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Encyclopedia > Things to Come
Things to Come
Directed by William Cameron Menzies
Produced by Alexander Korda
Written by H.G. Wells
Starring Raymond Massey
Ralph Richardson
Music by Arthur Bliss
Distributed by United Artists
Release date(s) February 20, 1936 (UK)
Running time 117m 13s, edited to 108m 40s (original 1936 British release),
96m 24s (1936 US release),
92m 42s (current UK copyrighted version)
Country Flag of the United Kingdom United Kingdom
Language English
Budget £240,000 (estimated)
All Movie Guide profile
IMDb profile

Things to Come is a 1936 British science fiction film, produced by Alexander Korda and directed by William Cameron Menzies. The screenplay was written by H. G. Wells and is a loose adaptation of his own 1933 novel The Shape of Things to Come and his 1931 non-fiction work, The Work, Wealth and Happiness of Mankind. The film stars Raymond Massey. Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... William Cameron Menzies (July 29, 1896 - March 5, 1957) was an Academy Award-winning and versatile art director who earned acclaim on silent films and later pioneered the use of color in film for dramatic effect. ... Sir Alexander Korda (September 16, 1893 - January 23, 1956) was a film director and producer, a leading figure in the British film industry and the founder of London Films. ... H. G. Wells at the door of his house at Sandgate Herbert George Wells (September 21, 1866 - August 13, 1946) was an English writer best known for his science fiction novels such as The War of the Worlds and The Time Machine. ... Raymond Massey photographed by Carl Van Vechten Raymond Hart Massey (August 30, 1896 – July 29, 1983) was a Canadian actor. ... Sir Ralph David Richardson (19 December 1902 – 10 October 1983) was an English actor, one of a group of theatrical knights of the mid-20th century who, though more closely associated with the stage, did their best to make the transition to film. ... Sir Arthur Edward Drummond Bliss, CH, KCVO (August 2, 1891 - March 27, 1975) was a British composer. ... This article is about the film studio. ... is the 51st day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1936 (MCMXXXVI) was a leap year starting on Wednesday (link will take you to calendar). ... Image File history File links Flag_of_the_United_Kingdom. ... The English language is a West Germanic language that originates in England. ... See also: 1935 in film 1936 1937 in film 1930s in film years in film film // Events January 6 - first Porky Pig animated cartoon September 28 - The Marx Brothers Harpo Marx marries actress Susan Fleming Top grossing films in North America Red River Valley Academy Awards Best Picture: The Great... This article needs additional references or sources for verification. ... Sir Alexander Korda (September 16, 1893 - January 23, 1956) was a film director and producer, a leading figure in the British film industry and the founder of London Films. ... William Cameron Menzies (July 29, 1896 - March 5, 1957) was an Academy Award-winning and versatile art director who earned acclaim on silent films and later pioneered the use of color in film for dramatic effect. ... Herbert George Wells (September 21, 1866 – August 13, 1946), better known as H. G. Wells, was an English writer best known for such science fiction novels as The Time Machine, The War of the Worlds, The Invisible Man, The First Men in the Moon and The Island of Doctor Moreau. ... This article is about the literary concept. ... The Shape of Things to Come is a work of science fiction by H. G. Wells, published in 1933, which speculates on future events from 1933 until the year 2106. ... Raymond Massey photographed by Carl Van Vechten Raymond Hart Massey (August 30, 1896 – July 29, 1983) was a Canadian actor. ...


Christopher Frayling of the British Film Institute calls Things to Come "a landmark in cinematic design." Sir Christopher John Frayling (born 25 December 1946) is a British educationalist and writer, known for his study of popular culture. ... The British Film Institute (BFI) is a charitable organisation established by Royal Charter to encourage the development of the arts of film, television and the moving image throughout the United Kingdom, to promote their use as a record of contemporary life and manners, to promote education about film, television and...

Contents

Synopsis

Things to Come sets out a future history for the century following 1936. It is set in the fictional English city of 'Everytown' (based on London, St Paul's Cathedral is in the background) and, rather prophetically, begins in 1940 just as a global world war breaks out. Universe was a 1941 story from Heinleins Future History series (shown here in the 1951 Dell edition). ... This article is about the capital of England and the United Kingdom. ... This article is about the cathedral church of the diocese of London. ... A world war is a war affecting the majority of the worlds major nations. ...


