Things to Come (1936)

35mm film, black and white, 1.37:1
mono, English

A British science fiction film directed by William Cameron Menzies.

Plot Summary

1936: a global devastates the world and drags on for decades. 1966: society is in ruins, the survivors of the war living in small, isolated communities struggling to survive. And their numbers are being reduced a . A strange arrives at a settlement one day, its pilot offering a chance to rebuild. A massive reconstruction programme begins and civilisation is soon back on its feet. 2035: Mankind prepares its first flight to the moon, but a popular uprising against progress looks set to undo all the good work and plunge the world back into chaos…


* = uncredited

Directed by: William Cameron Menzies
A London Film production
Produced by: Alexander Korda
Production Manager: David B. Cunynghame
Script/Novel [The Shape of Things to Come]: H.G. Wells [credited with possessory above title]
Assistant Director: Geoffrey Boothby
Photography: Georges Perinal
Camera Operators: Robert Krasker, Jack Cardiff *
Supervising Editor: William Hornbeck
Film Editors: Charles Crichton & Francis Lyon
Music Specially Composed by: Arthur Bliss
Musical Director: Muir Mathieson
Recording Director: A.W. Watkins
Costumes Designed by: John Armstrong, René Hubert and the Marchioness of Queensbury
Special Effects Directed by: Ned Mann
Special Effects Photographed by: Edward Cohen
Special Effects: Ross Jacklin *, Harry Zech *
Assistant Special Effects: Lawrence Butler, Wally Veevers *
Matte Painter: W. Percy Day *
Assistant Matte Artist: Peter Ellenshaw *
Settings Designed by: Vincent Korda
Assistant Art Directors: Frank Wells, John Bryan *
Rejected Utopian Light Decorations Designer: László Moholy-Nagy *
Aeronautical Advisor: Nigel Tangye
Locations: Denham, Buckinghamshire, England, UK *
Studio: Denham Studio, Buckinghamshire, UK *

Raymond Massey (John Cabal/Oswald Cabal)
Edward Chapman (Pippa Passworthy/Raymond Passworthy)
Ralph Richardson (The Boss)
Margueretta Scott (Roxana/Rowena)
Cedric Hardwicke (Theotocopulos)
Maurice Braddell (Dr 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 (the child)
Patricia Hilliard (Janet Gordon)
Charles Carson (great grandfather)
Patrick Barr [World Transport official – the uncredited]
John Clements [the airman – the uncredited]
Anthony Holles [Simon Burton – the uncredited]
Allan Jeayes [Mr Cabal – the uncredited]
Pickles Livingston [Horrie Passworthy – the uncredited]
George Sanders [pilot – the uncredited]
Abraham Sofaer [the Jew – the uncredited]
Terry-Thomas [extra – the uncredited]

Alternative Titles

The Hundred Years to Come – working title
Lo que vendra – Argentina
Nel duemila guerra o pace? – Italy
The Shape of Things to Come – working title
Tulevia aikoja – Finland
La vida futura – Spain
La Vie future – France
La vita futura – Italy
Whither Mankind – working title

Extracts included in
A Century of Science Fiction (1996)
A Personal History of British Cinema by Stephen Frears (1994)

See also
The Shape of Things to Come (1979)



  • Aurum Film Encyclopedia: Science Fiction by Phil Hardy (ed) p.97 – illustrated credits, review
  • BFI Screen Guides: 100 Science Fiction Films by Barry Keith Grant pp.167-168 – illustrated credits, review
  • Britain's Forgotten Film Factory: The Story of Isleworth Studios by Ed Harris pp.98, 100, 102-103, 105, 110, 114, 128, 134, 160-164, 180 – notes
  • British Sound Films: The Studio Years 1928-1959 by David Quinlan p.160 – credits, synopsis
  • The Encyclopedia of Novels Into Films second edition by John C. Tibbetts and James M. Welsh pp.403-404 – credits, review (by K.O. [Kathryn Osenlund]) – review
  • Golden Horrors: An Illustrated Critical Filmography, 1931-1939 by Bryan Sennp.485-486 – illustrated review
  • Horror and Science Fiction Films II by Donald C. Willis p.395 – credits
  • Horror and Science Fiction Films IV by Donald C. Willis p.505 – credits
  • by Walt Lee pp.488; 489 – credits; still
  • Sci-fi Chronicles by Guy Haley (ed.) pp.37; 74-75
  • Variety Science-Fiction Movies by Julian Brown (ed.) p.113 – illustrated credits, review
  • Vintage Science Fiction Films, 1896-1949 by Michael Benson p.178 – credits