Feature Film Showcase – H. G. Wells’ Things to Come (1936)

“Movies… For Free!”, showcasing classic movies that have fallen out of copyright and are available freely from the public domain (with streaming video!)

H G Wells' Things to Come
Things to Come, 1936.

Directed by William Cameron Menzies.
Starring Raymond Massey, Ralph Richardson, Cedric Hardwicke and Edward Chapman.

Described by the British Film Institute as “a landmark in cinematic design”, Things to Come is a 1936 British sci-fi classic written by legendary author H.G. Wells and based upon his own novel, The Shape of Things to Come (1933). Produced by Alexander Korda (The Third Man), the film explores the ‘future history’ (from 1936 to 2036) of fictional British city Everytown, where a decades-long world conflict plunges humanity into another Dark Age. With a new hub of civilization established in the Iraqi city of Basra under the organisation “Wings Over the World”, the world soon undergoes a period of reconstruction and technical advancement that sees mankind reach for the stars.

Things to Come was Wells’ counter to Fritz Lang’s masterful Metropolis (1927), although the author had little control over the final film and much of his written material was ignored or edited from the final cut. It is however a more faithful adaptation than later Canadian effort H. G. Wells’ The Shape of Things to Come (1979), which bears no resemblance to the original novel. The film is also notable for predicting the start of World War II (commencing December 1940), the Pacific conflict between Japan and the US, and the reliance on air power and strategic bombing in the ensuing campaigns.

Embed courtesy of Internet Archive.

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