In one scene, the pilot of a biplane shoots down a more advanced single-seater enemy bomber whom he stealthily caught from behind. He then lands his own plane and pulls the enemy pilot from the wreckage. Dwelling on the madness of war they hurry to put on their masks since poison gas is leaking from the bombs in the wreckage. A little girl joins them and the enemy pilot insists she wear his mask. The biplane pilot then hurries to get the girl and himself out of the danger zone, pausing to leave the enemy pilot a gun. The man dwells on the irony that he may have gassed the little girl's whole family and yet he has saved her. He then commits suicide. Hs123 biplane. ... Belgian 1930s era L.702 model civilian mask. ... Early detection of chemical agents Sociopolitical climate of chemical warfare While the study of chemicals and their military uses was widespread in China, the use of toxic materials has historically been viewed with mixed emotions and some disdain in the West (especially when the enemy were doing it). ... For other uses, see Suicide (disambiguation). ...


The war lasts for decades, long enough for the remaining survivors to have forgotten the reasons for it in the first place. Strategic bombing is so successful that civilisation on both sides is totally devastated. Humanity falls into a new Dark Age where the technology level is reduced to that of medieval times, symbolised with a car being drawn like a cart by a horse. There is even a medieval-type plague sweeping through the land, known as "the wandering sickness", which was spread by the enemy, who dropped bombs containing the virus from their few remaining aircraft. The city heart of Rotterdam after being terror bombed by Germany in 1940, the ruin of the (now restored) Laurens Kerk is the only building that reminds people of Rotterdams medieval architecture. ... The Dark Ages (or Dark Age) is a metaphor with multiple meanings and connotations. ...


In 1970, Everytown is run by a local warlord called Rudolf, a.k.a 'The Boss' or 'The Chief' (played by Ralph Richardson), who is at constant war with the "Hill People" and obsessed with repairing the remaining biplanes and capturing coal mines in order to convert the coal to petroleum for the aircraft. The Chief consolidated his power over Everytown after having eradicated "the wandering sickness" by shooting all those infected with the disease. Sir Ralph David Richardson (19 December 1902 – 10 October 1983) was an English actor, one of a group of theatrical knights of the mid-20th century who, though more closely associated with the stage, did their best to make the transition to film. ...


One day, a futuristic aeroplane lands outside the town. The Chief and the townspeople are incredulous when the pilot John Cabal (played by Raymond Massey) proclaims that the last surviving band of scientists have formed a society known as 'Wings over the World'. They are building a civilisation, based in Basra Iraq, that has renounced war and outlawed independent nation-states. The Chief resists by making the pilot his prisoner, but the Chief's mechanic (whom he was using to repair biplanes from the war) escapes to Basra in a plane he was testing, and alerts Cabal's scientist friends to his capture. Airplane and Aeroplane redirect here. ... This article is about the city of Basra. ...


Wings Over the World mount an attack upon Everytown, and the skies fill with futuristic aeroplanes and bomb the town with a sleeping gas known as "the Gas of Peace" to pacify it. The Chief orders his few biplanes to attack them, but they are all shot down.


The populace of Everytown awakens shortly thereafter, to find it occupied by the Airmen and their Chief dead — presumably from a heart attack brought on by the belief that the gas was deadly, or maybe by suicide in the face of defeat. The mechanic who had escaped to bring the Airmen comments on the Chief's death, to which Cabal replies, "Yes, dead. And his world with him - and so the New World begins!".


A montage sequence follows showing decades of technological progress and human achievement, beginning with Cabal explaining the plans of the Global Conquest by the Airmen of Wings Over the World ("First this zone, then that!").

The space gun

By 2036, mankind lives in underground cities. Everytown is one of them (the only one shown, with no information given on any others - or if there even are others), and the first flight to the Moon is about to be launched from a space gun nearby. However, Luddites among the population fear this new technology, led by a sculptor who claims mankind needs a "rest" from further technological development, and that shooting people into the cold of space is not "natural". They start a riot, trying to destroy the space gun before it can be fired. The head scientist Cabal (the great grandson of the pilot in the previous section of the film, and also played by Massey) explains that the crowds are misguided and that technology has in fact saved humanity. He launches the space ship with his daughter and the daughter's boyfriend as the crew, and the blast from the launch knocks the crowd back. Image File history File links Things_to_Come_spaceship. ... Image File history File links Things_to_Come_spaceship. ... This article is about Earths moon. ... There are various methods of space launch, one of them is to shoot something out of a gigantic gun. ... The Luddites were a group of English workers in the early 1800s who protested – often by destroying machines – against the changes produced by the Industrial Revolution that they felt threatened their jobs. ...


