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My late night movie insomnia habit's. curiosity has been satisfied. Truly a clunker, but now I want to write an essay about moralistic therapeutic deism in Hollywood.
If you do not suffer religious pedantry lightly, you'll hate this film.
Seemed like that had footage of all the eras of history and turned it into a final judgement film. It was poorly told and I only liked satan's depiction by price and the Marx brothers' cameo.
Not the worst idea, and the heavenly court works well with Colman and Price bouncing off each other as opposites as they dissect the history of the world. It does however feel a bit like a clip show at times with clearly scenes from other films being used to paint the arguments. It's not all like that though and plenty of the historical observations are part of this production and there's a plethora of names in them too.
WOW......WOW.....WOW....WOW.....JUST SEEN THIS MOVIE 4 THE 1ST TIME N THINK THAT THIS IS A GOOD MOVIE 2 WATCH......its got a good cast of actors/actresses throughout this movie......I think that the director of this drama/sci-fi/fantasy movie had done a great job of directing this movie because you never know what 2 expect throughout this movie......WARNING THIS MOVIE CONTAINS STROBE LIGHTNING EFFECTS THROUGHOUT SOME SCENES THROUGHOUT THIS MOVIE.......
the whole cast::
Ronald Colman as The Spirit of Man
Vincent Price as Mr. Scratch
Hedy Lamarr as Joan of Arc
Groucho Marx as Peter Minuit
Harpo Marx as Sir Isaac Newton
Chico Marx as Monk
Virginia Mayo as Cleopatra
Agnes Moorehead as Queen Elizabeth I
Peter Lorre as Nero
Charles Coburn as Hippocrates
Sir Cedric Hardwicke as High Judge
Cesar Romero as Spanish Envoy
John Carradine as Khufu
Dennis Hopper as Napoleon Bonaparte
Marie Wilson as Marie Antoinette
Helmut Dantine as Marc Antony
Edward Everett Horton as Sir Walter Raleigh
Reginald Gardiner as William Shakespeare
Marie Windsor as Joséphine de Beauharnais
George E. Stone as Waiter
Cathy O'Donnell as Early Christian Woman
Franklin Pangborn as Marquis de Varennes
Melville Cooper as Major Domo
Henry Daniell as Bishop Cauchon
Francis X. Bushman as Moses
Jim Ameche as Alexander Graham Bell
David Bond as Early Christian
Nick Cravat as Devil's Assistant
Dani Crayne as Helen of Troy
Richard H. Cutting as Court Attendant
Anthony Dexter as Christopher Columbus
Toni Gerry as Wife
Austin Green as Abraham Lincoln
Eden Hartford as Laughing Water
Alexander Lockwood as Promoter
Melinda Marx as Early Christian Child
Bart Mattson as Cleopatra's Brother
Don Megowan as Early Man
Marvin Miller as Armana
Nancy Miller as Early Woman
Leonard Mudie as Chief Inquisitor
Burt Nelson as Second Early Man
Tudor Owen as High Tribunal Clerk
Ziva Rodann as Egyptian Concubine
Harry Ruby as Indian Brave
William Schallert as Earl of Warwick
Reginald Sheffield as Julius Caesar
Abraham Sofaer as Indian Chief
Bobby Watson as Adolf Hitler
Sam Harris as Nobleman in Queen Elizabeth's Court (uncredited)
Angelo Rossitto as Dwarf in Nero's Court (uncredited)
Paul Zastupnevich as Apprentice (uncredited)
Warner Home Video released the film as part of its Warner Archive made-to-order DVD line on July 20, 2009 in the United States.
Like Allen's previous two films, it features vast amounts of stock footage, in this case, battles and action scenes culled from previous Warner Bros. costume films, coupled with cheaply shot close-ups of actors on much smaller sets. This was the last film picture to feature the three Marx Brothers (and their only film in Technicolor), although they are seen in separate scenes rather than acting together. This was also the last film of star Ronald Colman, the last film of character actor Franklin Pangborn, and the last American film of Hedy Lamarr.
