6.7/10
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120 user 84 critic

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:

Only Alexander Korda could give this tremendous story the bigness and scope it deserved! 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:

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

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

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

This movie drew huge audiences upon its opening in New York City. Advertisements for this movie mentioned that large crowds continually flocked to New York City's Rivoli Theatre from 9:30 a.m. on opening day until the ad went to press four days later. The initial interest in the movie apparently wore off, as it earned significantly less at the box-office than the studio had expected. 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

Roxana: I don't suppose any man has ever understood any woman since the beginning of things. You don't understand our imaginations.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Opening credits prologue: 1940

CHRISTMAS

EVERYTOWN See more »

Alternate Versions

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

Connections

Featured in Cameraman: The Life and Work of Jack Cardiff (2010) 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

"Is it this? Or That? The Universe? or Nothingness?"
17 February 2003 | by BaronBl00dSee all my reviews

Powerful, yet creaky science fiction film from the 30's by the Korda clan. H. G. Wells's work is brought to the screen as a vision of what warfare will bring mankind in the century to follow. The film shows the destructive nature of war and how is will catapult us back to a state of barbarism, warlords, and another Black Death-like plague called the "wandering Sickness." However, because man clings to science, man will rise above all this and create a new, modern society free of warfare. The film has a lot of historical inaccuracies to its discredit NOW, yet much of what is preaches is plausible sometime, and much of it has some truth to it in some form. The theme that man can prevail and keep discovering/conquering new vistas is a laudable one. The film shows that progress and science are the things which advance us as a people. I thought of Ayn Rand and Atlas Shrugged as I heard one of the characters say something to the effect that the scientists/inventors had formed their own civilization, free of corruption and violence. The pace of the film is somewhat tortoise-like at times, yet many scenes are very compelling. The set designs are outstanding in the futuristic world of 2036(where they valiantly try to put a rocket in space to make a preliminary orbit around the moon). Acting is good with Raymond Massey and Cedric Hardwicke giving good performances, but it is Ralph Richardson as a "Boss" who deserves the most praise for giving a powerful performance of a man with inherent human traits that stymie progress. A though-provoking film indeed!


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