The film ends with Massey's character delivering a speech to the idea of Progress and humanity's quest for knowledge, claiming that "if Man is merely an Animal then he must fight for every scrap of happiness he can, but if he is something more, then he must strive for more — the Universe or nothing - which shall it be?" Social progress is defined as a progress of society, which makes the society better in the general view of its members. ...


Cast

Raymond Massey - John Cabal/Oswald Cabal
Edward Chapman - Pippa Passworthy/Raymond Passworthy
Ralph Richardson - Rudolf a.k.a. The Boss
Margaretta Scott (as " Margueretta Scott") - Roxana Black/Rowena Cabal
Cedric Hardwicke - Theotocopulos (replaced Ernest Thesiger)
Maurice Braddell - Dr Edward Harding
Sophie Stewart - Mrs Cabal
Derrick de Marney - Richard Gordon
Ann Todd - Mary Gordon
Pearl Argyle - Catherine Cabal
Kenneth Villiers - Maurice Passworthy
Ivan Brandt - Morden Mitani
Anne McLaren - Child (2036)
Patricia Hilliard - Janet Gordon
Charles Carson - Great-Grandfather (2036)
Patrick Barr - World Transport official
John Clements - Enemy pilot
Antony Holles - Simon Burton
Allan Jeayes - Mr Cabal (1940)
Pickles Livingston - Horrie Passworthy
Paul O'Brien - Extra
George Sanders - Extra
Abraham Sofaer - Wadsky
Terry-Thomas - Extra, man of the future
Gordon Bailey - Extra
Clarence Bigge - Extra
Hilda Davies - Extra
Aubrey Dexter - Extra
Colin Eaton - Extra
Don Gemmell - Extra
Jacqueline Giovanni - Extra
Florence Harwood - Extra
Eugene Leahy - Extra
Clifford Marquand - Extra
Victor Papanek - Extra
Kim Peacock - Extra
Charles Stuart - Extra
H. Fisher White - Extra
Raymond Massey photographed by Carl Van Vechten Raymond Hart Massey (August 30, 1896 – July 29, 1983) was a Canadian actor. ... Edward Chapman may refer to one of the following people: Edward Thomas Chapman, Welsh World War II Corporal. ... Sir Ralph David Richardson (19 December 1902 – 10 October 1983) was an English actor, one of a group of theatrical knights of the mid-20th century who, though more closely associated with the stage, did their best to make the transition to film. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Sir Cedric Webster Hardwicke (February 19, 1893 - August 6, 1964) was a British actor. ... Ernest Thesiger, (January 15, 1879 - January 14, 1961), sometimes credited as Ernst Thesiger, was a British stage and film actor. ... Ann Todd (January 24, 1909-May 6, 1993) was born in Hartford, Cheshire and was educated at St Winifrids School in Eastbourne. ... Patrick Barr (born February 13, 1908—August 29, 1985) was a British actor born in India. ... Sir John Selby Clements CBE (25 April 1910–6 April 1988) was a distinguished English actor and producer. ... Do you mean: George Sanders (1906-1972), the British actor George Sanders, who was awarded the Victoria Cross on the first day of the Battle of the Somme This is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists other pages that might otherwise share the same title. ... Abraham Sofaer (October 1, 1896 – January 21, 1988) was a Burmese stage, film and television actor. ... Terry-Thomas (left) and Clive Morton in a scene from Lucky Jim (1957) Terry-Thomas (Thomas Terence Hoare-Stephens) (14 July 1911 - 8 January 1990) was a distinctive British comic actor of the 1950s and 1960s. ... Designer and educator Victor Papanek (1927-1999) was a strong advocate of the socially and ecologically responsible design of products and tools. ...


Behind the scenes

Wells is assumed to have had a degree of control over the project that was unprecedented for a screenwriter, and personally supervised nearly every aspect of the film. Posters and the main title bill the film as "H. G. Wells' THINGS TO COME", with "an Alexander Korda production" appearing in smaller type. In fact, Wells ultimately had no control over the finished product, with the result that many scenes, although shot, were either truncated or not included in the finished film. The rough-cut reputedly ran to 130 minutes; the version submitted to the British Board of Film Censors was 117m 13s; it was released as 108m 40s (later cut to 98m 06s) in the UK, and 96m 24s in the United States. The standard version available today is just 92m 42s, although some prints are in circulation in the United States - where the film is in the Public Domain - that retain the additional scenes that constitute the original American release. The British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) is the organisation responsible for film classification (see Motion picture rating systems and History of British Film Certificates) within the United Kingdom. ... The public domain comprises the body of all creative works and other knowledge—writing, artwork, music, science, inventions, and others—in which no person or organization has any proprietary interest. ...


