Things to Come (1936) Movie Script

Born is the King of Israel
Noel, noel;
Noel, noel
Born is the King of Israel,
While shepherds watched their flocks
by night
All seated on the ground
The angel of the Lord came down
And glory shone around
God rest you, merry gentlemen
Let nothing you dismay
Remember Christ our Savior
Was born on Christmas day
Remember Christ our Savior
Was born on Christmas day
And bring tidings
Of comfort and joy
Comfort and joy
Hello, young Harding.
You're early.
Yes, I'd finished up.
It was too late to start anything fresh.
What's all this fuss about
in the papers tonight, Mr. Cabal?
- Wars and rumors of wars.
- Crying wolf?
Someday a wolf will come.
These fools are capable of anything.
In that case, what happens
to medical research?
It has to stop.
That'll mess me up.
Mess you up? Mess everything up.
My God! If war gets loose again -
Happy Christmas, everyone.
While shepherds watched
their flocks by night
All seated on the gro -
What's the matter with you fellows?
Oh, that.
This little upset across the water
doesn't mean anything.
Threatened men live long
and threatened wars never occur.
Another speech by him.
And I tell you, there's nothing in it.
It's just to buck people up
about the air estimates.
Now, why meet wars halfway?
Why not look on the bright side of things?
You're all right.
Your business is going up.
You've got a jolly wife, a pretty home.
- All's right with the world, eh?
- Hmm.
- All's right with the world.
- Certainly.
Passworthy, you should have
been called Pippa Passworthy.
Oh, and, Cabal,
you've been smoking too much.
You're not - You're not eupeptic.
Oh, come on. it's Christmas.
Noel, noel
Noel, noel
Born is the King of Israel
No, don't push me about. No.
Nice toys they have nowadays.
Nice toys.
The toys we had were simpler,
ever so much simpler.
Noah's arks and wooden soldiers.
Nothing complex like these.
You know, I wonder sometimes
if perhaps all these new toys...
aren't a bit too much for them.
t teaches them to use their hands.
And I suppose their grandchildren
will see even more wonderful things.
Progress. Progress.
I'd like to see the wonders they'll see.
Don't be too sure of progress.
Oh, listen to the incurable pessimist.
What's to stop progress nowadays?
Firstly, there isn't going to be a war,
and secondly, war doesn't stop progress.
It stimulates progress.
Yes. War can be a highly stimulating thing.
But you can overdo a stimulant.
Oh, well, after all, aren't we
exaggerating the horrors of war?
Don't we rather overdo that song?
After all, you know, the last war
wasn't as bad as some people make out.
We didn't worry.
Something - Something great
seemed to have got hold of us.
Something greater still
may get hold of us next time.
If we don't end war, war will end us.
Well, what can you do?
What can we do?
Peace on earth, goodwill towards men.
Real old-fashioned Christmas this year.
Fresh little snow,
with a nip in the air, eh?
What was that? Sounded like a gun.
Oh, no guns here.
Merry Christmas, Cabal.
Here's to another good year
for all of us.
Another year of recovery, eh?
What are the searchlights doing now?
Well, it must be antiaircraft maneuvers.
Maneuvers at Christmas? No.
Listen. Guns again.
Yes? Cabal speaking.
The Hill Town aerodrome at 3:00.
I'll be there.
Oh, God!
Perhaps it's only
precautionary mobilization.
Let's hear the radio.
The unknown aircraft
passed over Seabeach...
and dropped bombs within
a few hundred yards of the waterworks.
They then turned seaward again.
By this time, they'd been picked up by
the searchlights of the battleship Dinosaur.
Before they could mount out of range,
she had opened upon them...
with her antiaircraft guns,
unfortunately, without result.
Of course, everyone has said this time
they'll start without any declaration of war.
Oh, listen.
We do not yet know
the nationality of these aircraft...
though, of course, there could be
little doubt of their place of origin.
But before all things, it is necessary
for the country to keep calm.
No doubt the losses suffered
by the fleet are serious.
- What's that? Losses of the fleet?
- Listen. Listen.
And it is imperative that the whole nation
should at once stand to arms.
Orders for a general mobilization
have been issued...
and the precautionary civilian
organization against gas...
will at once be put into operation.
Our instructions have just come to hand.
We shall cut off for five minutes,
then read you the general instructions.
Please call in all your friends.
Call in everyone you can.
You've got your stimulant, Passworthy.
Something great has got you.
War has come.
My God, if they've attacked without
a declaration of war, then it's vengeance.
No quarter. Vengeance.
Punishment, condign punishment...
or else the end of civilization altogether.
But it's just possible there's some mistake.
You know, I cling to that.
If not, then it's war to the knife.
No, its - it's not a war.
It's extermination of dangerous vermin.
A vermin hunt without pause or pity.
Well, good night.
Please keep still and listen.
War has broken out suddenly.
There may be an air raid, but it is
not likely to be a very serious one.
You must be prepared for it.
The danger will not be great.
As soon as the danger is over,
bugles will sound all clear.
The streets will be dangerous.
Do not assemble in crowds.
Keep indoors. Go home.
Those who are far from home can
take refuge in the underground railways.
Go home. Go home. Go home.
Get out of the square.
Get out of the streets.
Go home and keep home.
Put out your lights. Close the windows.
Put a wet sheet or a wet blanket
over doors and windows.
Get indoors. Get indoors.
Get out of the streets.
Go home and keep home.
Keep indoors. Go home.
Go home.
Do not assemble in crowds.
