Just Imagine (1930)

Just Imagine (1930)





Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Just Imagine Photos

Movie Info

Made in 1930, this well-known sci-fi musical chronicles the adventures of a lightning-struck man who awakens to find himself in futuristic New York City, circa 1980. He finds it a strange new world where fantastically attired people are ascribed numbers rather than names and all marriages must be government-approved. He also finds a bewildering array of technical gizmos and innovations that include babies grown in test tubes, videophones, and automatic doors (could the filmmakers see into the future or are our innovations the result of self-fulfilling prophecy?). The story centers on his attempts to get the government to sanction his marriage to his modern girl love. Before the feds will approve, the fellow must prove his worth. He does so by boarding a Mars-bound rocket. Upon the red planet he discovers that it is populated by replicas of the people living on Earth. The film's songs are dismal, but of course that is part of the campy fun.
Musical & Performing Arts , Science Fiction & Fantasy
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
20th Century Fox Film Corporation


El Brendel
as Single-O
Joseph W. Girard
as Commander
Joyzelle Joyner
as Loo Loo/Boo Boo
Ivan Linow
as Loko/Boko
Helen Mann
as Choru
Mary Carr
as Choru
Gordon Kay
as Choru
Ed Rockwell
as Choru
Don Prosser
as Choru
J.M. Kerrigan
as Autogiro Cop
George Irving
as Court Martial Judge
Show More Cast

Critic Reviews for Just Imagine

All Critics (2)

Very esrly and strange sci-fi, and a musical at that, by director David Butler

Full Review… | June 26, 2011

More of a curio of the science fiction film than a genuine entertainment experience. But visually it is very interesting

Full Review… | July 20, 2004

Audience Reviews for Just Imagine

The thing about sci-fi, predicting how technology will change our lives, hindsight being 20/20, is that it all looks so easy, like not so much of a thing, but its harder than it looks and here is a work in particular that proves that point exactly. A hackneyed convolution of cornball and greasy charm, they've literally thrown in everything and the kitchen sink in this look into the crystal ball. First they go back, 50 years back, before 1930, and are wistful about those halcyon days of yore. "Things were simpler then ..." Then we plunge into the future where all the architecture, interior design, and even the furniture is art deco (yeah, it looks old now, but when they made it, when it was hot, it was supposed to be "THE FUTURE!"). The government controls everything, folks have numbers instead of names and they eat little pills instead of real meals. Now there's a typical story here as well about boy gets girl, but it's of little importance beside the extravagances of speculation of what life will be like in the future. And its a musical too. Interesting about the film is not what they got wrong (and they do that easily 75% of the time) but what and how our grandparents, our great grandparents, and our great-great grandparents dreamed about what was to come. Some of the fantasies are wild and nutty, but most retain significant parts of the culture of their time, like they knew things were gonna change but kept their dreaming in a way they could still understand so that it didn't get far away from them. In one scene people blithely stand mere feet away from a rocket taking off. One central character is not only Jewish, but Jewish played for laffs no less (Woody Allen's Sleeper was only 43 years away), implying that in the future, in 50 years, racial hatred would be done away with (and this hope for the future only a couple of years away from the Holocaust) I loved this movie for that quality. On its own, its pretty hokey now, but at one time somebody saw this and was amazed at what the future could be like.

Kevin M. Williams
Kevin M. Williams

Super Reviewer

Two words to describe this film would be "camp" and "conservative." The SFX are excellent for 1930, the music is decent and the writing can either be solid or silly. The acting all belongs in a film set in 1930. The wardrobe is just contemporary wares made askew; they hardly tried. Of course, the film is also outdated. The film's poor view of women was archaic by the time of its release. Even though technology has advanced considerably, scientists have no sense of ethics, e.g. threatening to kill subjects for asking questions. As for stereotypes, Jews control [the aviation] business, the only job an Irishman can get is "street cop", and gays are sissy maries. A strange entry from early Hollywood.

Joseph Brown
Joseph Brown

If you're into the Orwellian futuristic concepts, you'll dig this movie. If you're into the history of film, you'll also dig this movie, for this is a perfect example of how filmmakers had a bit of a bumpy road transitioning from silent to sound. But aside from that, it's not very good. The acting, script and songs are 100% real corn, the best visuals taken from Fritz Lang and Georges Melies, and the production value mismanaged.

Bheema Da Cashman
Bheema Da Cashman

Just Imagine Quotes

There are no approved quotes yet for this movie.

Discussion Forum

Discuss Just Imagine on our Movie forum!

News & Features