Wells originally wanted the music to be recorded in advance, and have the film constructed around the music, but this was considered too radical and so the score, by Arthur Bliss, was fitted to the film afterwards in a more conventional way. A concert suite drawn from the film has remained popular; as of 2003, there are about half-a-dozen recordings of it in print. Sir Arthur Edward Drummond Bliss, CH, KCVO (August 2, 1891 - March 27, 1975) was a British composer. ... Year 2003 (MMIII) was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ...


After filming had already begun, the Hungarian abstract artist László Moholy-Nagy was commissioned to produce some of the effects sequences for re-building of Everytown. Moholy-Nagy's approach was partly to treat it as an abstract light show but only some 90 seconds of material was used (e.g. a protective-suited figure behind corrugated glass), although in the autumn of 1975 a researcher found a further four discarded sequences. [1] This article does not cite any references or sources. ... This article is about the temperate season. ...


Historical parallels

The film, written throughout 1934, is notable for predicting World War II, being only 16 months off by having it start on 23 December 1940, rather than 1 September 1939. Its graphic depiction of strategic bombing in the scenes in which Everytown is flattened by air attack and society collapses into barbarism, echo pre-war concerns about the threat of the bomber and the apocalyptic pronouncements of air power prophets. Wells was an air power prophet of sorts, having described aerial warfare in Anticipations (1901) and The War in the Air (1908). Combatants Allied powers: China France Great Britain Soviet Union United States and others Axis powers: Germany Italy Japan and others Commanders Chiang Kai-shek Charles de Gaulle Winston Churchill Joseph Stalin Franklin Roosevelt Adolf Hitler Benito Mussolini Hideki Tōjō Casualties Military dead: 17,000,000 Civilian dead: 33,000... The city heart of Rotterdam after being terror bombed by Germany in 1940, the ruin of the (now restored) Laurens Kerk is the only building that reminds people of Rotterdams medieval architecture. ... For other uses, see Bomber (disambiguation). ... We dont have an article called Anticipations Start this article Search for Anticipations in. ... 2002 Edition of The War in the Air The War in the Air is a novel by H. G. Wells, written in 1907, serialized and published in 1908. ...


The use of gas bombs is very much part of the film, from the poison gas used early in the war to the sleeping gas used by the Airmen of Wings Over the World. In real life, in the build-up to the World War, there was much concern that the Germans would use poison gas, which was used several times in the Great War. Civilians were required to carry gas masks and were trained in their use. In the event the Germans did not use gas for military purposes. Chemical warfare is warfare (and associated military operations) using the toxic properties of chemical substances to kill, injure or incapacitate an enemy. ... Early detection of chemical agents Sociopolitical climate of chemical warfare While the study of chemicals and their military uses was widespread in China, the use of toxic materials has historically been viewed with mixed emotions and some disdain in the West (especially when the enemy were doing it). ... This article is becoming very long. ... Ypres, 1917, in the vicinity of the Battle of Passchendaele. ... Belgian 1930s era L.702 model civilian mask. ...


Wings Over the World is based in Basra, in southern Iraq, from where it begins a new civilisation. Southern Iraq was also the home of one of the world's first known civilisations, Sumer. This article is about the city of Basra. ... Sumer (or Å umer in Sumerian: KI-EN-GIR [1]) was the earliest known civilization of the ancient Near East, located in lower Mesopotamia (modern Iraq), from the time of the earliest records in the mid 4th millennium BC until the rise of Babylonia in the late 3rd millennium BC. The...


Duration history and surviving versions

Known versions

The rough-cut of the film was 130 minutes in length, while the version submitted for classification by the British Board of Film Censors (BBFC) was 117m 13s.[2] By the time of the 21 February 1936 UK premiere and initial release, this had been reduced to 108m 30s,[3] while the American print premiered on 18 April 1936 was further cut to 96m 24s. By late-1936 a 98m 06s print was in circulation in the UK,[4] and a 72m 13s print was resubmitted for classification by the BBFC and was passed after further cuts for reissue in 1943. A 92m 42s print - cut down from the 96m 24s American print by the removal of four sections of footage - was subsequently reissued in America and the UK in 1947 and 1948 respectively. A continuity script exists for a 104m 41s version of the film, which contains all the material in the 96m 24s and 92m 42s versions, plus a number of other sequences. It is not known if a version of this duration was actually in circulation at any time. The British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) is the organisation responsible for film classification (see Motion picture rating systems and History of British Film Certificates) within the United Kingdom. ...