My dear.
Are you sorry we had these children?
Life must carry on.
Why should we surrender life
to the brutes and fools?
I loved you.
I wanted to serve you and -
and make life happy for you.
But think of the things
that may happen to them.
Were we selfish?
You weren't afraid to bear them.
We were children yesterday.
We're anxious...
but we're not afraid...
Courage, my dear.
And may that little heart have courage.
Are you an officer, Daddy?
Well, you've got to do your bit, you know,
Sonny. You've got to do your bit.
- I'm an officer too, Daddy.
- That's the spirit.
Carry on, sir! Carry on.
Good-bye, Son.
Now then. Quick march!
An air raid is approaching Everytown.
An air raid is approaching Everytown.
Gas masks are being distributed.
See that they fit tightly behind the ears.
Get to cover.
Get under cover at once.
The enemy are not in any great force...
and our antiaircraft gunners
will speedily dispose of them.
Bad shape, eh?
Why has it come to this?
God, why do we
have to murder each other?
Go, my friend.
That is my gas, and it's a bad gas.
Funny if I'm - if I'm killed
by my own poison.
Quick, get this on.
Here. Get this on, quickly.
Give it to her.
I've given plenty to others.
Why should I not have some myself?
Give it to her! I'm done.
That's it. Breathe through your mouth.
I dropped the gas on her.
Maybe I've killed
her father and mother.
Maybe I've killed her whole family.
And then I go and give up my mask
to save her.
That's - That's funny.
That's a joke.
Look! He's carrying the infection.
Iodine, please.
Mary, iodine.
There's no more left, Father.
This is the last drop.
What is the use of trying to save
this mad world from these punishments?
Oh, Father, if only
you could get some sleep.
How can I sleep?
See how they wander out to die?
Why don't you shoot them?
It's their lives or ours.
Let's get guards and make a cordon.
That's how they dealt with the pestilence
in the Dark Ages.
My sister.
Gordon, how do you know?
Her heart beats fast,
and - and she feels faint.
And she won't answer.
What can I do for her?
I thought something might be known.
Poor Janet.
And you, you poor dear.
- Richard.
- I might be infected.
Is there nothing to make her comfortable?
There's nothing will make anyone
comfortable anymore.
No! Don't shoot.
Shoot, I tell you! Shoot.
That's the way to do it. Shoot 'em.
May Day, 1970.
The pestilence has ceased.
Thanks to the determined action
of our chief in shooting all wanderers...
there have been no cases for two months.
The pestilence has been conquered.
The chief is preparing
to resume hostilities...
against the hill people
with the utmost vigor.
Soon we shall have victory and peace.
All is well.
God save the chief.
God save our land.
Have we any more insulated wire?
We've got no rubbered wire at all, sir.
Any rubber tape?
There's not a scrap left in the place.
We used the last on the other motor.
Oh, what's the use!
There's no petrol anyway.
I don't believe there's three gallons of
petrol left in this accursed ruin of a town.
What's the good
of setting me at a job like this?
Nothing will ever fly again.
Flying's over. Everything's over.
Civilization's dead.
It's a Rolls, isn't it?
Yes. it's a good pre-pestilence machine.
I oil it and turn it over at times.
Do you think it'll go fast someday still?
Oh, I'm not one of your petrol hoarders.
But all the same,
that engine turns over still.
Why, I remember when I was a lad,
when it was new...
we thought nothing
of going a hundred miles in it.
A whole hundred miles.
Less than three hours I've done it in.
But that sort of thing's all gone now.
- Gone forever, huh?
- Afraid so.
Hyup! Hyup.
- Richard.
- What is it?
- You won't think me mad?
- Why, darling?
I thought I heard an aeroplane
this morning at dawn.
I thought it was a dream, but-
Nonsense. I tell you flying's finished.
We shall never get in the air again.
Hey. Come on. The boss.
Look! The boss.
The boss is coming!
Here's to the boss!
- Anything to report, Gordon?
- Nothing very hopeful, Chief.
I must have those aeroplanes somehow.
I'll do what I can,
but you can't fly without petrol.
I'll get petrol for you, trust me.
You look after the machines.
I know you haven't got the stuff,
but you can get round that.
For example, transfer parts.
Use bits of one to mend another.
Be resourceful.
Give me only 10 machines in working order.
Give me only five.
I don't want them all.
And we'll end this war of ours forever.
I'll see you get your reward.
This your wife, Gordon?
You keep her well hidden.
Salutation, lady.
You must use your influence
with our master mechanic.
The combatant state wants his service.
I'm sure my husband does his best for you.
That's hardly enough, lady.
The combatant state demands miracles.
Not everyone can work miracles
as you do, Chief.
Oh, I'm sure you could work miracles
if you tried, lady.
Lady, lady, I showed it to you,
but you said you didn't want it.
If Wadsky's been up to his tricks again,
he'll have to answer for them.
But he's been keeping things
back from me again.
Not only Wadsky keeps things back.
What do you think
of our master mechanic here...
that won't let me have those planes of mine
to end this war of ours with the hill men.
Well, can't you make him?
I thought you could
make everybody do everything.
Some things you can't do, madam.
You can't fly without petrol.
You can't mend machines
without tools or material.
We've gone back too far.
Flying's become a lost skill in Everytown.
- Are you really as stupid as that?
- I'm as hopeless as that.
And now, Chief,
what are you going to do about it?
He's going to let me have those machines,
and I'm going to let him have coal-
stuff to make oil.
