4.9/10
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36 user 17 critic

The Story of Mankind (1957)

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

Director:

Irwin Allen

Writers:

Irwin Allen (screenplay), Charles Bennett (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Ronald Colman ... The Spirit of Man
Hedy Lamarr ... Joan of Arc
Groucho Marx ... Peter Minuit
Harpo Marx ... Sir Isaac Newton
Chico Marx ... Monk
Virginia Mayo ... Cleopatra
Agnes Moorehead ... Queen Elizabeth I
Vincent Price ... Mr. Scratch - The Devil
Peter Lorre ... Nero
Charles Coburn ... Hippocrates
Cedric Hardwicke ... High Judge
Cesar Romero ... Spanish Envoy
John Carradine ... Pharaoh Khufu
Dennis Hopper ... Napoleon Bonaparte
Marie Wilson ... Marie Antoinette
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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 »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

8 November 1957 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

La historia de la humanidad See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Cambridge Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When asked if the film was based on a book, Ronald Colman replied, "Yes. But they are using only the notes on the dust jacket." See more »

Goofs

Sir Isaac Newton published his famous paper outlining the law of gravity in 1666, but in the sequence in which Harpo Marx plays Newton he performs on the harp Stephen Foster's song "Beautiful Dreamer," written in 1864 -- almost two centuries later. See more »

Quotes

Peter Minuit: I'll tell you what I'll do. I'll raise my offer to 22 dollars.
Indian Chief: 26 dollars. Not cent less, for island of Manhattan.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Unknown Marx Brothers (1993) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

A Classic Turkey
16 April 2003 | by SargebriSee all my reviews

Unlike most people, I really enjoyed this film. Not only was it unintentionally funny, but it had all the elements that would later be associated with many of Irwin Allen's latter works (stock footage and an all-star cast). Vincent Price is at his sinister best playing Mr. Scratch, the devil, and Ronald Colman is wonderful as the spirit of mankind. Too bad this film isn't on video or DVD because it truly is a cult classic that is an acquired taste.


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