H.G. Wells Astonishingly Predicts the World’s Frightening, Dark Future
Things to Come sets out a future history from 1940 to 2036. In the screenplay, or “treatment” that H.G. Wells published in 1935, before the film was released, the story ends in the year “A.D. 2054”.
“We live in interesting, exciting, and anxious times,” declares the booming narration that opens the movie trailer above. Truer words were never spoken about our age — or about the mid-1930s, the times to which the narrator actually refers. But the picture itself tells a story about the future, one extending deep into the 21st century: a hundred-year saga of decades-long war, a new Dark Age, and, by the mid-2050s, a rebuilding of society as a kind of industrial Utopia run by a technocratic world government. It will surprise no one familiar with his sensibility that the screenplay for the film, Things to Come, came from the mind of H.G. Wells.
H.G. Wells had made his name long before with imaginative novels like The Time Machine, The Island of Doctor Moreau, The Invisible Man, and The War of the Worlds (find them in our list of Free eBooks), all published in the previous century. By the time the opportunity came around to make a big-budget cinema spectacle with producer Alexander Korda and director William Cameron Menzies, the writer had settled into his role as a kind of “eminent fortune teller,”.
Things to Come has, however, received retrospective credit for predicting global war just ahead. In its first act, the London-like Everytown suffers an aerial bombing raid which sets the whole civilization-destroying conflict in motion. Not long after the real Blitz came, Orwell looked back at the film and wrote, ominously, that “much of what H.G. Wells has imagined and worked for is physically there in Nazi Germany. The order, the planning, the State encouragement of science, the steel, the concrete, the airplanes, are all there, but all in the service of ideas appropriate to the Stone Age.”
This is a Powerful, yet spooky science fiction film made in 1936, produced by Alexander Korda based on the H. G. Wells classic book & brought to the silver screen as a vision of what warfare will bring mankind in the century to follow. The story shows the destructive nature of war and how is will catapult us back to a state of barbarism, warlords, and another Black Deathesque plague called the “Wandering Sickness.” Much of what H.G. Wells preaches is scarily plausible, and much of it has become prophetic. Personally The set designs are outstanding in the futuristic world of 2036. A thought provoking film and quite spooky in it’s observation of human nature. Of course H.G. Wells was a genius indeed!
H.G. Wells Bio
Herbert George Wells (21 September 1866 – 13 August 1946) was an English writer. He was prolific in many genres, writing dozens of novels, short stories, and works of social commentary, history, satire, biography, and autobiography, and even including two books on recreational war games. He is now best remembered for his science fiction novels and is often called the “father of science fiction”.
During H.G.Wells own lifetime, however, he was most prominent as a forward-looking, even prophetic social critic who devoted his literary talents to the development of a progressive vision on a global scale. A futurist, he wrote a number of utopian works and foresaw the advent of aircraft, tanks, space travel, nuclear weapons, satellite television and something resembling the World Wide Web. His science fiction imagined time travel, alien invasion, invisibility, and biological engineering.
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