It's a lost skill. it's a dream of the -
There it is! You were right!
A plane once more!
Look! There he is.
He's shutting off.
He's coming down.
What's the meaning of this?
They've got aeroplanes before us?
And you told me we couldn't fly anymore.
While we've been fumbling,
they've been active.
Here, some of you - you and you.
Find out who this is and what it means.
There's only one man in it. Hold him.
Somewhere they can
still make new machines.
I didn't dream it was still possible.
Yes, but who is this man?
How does he dare come here?
Fetch him to the town hall. Guard
his machine and bring him to me there.
Come along, Mary.
I must see that machine.
Who's in control
of this part of the country?
The chief. What we call the boss.
Good. I want to see him.
He sent me to arrest you.
You can't do that.
But I'll come and see him.
Well, you're under arrest
whether you'll admit it or not.
The country's in a state of war.
Well, come along. I know the way.
I remember this place well.
I used to live over there for years.
- Ever heard of a man named Passworthy?
- No.
- Harding?
- Yes.
Look! Here he comes now.
So you're Harding?
I seem to remember something about you.
You were a young man.
You're John Cabal.
I remember you.
I used to visit your house here...
endless years ago, before the wars.
You're still flying?
Your hair is gray,
but you look young enough.
How are things here?
Who's in control in this place?
Well, we have a chief, a warlord.
The usual thing.
I want to look up your warlord.
Where can we go and talk?
My laboratory is the best thing.
It's just over here.
You can't go in there!
You're under arrest.
- You gotta go with me to the chief.
- All in good time.
I must see this gentleman first.
Well, you gotta go with me!
Orders are orders. The boss first!
Where is this man?
Why isn't he brought here?
He's gone off with Dr. Harding.
He has to be brought here.
I must deal with him.
Here, you can't go to him.
That's impossible. He must come to you.
Send another man for him. Send three men.
He's got to be brought here.
So that's the sort of man your boss is?
Not an unusual type.
Everywhere we find these little
semi-military upstarts robbing and fighting.
That's what endless warfare
has led to - brigandage.
What else could happen?
But we, who are all that are left
of the old engineers and mechanics...
have pledged ourselves
to salvage the world.
We have the airways -
or what's left of them.
We have the seas.
And we have ideas in common.
The brotherhood of efficiency...
the freemasonry of science.
We're the last trustees of civilization
when everything else has failed.
I've been waiting for this.
- I'm yours to command.
- Not mine. Not mine.
No more bosses.
Civilization's to command.
Tell him he'll have to come.
If he won't come on foot,
well, we'll have to carry him.
I don't know what'll happen to me, sir,
if you don't come.
Well, what do you want to see me about?
Who are you?
Do you know this country's at war?
At war?
Still at it, eh?
- We must clean that up.
- What do you mean we must clean that up?
War's war.
- Who are you, I say?
- The law.
- Law and sanity.
- I am the law here!
I said law and sanity.
Where do you come from?
Who are you?
Wings Over the World.
Well, you know, you can't come
into a country like this in this fashion.
I'm here.
Do you mind if I sit down?
And now, for the fourth time,
who are you?
I tell you, Wings Over the World.
- That's nothing. What government
are you under? - Common sense.
I belong to World Communications.
We just run ourselves.
Eh? You'll run into trouble
if you try and land here in wartime.
- What's the game?
- Order and trade.
Trade, eh?
- Can you do anything in munitions?
- Not our line of business.
Tools? Spare parts?
We've got planes. We've got planes.
I've got boys that have trained a bit
on the ground.
We've no fuel. It hampers us.
We might do a deal.
We might.
I know where I can get some fuel.
I've got my plans later.
But if you can manage a temporary
accommodation, we'd do business.
World Communications
helps no one to make war.
End war. End war.
I want to make victorious peace.
I seem to have heard that phrase before...
when I was a young man.
But it's made no end of war.
Now look here, Mr. Aviator.
Let's see how we stand.
Come down to actuality.
The way you swagger, you don't seem
to realize you're under arrest.
You and your machine.
You'll find other planes looking for me
if I happen to be delayed.
We'll deal with them later.
Now, you can start
a trading agency here if you like.
I have no objection.
The first thing we shall want
is to get our planes in the air again.
Quite a laudable ambition.
But our new order has an objection
to private aeroplanes.
The impudence!
I'm not talking about private aeroplanes.
Our aeroplanes are public aeroplanes.
This is an independent
sovereign state at war.
I know nothing about any old order.
I'm the chief here...
and I'm not taking any orders,
old or new, from you.
I suppose I've walked into trouble.
Yeah, you can take that as right.
Where do you come from?
I flew from our headquarters at Basra
this morning.
We have some hundreds of new-type planes,
and we're building more fast.
The factories are working again.
We're gradually restoring order and trade
in the whole Mediterranean area.
We're scouting this region now
to see how things are.
You've found out.
This is an independent sovereign state.
Yes, we must talk about that.
We don't discuss it.
We don't approve
of independent sovereign states.
You don't approve?
- We mean to stop them.
- That's war.
If you will.
All right.
I think we know how we stand.
Burton, take this man.
If he gives you any trouble, club him.
Do you hear that,
Mr. Wings Over Your Wits?
My friends know my whereabouts.
If I don't come back,
they'll send a force to find me.
Perhaps they won't find you.
- They'll find you.
- They'll find me ready.
Take him to the detention room
- Now, was that wise?
- Wise?
- Yes, wise, to quarrel with at once.
- Quarrel with him?
