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The Shape of Things To Come. H G Wells H.Q Full Movie

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Published on 09 Aug 2020 / In News and Politics

The other versions available are poor quality. Below is the original JYTimes review from 1936/

H.G. Wells Presents an Outline of Future History in 'Things to Come,' at the Rivoli.

H. G. Wells, the eminent fortune teller, has painted a pessimistic, frightening, yet inspiring picture of our next 100 years in his first film, "Things to Come," which had its local première at the Rivoli last night. Typical Wellsian conjecture, it ranges from the reasonably possible to the reasonably fantastic; but true or false, fanciful or logical, it is an absorbing, provocative and impressively staged production which does credit to its maker, Alexander Korda of London Films; to its director, William Cameron Menzies of Hollywood, and to its cast and technical crew.

As a historian Mr. Wells is convinced that struggle is universal and inescapable. His film, being a premature history of the next century, therefore is a record of conflict; conflict between man and man, between idea and idea. In the beginning—and he starts his forecast in 1940—there will be another world war, a monstrous thirty-year débâcle which will wreck our civilization. Slaughter, poison gas and pestilence will bring industrial activity to a halt. Science and invention will cease. Agriculture will return to Stone Age methods. Only the war will go on, with petty despots of petty city-States snarling over the rotting bones of civilization.

So until 1970, when, out of the East, will come a new civilization which has carried over the scientific spirit of the old. "Wings Over the World" will be its name, says Mr. Wells, and it will be composed of the scientists, the inventors, the fliers and other knowledgeful men who had the wisdom and the fortune to band together in exile while the rest of the world was engaged in war. They will have formed a new empire—the Freemasonry of Efficiency, the Brotherhood of Science—and, with the anesthetic Gas of Peace, they will subdue the combatant States and, led by the purposeful John Cabal and his descendants, will model a new world over the ruins of the old.

It is a spotless, white world Mr. Wells envisages, and it has been depicted fascinatingly on the screen through clever trick photography, full-size and miniature sets, and all the camera wizardry at Denham's and Hollywood's command. If our historian is correct, the year 2036 will find us living in underground cities, basking in artificial sunlight, breathing conditioned air, enjoying marvels of communication and transportation, dressed in cloaks and shorts, free from cold, indigestion, poverty and dinner jackets.

But not free from conflict. That goes on in "Things to Come" because the doers remain at odds with the do-nots. In the new world the issue is closed when it is proposed to send a young man and a young woman around the moon in a rocket ship. Theotocopulos, leader of the esthetes, calls for an end to this "barbarous mechanical progress" which risks even human sacrifice.

"The object in life is happy living. Progress is not living, it should be only the preparation for living," he tells his television audiences.

"Is there never to be any rest, an end to it?" asks the conservative Passworthy, whose daughter is making the flight.

http://www.nytimes.com/movie/r....eview?res=9D00E0DF14

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