Watch Things to Come
- 1 hr 40 min
Things to Come is a classic science fiction film from 1936 directed by the renowned filmmaker William Cameron Menzies. Based on the H.G. Wells novel "The Shape of Things to Come," the film tells the story of a society that is plunged into chaos and destruction after a world war that spans decades. The film takes place in the year 1940, where a group of scientists and visionaries led by Raymond Massey's character John Cabal are holding a meeting in Everytown, a small English town. They are discussing the looming threat of war and the need to prepare for the inevitable conflict. However, the town leaders are skeptical, believing that war is an unlikely prospect that can be easily avoided.
Their predictions prove to be false, as a global conflict soon erupts, and Everytown is destroyed in a relentless bombing campaign. The survivors are forced to rebuild their society from scratch, and it's at this point that the story takes a remarkable turn.
Decades later, in the year 1970, the world has undergone a massive transformation. Air travel, space exploration, and new technologies have all contributed to a new era of human achievement. The world is now divided into two factions, the dictator-ruled "wings" and the technologically advanced "World State."
John Cabal, now an elderly man, arrives in the World State capital metropolis, hoping to convince the ruling council to cease their conflict with the wings and work together for the good of humanity. However, he finds that the council is unwilling to compromise and would instead continue their dispute.
The film is noteworthy for both its imagery and themes. It was one of the first films to use matte painting techniques to create visual illusions and represent futuristic cities and technology. From images of aircraft and space stations to visions of towering monolithic buildings and people dressed in sleek futuristic outfits, Menzies' intricate set designs and special effects created a stunning impression of a world yet to come.
While the film is primarily a science fiction allegory, it also reflects the concerns and anxieties of the time, particularly around the looming threat of war. As Britain was on the edge of World War II when the film was released, the initial sequence of the film predicts a future that is all too possible, where war leads only to destruction and despair.
Overall, Things to Come is a visionary film, combining themes of war, progress, and humanity's potential. Despite the wealth of influences that can be traced to it, the film remains a standout work in its own right, thanks to its striking visual effects, memorable performances, and thought-provoking storyline.
Things to Come is a 1936 drama with a runtime of 1 hour and 40 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.6.