Confound him.
He began the quarrel with me.
"We must clean that up. "
Clean that up! My war.
- There's things behind him.
- Things behind him?
Some sort of aerial bus driver.
Standing up to me, like an equal.
So you lost your temper
and you bullied him.
I don't bully. I just handled the man.
He's the first real aviator
that has come this way for years.
Think of what that means, my dear.
You want aeroplanes, don't you?
You want your aeroplanes put in order?
A really clever man could have had
some of those machines up long ago.
I'm sure of it.
Along comes this stranger
who's going to clean me up...
and you expect me to hand my planes
over to him lock, stock and barrel.
Why talk nonsense? You could have
persuaded him, under supervision.
Supervision? The sort of oafs
I've got here to supervise him.
He'd be too much for them.
Oh, well, of course, if he's going to be
too much for you, why don't you hang him...
and hide his machine
before the others are after you?
I don't agree with you.
I don't agree with you.
Now, this stranger
hasn't taken me by surprise.
I knew he was coming.
Yes, I knew he was coming.
I felt this conspiracy of air bus drivers
brewing somewhere in the world.
I felt they were getting ahead with
their aeroplanes down there somewhere.
Very well. Now's our chance.
We've got this fellow bottled up.
They won't even begin to miss him for days.
I've got everything fixed now
for an attack straightaway...
on the Floss Valley to the old coal
and shale pits, where there's oil too.
Then up we buzz.
Victory approaches!
Your sacrifices have not been in vain.
Our old struggle with the hill men
has come to its climax.
Our new victory at the coal pits...
has brought a great supply of oil
within our reach.
Once more, we may hope to take the air...
look our invaders in the face.
We've 40 aeroplanes -
as large a force, I venture to say,
as any in the world.
This new oil can be adapted to our needs.
That's quite a simple business.
Nothing remains
but the conclusive bombing of the hills.
Then for a time, we can hope
for a rich, rewarding peace.
The peace of the strong man, armed,
who keepeth his house.
And now, at this supreme crisis, you, Gordon,
our master mechanic, refuse your help.
Where are my planes?
The job's more difficult than you think.
Half your machines are hopelessly old.
You haven't 20 sound ones -
to be exact, 19.
You'll never get the others off the ground.
The thing can't be done as you imagine it.
I want assistance.
- What assistance?
- Your prisoner.
What, you want that chap in black,
that Wings Over the World?
- You want him released?
- He knows his business.
I don't enough.
Make him my technical adviser.
I don't trust you technical chaps.
- Then you won't get an aeroplane up.
- I want those planes.
Well, if you get him?
- Then I want Dr. Harding out too.
- They're old associates.
I can't help that.
If anybody in Everytown can adapt to that
crude oil for our aeroplanes, it's Harding.
If not, it can't be done.
Oh, we've had a bit of an argument
with Harding lately.
He's the only man
who can do this work for you.
Get him.
Undo his hands.
- Well what?
- The salute.
Damn the salute!
Ah, never mind the salute now.
We'll talk about that later.
Now look here.
Let's see how we stand.
You, Gordon, are to undertake
the reconstruction of our air force.
The prisoner, Cabal,
is to be placed at your disposal.
Everywhere he goes,
he's to be under guard and observation.
No relaxing on that.
Neither you nor he are to go within
a hundred yards of his aeroplane. Mind that.
Now you, Harding, are to assist Gordon
with his fuel problem...
and place your knowledge
of poison gas at our disposal.
I'll have nothing to do with poison gas!
You've got the knowledge
if I have to wring it out of you.
The state's your mother, your father,
the totality of your interests!
No discipline can be too severe for the man
that denies that by word or deed!
We have a duty to civilization.
You and your sort are driving us
straight back to eternal barbarism.
But this is pure treason!
I protest against
being dragged away from my work!
Confound your silly war and your
war material and all the rest of it.
All my life has been interrupted
and wasted and spoilt by war.
I'll not stand it any longer!
- But this is treason, treason!
- No, no, no, no. Stop that.
We've need of your service.
- Well, what do you want?
- You're conscripted!
You're under my orders now
and under no other orders in the world.
I'm master here. I'm the state.
I need fuel and gas!
Neither fuel nor gas.
- You refuse?
- Absolutely.
I don't want to be forced
to extremities.
May I have a word?
I understand you want all of those
out-of-date crocks of yours -
which you call your air force -
to fly again and fly well.
They shall!
With the help of that man, Cabal,
you have in the cells...
and Dr. Harding here...
you may even have a dozen
of your planes in the air again.
You! You're a traitor to civilization.
I won't touch it!
If you will give me Cabal...
and if you leave me free
to talk with Harding...
I promise you
you'll see your air force -
a third of it, at any rate -
in the sky again.
You talk as if you're driving
a bargain with me.
I'm sorry, Chief.
It's not I who makes these conditions.
t is the nature of things.
You cannot have technical services,
you cannot have scientific help...
without treating the men
who give it to you properly.
That's what I've said all along.
You're bullying too hard, my dear,
and there's a limit to bullying.
Why? You can't make a dog hunt
by beating it.
I want those planes!
Chief and commanders, a health!
Our war leader, our peace maker -
Rudolf the Victorious.
- To Rudolf!
- Speech! Speech!
Speech! Speech!
Come on! Speech!
My captains, my commanders,
I greet you.
Could anything in life
be better than this moment?
You've faced difficulties and dangers.
But now,
at this bright moment of victory...
we relax to gather strength
for the supreme effort...
that will make this land forever ours.
