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>
It was reported that H.G. Wells, the author of the novel on which the movie was based, actually began directing the movie, but his inexperience resulted in Director William Cameron Menzies taking over. See more »
Near the end of the film, we hear the helicopter's rotor
slowing almost to a stop whilst it's still descending at constant speed. See more »
While a bit preachy on the topic of progress as the saving grace of mankind, this is still a stunning film that presages the science-fiction special effects blockbusters that would take another 40 years to arrive on the silver screen. It predicts the global chaos of WWII, but expands on the premise by having the conflict last 30 years, and then tells the epic tale of man's struggle out from under the rubble and into the wilds of space. The acting seems wooden and strangely sterile, but this is perhaps a result of its contrast with the visuals which must have been utterly breathtaking at the time of the movie's release, and which still impress today. This is a film not to be missed by anyone at all interested in the SF genre.
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