Things to Come

December 22, 2008

An extract from Alexander Korda’s 1936 film of H.G. Wells 1933 book The Shape of Things to Come, in which war and plague devastate mankind until the setting up of a beneficent ‘Dictatorship of the Air’. In this famous sequence from the start of the film, an air raid hits a town (from about 2 minutes 30 seconds in). The film – whilst probably more of a critical than a commercial success – was fairly popular on its release (thanks to Brett Holman for this information). Things to think about: What does this extract tell us about the public discussion of airpower between the wars? How effective is it as a piece of film-making? Should we see the reactions of the crowd in the film as typical of pre-war fears?