Hear! Hear!
A man's land we're making -
a land for strength and for courage.
None but the brave deserve the land.
None but the brave deserve the fair.
Our dear old world.
Our dear old land.
There are some among us
that dare to run down our land.
t isn't this. it isn't that.
It isn't what it used to be.
"We haven't got chemists. "
- Well, who wants chemists?
- We don't want 'em.
"They don't print books anymore. "
Who wants books to muddle
their thoughts and their ideas?
"We can't travel anymore. "
Well, isn't our land good enough for us?
I wanted to look at you.
I am at your service, madam.
You're the most interesting thing
that has happened in Everytown for years.
You honor me.
You come from... outside.
I'd begun to forget
there was anything outside.
- I want to hear about it.
- May I offer you my only chair?
- You know, I'm not a stupid woman.
- I'm sure.
This life here is limited.
War - always going on and never-ending.
Flags. Marching.
Oh, I adore the chief.
I've always adored him since he
took control in the pestilence days...
when everyone else lost heart.
He rules. He's firm.
Everyone, every woman
finds him strong and attractive.
I can't complain.
I have everything that is to be had here.
And yet...
This is a small, limited world we live in.
You bring in the breath
of something greater.
When I saw you swooping down
out of the air -
when I saw you marching
into the town hall-
I felt, "This man lives in a greater world".
You spoke of the Mediterranean and the East,
of your camps and factories.
I've read about the Mediterranean
and Egypt and Greece and India.
Oh, I can read - a lot of those old books.
I'm not like
most of the younger people here.
I learned a lot before education stopped
and schools closed down.
I want to see that world -
skies, snowy mountains,
blue seas, sunshine, palms.
If I had my way, you could fly to all that
in a couple of hours.
If you were free...
and if I was free.
I don't suppose any man
has ever understood any woman...
since the beginning of things.
You don't understand our imagination...
how wild our imaginations can be.
I wish I were a man.
Oh! If I were a man!
What are your people
trying to do to us?
What are you going to do
to this boss of mine?
The immediate question seems,
what does he mean to do to me?
Something violent and foolish,
unless I prevent it.
That's how I see things.
And if he kills you?
We shall come here and clean things up.
But if you're killed,
how can you say We"?
We go on.
That's how things are.
We are taking hold of things.
In science and government,
in the long run, no man is indispensable.
The human things go on.
We - forever.
I see.
And this warlike state of ours here?
t has to vanish - like the tyrannosaurus
and the saber-toothed tiger.
Ah! So here you are.
I said I should talk to him,
and I have.
I told you to leave that fellow alone.
Yes, and sat up there drinking and swaggering
and looking as proud as you could.
Rudolf the Victorious.
And here am I trying to find out
what this black invader means.
You think I wanted to come and talk to him -
this gray, cold man?
While you're swaggering here...
there are more planes
away there at Basra getting ready.
- Basra?
- His headquarters.
Have you never heard of Basra?
These are matters for us to talk about.
This lady has been putting me through
a severe cross-examination.
But the gist of it is that,
away there in Basra...
new aeroplanes are rising night and day,
like hornets round a hornets' nest.
What happens to me is a small affair.
They'll finish you.
The new world of united airmen
will finish you.
Listen. You can almost
hear them coming now.
Not a bit of it.
- What he says is the truth.
- What he says is bluff.
Make peace with the airmen
and let him go.
That means surrender
of our sovereign independence.
But more machines will be coming
and more and more.
Yeah, and he's here,
hostage for their good behavior.
Come, madam. Enough of this
little diplomatic mission of yours.
You've got the subtlety of a bullfrog.
Here, I don't know
what she's been saying to you.
I don't much care.
But there's no making peace
between you and me.
It's your world or mine,
and it's going to be mine.
For all your threats of swarms of hornets
and so on, you're a hostage.
Remember that.
And don't be too sure you'll win.
So just sit here and think that over,
Mr. Wings Over the World.
Get round to the other side and look at
these engine bearer braces. Quickly.
If I could get to my plane,
there's a wireless there.
- It's hopeless. They won't even trust me.
- We shall have to make a job of this.
I can manage to get your reserve petrol.
- They'll let me have that for this plane.
- Good.
It won't be easy to make a getaway.
These oil pump connections aren't very good,
but we'll have to risk it.
I think we'll manage it all right
now that Harding knows his part of the job.
Look! it's your Gordon.
He's flying at last.
Look! An aeroplane out of the ark, boys.
It's pre-war.
- Where do you come from? - He comes
from the north, sir, from Everytown.
He says Cabal is a prisoner there.
They've got him, sir, and he's in danger.
I had great difficulty in getting here.
- You say Cabal is in danger?
- In very great danger.
- The boss there is a violent tough.
- Hmm. Job for our new squadron.
Well, now we've got a chance to try
the new gas of peace on somebody.
There's no time to lose, sir.
May I report to headquarters?
Yes. Take him to the council.
- At last, we have definite news.
- What is it?
Gordon didn't fall into the sea.
He got away.
A fishing boat saw him
making for the French coast.
- Perhaps he reached his pals.
- Well?
Well, he'll be coming back.
He'll be bringing the others with him.
Curse these World Communications.
Curse all airmen
and gas men and machine men!
Why didn't we leave their machines
and their sciences alone?
I might have known.
Why did I tamper with flying?
Well, we needed aeroplanes -
against the hill state.
Somebody else would have started in again with
aeroplanes and gas and bombs if we hadn't.
