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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:

No Greater Cast Ever! Rarely So Vast An Undertaking! 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

Hedy Lamarr, who was 44, plays the 19-year-old Joan of Arc. 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: Now, this is my final offer, 24 dollars and not a penny more.
Indian Chief: Robbery! White man rob poor injun.
Peter Minuit: So, you think you're being robbed, eh? Be glad its not 300 years later. You might have been wiped out in the stock market. Now, is it a deal or isn't it?
Indian Chief: Robbery!
Peter Minuit: That's quite true, but, eh, is it a deal or isn't it?
Indian Chief: Deal.
See more »

Connections

Edited from King Richard and the Crusaders (1954) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

A proud mantlepiece of my video collection!
22 November 2001 | by boris-26See all my reviews

THE STORY OF MANKIND (1957) is a very elusive all-star misfire about a heavenly debate over should earth survive or be wiped out. For the defense, you have the Spirit of Man (Ronald Colman), for the prosecution, you have Satan (Vincent Price having a ball!) They each call examples of humanity by showing famous good and evil people. We see little skits involving Nero (Peter Lorre making googly-eyes at members of an orgy!) Napoleon (22 year old Dennis Hopper playing the part like a naughty frat boy!) Christopher Columbus (miscast Chico Marx), Issac Newton (even more miscast Harpo Marx!) The cast gets stranger and stranger. Aging Hedy Lamarr as Joan of Arc? Where was everybodies agent? The end result looks like the biggest celebrities in Hollywood are doing a 5th graders' play! An amazing film, a tape I treasure!


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