When it came to predicting the future, Herbert George Wells was no slouch. But while most of us know The Time Machine or War Of The Worlds, his vision in Things To Come failed to blip on the public’s radar. Working with director William Cameron Menzies on a script spanning 1940-2040, Wells’ story takes in war, plague, destruction and rebirth.
Arguments about the human race’s responsibility to advance itself through science do bring a worthy dullness to proceedings, but early scenes of a city under attack (chillingly foreshadowing the London Blitz) and the grand scale of the gleaming, antiseptic city of the future easily bridge the 70 years of cinema that have passed. However, given the film’s desire to celebrate humanity’s greatness, it’s ironic that the characters are by far the least interesting thing about it.