These people would have come
interfering anyhow.
Why was all this science ever allowed?
Why was it ever let begin?
Science? it's an enemy of everything
that's natural in life.
I dreamt of those fellows last night-
great ugly, black, inhuman chaps.
Half like machines.
Bombing and bombing.
- Yes, I guess they'll come bombing,
all right. - Then we'll fight 'em!
Since Gordon got away,
I've had those air boys up to see me.
They've got guts.
They'll do something still.
We'll fight 'em. We'll fight 'em.
Ha! We've got hostages.
I'm glad I didn't shoot them anyway.
There's that chap Harding.
Of course! He can tell us
what to do against this gas...
if I have to pull his arm off
and knock his teeth down his throat.
- Get him! Get him!
- Go get Dr. Harding.
They have to come to earth sometime.
What is this World Communications?
A handful of men like ourselves.
They're not magic.
To you, I entrust these good,
tried, tested machines.
You are not mechanics.
You are warriors.
You have been trained not to think,
but to do...
maybe to die.
I salute you, I, your chief!
What do you know about
these World Communications people?
- Have they gas? What sort of gas?
- I know nothing about gas.
Tell us about these masks anyway.
Oh, they're rotten.
They're no good at all.
What sort of gas have they got?
I tell you, gas isn't my business.
They can't gas us
when you're here anyway.
Here they are.
Listen. They're coming already!
We're here.
Tell them to stand by.
Clumsy great things!
Our boys will have them down
in no time.
They're too clumsy.
What, only six of us up?
Where are the rest of our fellows?
Go on! Up at him.
- Poor boy! it's got him!
- They're both coming down. Cowards!
But they can't use gas
if we have hostages.
The hostages! I'm not done yet.
Go on. Fetch them.
Bring them out here out in the open.
Tie 'em up where they can be seen.
Where's the other fellow?
He's the prize hostage.
He's the best of the lot.
They'll know him. Fetch him.
Fetch him.
Look! Is that gas?
Anyway, you won't get out of this.
- You?
- Don't you see? We're beaten.
Shoot them!
What are you all doing?
Why don't you move?
I never did you any harm.
I saved your father, and I saved you.
Couldn't you call up to your man there
to stop this?
I won't have it like this!
What's happening?
Everything's swimming.
Shoot! Shoot!
We never shot enough yet!
We never shot enough.
We spared them.
Now they've got us.
Our world or theirs.
Why should I be beaten like this?
Shoot! Shoot!
Shoot! Shoot!
There they are.
No, no. She's not hurt.
She's asleep like the others.
Cabal's safe!
- Cabal!
- Well done, Gordon!
Well, they laughed at me
for sticking to my gas mask.
But thanks to that,
I'm here and everyone else is sleeping.
I wonder if they'll ever
use gas masks again.
- Sir!
- What is it?
This man's not sleeping.
He's dead.
Dead. And his world dead with him.
And a new world beginning.
Poor old Boss here
and his flags and his follies.
And now for the rule of the airmen
and a new life for mankind.
Our job is only beginning.
For now, we have to
put the world in order.
It will be a long
and complicated struggle...
but we have the unity of a common order
and a common knowledge.
This is how I conceive
our plan of operations.
First a roundup of brigands -
that last dismal vestige
of ancient predatory soldiering...
the last would-be conquerors.
Then settle, organize, advance.
This zone, then that.
And at last, Wings Over the World...
and the new world begins.
Do you realize
the immense task we shall undertake...
when we set ourselves
to an active and aggressive peace...
when we direct our energies
to tear out the wealth of this planet...
and exploit all these
giant possibilities of science...
that have been squandered hitherto
upon war and senseless competition?
We shall excavate the eternal hills.
We shall make such use of the treasures
of sky and sea and earth...
as men have never dreamt of hitherto.
I would that I could see
our children's children...
in this world we shall win for them.
But in them and through them,
we shall live again.
Is it any better world than it used to be?
I rebel against this progress.
What has this progress,
this world civilization, done for us?
Machines and marvels.
They've built these
great cities of theirs, yes.
They've prolonged life, yes.
They've conquered nature, they say,
and made a great white world.
Is it any jollier than the world used to be
in the good old days...
when life was short and hot and merry
and the devil took the hindmost?
- All the same, what can we do about it?
- Rebel.
- And rebel now. Now. Now is the time.
- Why now in particular?
Why, because of this space gun business...
because of this project to shoot
human beings at the stars.
People don't like it, shooting humans away
into hard, frozen darkness.
- They're murmuring. - They've murmured
before, and nothing came of it.
Because they had no leader.
But now...
suppose someone cried, "Halt!
Stop this progress!"
Suppose I shouted to the world,
"Make an end to this progress!"
I could talk, talk.
Radio is everywhere.
This modern world is full of voices.
I'm a master craftsman.
I have the right to talk.
Yes, but will they listen to you?
They'll listen, trust them...
if I shout, "Arise! Awake!
Stop this progress before it is too late!"
- I like these history lessons.
- Mm-hmm.
What a funny place New York was,
all sticking up and full of windows.
They built houses like that
in the old days.
They had no light inside their cities
as we have.
So they had to stick them up
into the daylight, what there was of it.
They had no properly mixed
and conditioned air.
Everybody lived half out of doors.
They had windows of brittle glass.
The age of windows lasted four centuries.
They never seemed to realize that we could light the
interiors of our houses with sunshine of our own...
so there was no need to stick them up
ever so high into the air.
