabal: My friends know my whereabouts. If I don't come back, they'll send a force to find me.
[...]
See more »

Crazy Credits

During the opening credits, as the title is revealed, the shadow over the letters is removed as if the clouds in the background are blowing past it. See more »

Alternate Versions

Available in a colorized version on DVD and Blu-ray. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Fallout 3 (2008) See more »

Soundtracks

The First Noel
(uncredited)
Traditional 18th Century Cornish Christmas Carol
Arranged by Arthur Bliss
Heard during opening montage.
See more »

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User Reviews

Art Deco Science Fiction
4 May 2004 | by jacksflicksSee all my reviews

There are some film classics that we have almost lost. I don't mean the might-have-beens, like Laughton's "I Claudius," but films that were released and quite successful and are now in grave need of rescue. The hallmark of such films is the terrible quality of the available prints because the master negative is lost. "My Man Godfrey" and "Nothing Sacred" come to mind. And, of course, "Things to Come".

If the abstractions of the art deco aesthetic could be reified into a story, "Things to Come" might be the result. If the Chrysler Building really were a rocket ship and could fly past the moon and stars and comets of art deco friezes...if we could look into those naive mindsets, whose visions of man's destiny were being energized by the discoveries of relativity, atomic energy and deep space...we might indeed embrace the images of "Things to Come".

Some of the scenes may strike us a corny - as might those of Fritz Lang's "Metropolis" - but they are no cornier in their context than those in "2001, a Space Odyssey" or, for that matter, "Starship Troopers". Here is an honest attempt to project the world into the future, not some silly cowboys-in-space flick.

"Things to Come" makes only a couple of demands: first, that we ditch our smug sophistication and presentist prejudices; second, that we have the discipline to see past the print quality. It may take repeated viewings, as it did with me, but in the end you will be rewarded by a unique odyssey, not into our future but into the future of history.


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