Copyright status

Although the film lapsed into the public domain in the United States in the 1960s, copyright remained in force in the United Kingdom, the European Union, and elsewhere. The film came back into copyright in 1996 in the United States under GATT. In the UK, film copyright subsists for seventy years after the year of release, or the death of either the director, the writer (or author of original story), or the composer of original music, whichever is the latest. As the composer, Arthur Bliss, did not die until 1975, copyright does not expire until 2045. In early 2007, Legend Films in the United States released a "colourised" version of a cut copy of the 92m 42s print on DVD. This would count as a newly copyrighted work in America, if it was not for the fact that the underlying film is not in the public domain. Both original and colour restored versions are presented on the Legend Films DVD. The colourisation of the film was supervised by Hollywood special effects pioneer Ray Harryhausen. The public domain comprises the body of all creative works and other knowledge—writing, artwork, music, science, inventions, and others—in which no person or organization has any proprietary interest. ... Legend Films, a San Diego-based company, was founded in August 2001. ... A colorized image of Laurel and Hardy, from March of the Wooden Soldiers (formally Babes in Toyland). ...


Available versions

For many years, the principal surviving version of the film was the 92m 42s print. Since at least the late-1970s, this has been the only version "officially" available from the rights holders in the UK, and has been widely available via home video and television screenings, both in the UK and elsewhere (in countries using PAL or SECAM video systems, it runs to 89m exactly). The home video business rents and sells videocassettes and DVDs to the public. ... For other uses, see PAL (disambiguation). ... SECAM, also written SÉCAM (Séquentiel couleur à mémoire, French for Sequential Color with Memory), is an analog color television system first used in France. ...


In the United States, although the 92m 42s version is most prevalent, a version is in also circulation that includes the four pieces of footage that were in the 96m 24s print, but not the 92m 42s version, although due to cuts elsewhere it actually runs shorter than the latter. A cut version of the 96m 42s print was digitally restored and film colorization by Legend Films and released on DVD in the United States in 2007. A colorized image of Laurel and Hardy, from March of the Wooden Soldiers (formally Babes in Toyland). ... Legend Films, a San Diego-based company, was founded in August 2001. ...


In May 2007, Network DVD in the UK released a digitally-restored copy of the 96m 24s version, which to date is the longest version available on DVD anywhere in the world. The two-disc set also contains a "Virtual Extended Version" with most of the missing and/or unfilmed parts of the film represented with production photographs and script extracts. Network DVD is a DVD publishing company that specialises in classic British television. ...


See also

H. G. Wells The Shape of Things to Come is a Canadian science fiction motion picture first released in May of 1979. ...

Another book of the same title

Things to Come" by J. Dwight Pentecost ©1958; Zondervan Publishing House, Grand Rapids, Michigan 49506.


References

  1. ^ Frayling, Christopher (1995). Things to Come. British Film Institute, 72-73. ISBN 0-85170-480-8. 
  2. ^ Things to Come at BBFC
  3. ^ The History of the British Film 1929-1939, Rachel Low (George Allen & Unwin, London, 1985)
  4. ^ The History of the British Film 1929-1939, Rachel Low (George Allen & Unwin, London, 1985)

Sir Christopher John Frayling (born 25 December 1946) is a British educationalist and writer, known for his study of popular culture. ... The British Film Institute (BFI) is a charitable organisation established by Royal Charter to encourage the development of the arts of film, television and the moving image throughout the United Kingdom, to promote their use as a record of contemporary life and manners, to promote education about film, television and... The British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) is the organisation responsible for film classification (see Motion picture rating systems and History of British Film Certificates) within the United Kingdom. ...

External links


  Results from FactBites:
 
Internet Archive: Details: Things to Come (991 words)
Things to Come opens with a near-future forecast of Christmas 1940 in the metropolis of Everytown (obviously London), a city threatened by world war.
The section showing the sky full of aircraft coming to bomb 'Everytown' proved to be prophetic to the exact year as 4 years after the film was made, the sky over the UK was full of thousands of German aircraft coming to cause as much damage and loss of life as possible.
Things To Come was the absolute 1st sci-fi movie I had ever seen on TV waaaayback,and got me into the genre,without I don't know.
Things to Come - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1094 words)
Things to Come is a 1936 British science fiction film, produced by Alexander Korda and directed by William Cameron Menzies.
Wells and is a loose adaptation of his own 1933 novel The Shape of Things to Come.
Wells' The Shape of Things to Come, a Canadian science fiction film from 1979 which was also (extremely loosely) based upon Wells' novel.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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