Weren't the people tired
going up and down those stairs?
They were all tired,
and they had a disease called colds.
Everybody had colds.
And they coughed and sneezed
and ran at the eyes.
Sneezed. What's "sneezed"?
Oh, you know.
Everybody said "ah-tishoo"?
That must have been funny.
Not so funny as you think.
And you remember all that,
Well, I remember some of it.
The colds we had...
and indigestion, too,
from the queer, bad foods we ate.
Oh, it was a poor life -
never really well.
Did people laugh at it?
Well, they had a way
of grinning at it.
They used to call it humor.
We had to have a lot of humor.
I've lived through
some horrid times, my dear.
Oh, horrid.
Horrid? I don't want
to hear about that.
The wars, the wandering sickness...
and all those dreadful years.
None of that will come again,
Great-granddad, ever?
Well, not if progress goes on.
They keep on inventing
new things now, don't they...
and making life lovelier and lovelier?
Lovelier. Yes.
And bolder.
I suppose I'm an old man, my dear,
but some of it seems like going too far.
This space gun of theirs
that they keep on shooting.
What is this space gun,
Well, it's a gun
they discharge by electricity.
It's a lot of guns inside one another...
and each one discharges
the gun next inside.
I don't properly understand it...
but the cylinder it shoots out last goes -
swish - right away from the Earth.
I wish I could fly round the moon.
Well, that in time.
Won't you come back
to your history pictures again?
I'm glad I didn't live in the old world.
I know that John Cabal and his airmen
tidied it all up.
Did you see John Cabal,
Well, you can see him in your pictures.
But you saw him when he lived.
You really saw him?
Yes. I saw the great John Cabal
with my own eyes when I was a little boy.
He was a lean, brown old man
with hair as white as mine.
He was the great-grandfather
of our Oswald Cabal...
the president of our council.
I take it the space gun's
passed all its preliminary trials...
and there's nothing left now
but to choose the two who are to go.
That's going to be the trouble.
Thousands of young people
have been applying -
young men and young women.
I never dreamt the moon
was so attractive.
Practically, the gun's perfect now.
There are risks, but reasonable risks.
And the position of the moon
in the next three or four months...
gives us the best conditions
for getting there.
It's only the choice of the two now
that matters.
- Well?
- There are going to be difficulties.
That man Theotocopulos
is talking on the radio about it.
He's a fantastic fellow.
Yes, but he's making trouble.
It's not going to be easy
to choose these young people.
With all these thousands
offering themselves?
We've looked into thousands of cases.
We've rejected everyone
of imperfect health...
or anyone who had friends who objected.
And the fact is,
we want you to talk to two people.
There's Raymond Passworthy
of General Fabric. You know him?
- Yes, I know him.
- And his son.
We want you to see the son,
Maurice Passworthy.
- Why?
- He asks to go.
We think you ought to see him.
He's waiting here.
- Is Maurice Passworthy there?
- He's on his way.
- You want to talk to me?
- Forgive me, sir. I came straight to you.
- You're asking a favor?
- A very big favor.
I want to be one of the first two
human beings to go round the moon.
It means danger,
great hardship anyhow.
You realize there's an even chance
of never corning back alive...
a still greater chance
of coming back a cripple.
- Give me credit for not minding that, sir.
- Mm-hmm.
Yes, a lot of you young people
don't mind that.
But why should I give you a favor?
Well, I'm - I'm the son
of a friend of yours and -
Well, people seem to feel you oughtn't
to send someone you don't know, sir.
Go on.
We've talked about this
over and over again.
- We?
- Yes, both of us.
It's her idea even more than it's mine.
Her idea? Who is she?
Someone much closer to you
than I am, sir.
Go on.
It's Catherine, your daughter.
She says you can't possibly
send anybody's child but your own.
I might have known.
Today, I'm going
to put it to the world plainly.
Is this thing to go on...
or are we sane and normal human beings
to put an end to it...
and an end to all such follies forever?
What is this progress?
What is the good of all this progress
onward and onward?
We demand a halt.
We demand a rest.
The object of life is happy living.
We will not have human lives
sacrificed to experiment.
Progress is not living. It should
only be the preparation for living.
They stage the old Greek tragedy again...
and a father offers up his daughter
to his evil gods.
That voice is sounding to the whole world.
I might suppress it. No.
They'll have to hear him
and make what they can of him.
What does this space gun portend?
Make no mistake about it.
The slaveries
they put upon themselves today...
they will impose tomorrow
upon the whole world.
Is man never to rest...
never to be free?
A time will come
when you in your turn...
will be forced away to take your chance
upon strange planets...
and in dreary,
abominable places beyond the stars.
An end to progress.
Make an end to this progress now.
Let this be the last day
of the scientific age.
Make the space gun the symbol
of all that drives us and destroy it!
I wonder what they will make of him.
It's all very well for you, Cabal.
You're the great-grandson of John Cabal,
the air dictator...
the man who changed
the whole course of the world.
You've got experiment in your blood,
you and your daughter.
But I'm - I'm more normal.
I don't believe my boy
would have thought of it.
- The two of them must have got together.
- They'll come back together.
This time, there's no attempt
to land on the moon.
When - When is this great experiment
to be made?
How much longer have we got
before they go?
- When the space gun is ready.
- Some time this year you mean?
Then is there no way of saving
our children from this madness?
But would it be saving our children?
Well, here they are.
- Father, we're to go?
- Yes, you're to go.
- It's announced?
- Two hours ago.
- Already?
- Why not?
- But... my son.
- He's of age. He's volunteered.
Yes, but I want to talk it over first.
I must talk it over.
Why have you announced this so soon?
There is still time to talk it over,
isn't there?
Not so very long now, Father.
We're got several months yet surely.
It's just one month and three days.
Everything's ready.
And the moon's coming into the right
position even while we're talking now.
They're leaving it a month longer
to make sure.
You mean you're going in four weeks?
Four weeks? I forbid it!
This man Theotocopulos is right.
This thing must not be.
It's human sacrifice!
Your speech has struck fire.
All the people are excited and angry.
Some of them are already going
out of the city towards the space gun.
Nothing is wanted now but leading!
We must go right on with this.
To the space gun!
And so we end an age.
Young people just beginning life...
and you want to go
into that outer horror.
Why don't you send somebody
who's sick of life?
They want fit young people -
alert and quick.
And we're fit young people.
We can observe and come back and tell.
Cabal, I just want to ask you
one plain question.
Why did you let your daughter dream
of going on this mad moon journey?
Because I love her,
and I want her to live to the best effect.
Dragging out life to the last possible
second is not living to the best effect.
The nearer the bone,
the sweeter the meat.
The best of life, Passworthy,
lies nearest to the edge of death.
I'm a broken man.
I don't know where honor lies.
You haven't got things right, Passworthy.
Our fathers and our fathers' fathers
cleaned up the old order of things...
because it killed children.
It killed those
who were unprepared for death.
Because it tormented people in vain.
Because it outraged
human pride and dignity.
Because it was an ugly spectacle of waste.
But that was only a beginning.
There's nothing wrong in suffering
if you suffer for a purpose.
Our revolution didn't abolish
danger or death.
It simply made danger
and death worthwhile.
Cabal, the gun's in urgent danger.
It's a race against time now to save it.
Theotocopulos is out
with a crowd of people already.
He's going to the space gun now.
They're gonna break it up.
They say it's the symbol of your tyranny.
- Have they weapons?
- Bars of metal.
They can smash delicate apparatus.
They can do endless mischief.
But you have a traffic control.
Can't they produce the police?
Very few. We've nothing
but the gas of peace, and it isn't ready.
It'll take hours yet.
We must hold this crowd back at any cost
for a time until the gas of peace is ready.
Cabal, they're rioting!
It's barbarism come back.
- Who are you? - William Jeans
- Astronomical Department, Space Gun.
We've stopped the airways.
They'll have to go afoot.
And they'll take an hour or more to get
there, even those who've already started.
That gun mustn't be broken up after all
the final experiments have been made!
- When everything was ready!
- When everything was ready?
If they smash up that infernal gun,
then honor is satisfied and you needn't go.
- They won't smash the gun.
- Suppose the gun was fired now?
- Would the cylinder reach the moon?
- It would miss and fly into outer space.
It's 5:00 now.
If the gun were fired before 7:00.
- And it could be?
- Yes.
- Then - - We go now.
- No, no, no!
I don't know what to say,
but don't go. Don't go.
But, Father, we must go now,
or we may never go.
Then for the rest of our lives,
we'll feel we've shirked and lived in vain.
We must go now.
Quickly. This way.
If you go up to the platform,
we'll guard this below.
Contract all your muscles
when the concussion comes.
In five minutes, you'll be able
to get loose and move about.
There's the man!
There's the man who would offer up
his daughter to the devil of science.
What do you want here?
We want to save these young people
from your experiments.
We want to put an end
to this inhuman foolery.
We mean to destroy that gun!
We have a right to do
what we like with our lives -
with our sort of lives.
We don't grudge you your artistic life.
You have safety, plenty - all you want.
We want to make the world safe for men.
No one prevents you.
How can we do that
when your science and inventions...
are perpetually changing life for us...
when you're everlastingly
contriving strange things...
when you make what we think great
seem small...
when you make what we think strong
seem feeble?
We don't want you
in the same world with us.
We don't want this expedition.
We don't want mankind to go
out to the moon and to the planets.
We shall hate you more if you succeed
than if you fail.
Destroy the gun!
Before you can even reach
the base of the gun, it will be fired.
Beware of the concussion.
Beware of the concussion!
Stand by, Control Room.
Clear all outside observers.
Stand by to fire.
There! There they go.
That faint gleam of light.
- I feel that what we've done is monstrous.
- What they've done is magnificent.
- Will they come back?
- Yes, and go again and again -
until the landing is made
and the moon is conquered.
This is only a beginning.
And if they don't come back -
my son and your daughter -
what of that, Cabal?
Then presently others will go.
Oh, God! Is there never to be
any age of happiness?
Is there never to be any rest?
Rest enough for the individual man.
Too much and too soon,
and we call it death.
But for man, no rest and no ending.
He must go on,
conquest beyond conquest.
First this little planet
and its winds and waves...
and then all the laws of mind and matter
that restrain him.
Then the planets about him...
and, at last, out across
immensity to the stars.
And when he has conquered
all the deeps of space...
and all the mysteries of time...
still he will be beginning.
But we're such little creatures.
Poor humanity - so fragile, so weak.
Little - Little animals.
Little animals.
And if we're no more than animals, we must
snatch each little scrap of happiness...
and live and suffer and pass...
mattering no more than all
the other animals do or have done.
It is this... or that.
All the universe or nothingness.
Which shall it be, Passworthy?
Which shall it be?
Which shall it be?
Which shall it be?)
Which shall it be?