Years later, The Story of Mankind was included as one of the choices in the 1978 book The Fifty Worst Films of All Time.
it is nothing special 2 watch, it is really campy movie 2 watch but man it is such an entertaining movie 2 watch, I think that this is such an enjoyable movie 2 watch, its got such a great cast throughout this movie, but it is nothing special 2 watch, I think that both Vincent price, Ronald colman were absolutely brilliant throughout this movie.....I think that this is such an enjoyable movie 2 watch with a great cast throughout this movie.....
Sprawling Irwin Allen production that seeks to tell the story of mankind. Heaven holds a tribunal to decide if "mankind" should be allowed to continue or not. Ronald Colman present the defense (as the spirit of man) and Vincent Price (as the devil) prosecutes. The court case unfolds as each make their case through a series of vignettes recounting significant events in human history. The film is pretty stiff and clunky, but it does have an amazing cast, which is really the only reason to watch the film, including Hedy Lamarr (sadly miscast as 19 year old Joan of Arc when she was really 44 at the time. Lamarr was the reason I watched this film), Groucho Marx (who plays a pilgrim buying Manhattan for beads), Harpo Marx (as Sir Isaac Newton), Chico Marx (in their final film together, though their first color film appearance, in which they don't actually appear onscreen together), Virginia Mayo, Agnes Moorehead, Peter Lorre (as Nero), Francis X. Bushman, Charles Coburn, Marie Windsor, John Carradine, Dennis Hopper, Cesar Romero and Edward Everett Horton. It's a pretty weak story, features cheap looking sets (using plenty of stock footage), but has a strong cast who is completely wasted. The best part of the film was when the devil and Colman debate Columbus and I found myself rooting for the devil, who accurately pointed out rape, murder, slavery, land stealing and slaughter as being Columbus' true legacy. Unfortunately, the devil is silenced by the court with "I hardly find your dialogue amusing, Mr. Scratch."
The Story of Mankind is loosely adapted from the book of the same name. After the invention of a Super-H bomb, the High Tribunal of the Court of Outer Space is called upon to decide whether the inhabitants of Earth should be destroyed or allowed to survive.
This is one of Irwin Allen's first efforts - he directed and co-wrote the screenplay - and quite possibly his worst. The usage of stock footage coupled with cheaply shot close-ups of actors on much smaller sets underscored the slapdash feel of the film. Reminded me of Greg's film about the Pilgrims on the Brady Bunch. Moreover, it was absurd to cram all of recorded history into 100 minutes. Mel Brooks did it a lot better in his History of the World, Part 1.
Second, the terrible miscasting of what was a long list of Hollywood screen legends paled in comparison to the way Irwin Allen utilized his blockbuster casts in the films he became noted for: The Poseidon Adventure and The Towering Inferno as well as the television series Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, Lost in Space and Land of the Giants. In particular I note the casting of Virginia Mayo as a petulantly girlish Cleopatra and Agnes Moorhead as an appallingly over-the-top Queen Elizabeth I. Moreover, it was an odd choice to cast the Marx Brothers - Groucho, Harpo and Chico - as seminal historical figures, albeit Groucho as Peter Minuit swindling Manhattan Island from the Indians added a few moments of levity. However, when Chico as Christopher Columbus' father cautioned that he would sail off of da edge of the "Oyth", and "Boom, no more ship", I thought I was watching Duck Soup. Harpo Marx as a mute Isaac Newton discovering the Theory of Gravity was totally ridiculous.
One positive point was the spot on casting of Vincent Price as the Devil who argues for the destruction of mankind due to their inherent evil. Ronald Colman was also good as his foil, the Spirit of Man arguing for humanity's survival.
The ending was unsatisfactory. The monologue by the chief judge admonishing the people of Earth that their fate is dependent on their future good behavior was way too self righteous and preachy.
Man is as evil as he is good.
The human race has created the h-bomb and is on the verge of destroying existence. The creators of the human race meet in space to discuss mankind and determine if they should do the race a favor and eliminate them before they do it to themselves. The devil appears and agrees with eliminating the human race. The first man, Adam, appears and pleads to save the human race. The two will have to make their case in front of the creators.
"A man is only as good as his fellow man will allow."
Irwin Allen, director of The Big Circus, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, The Lost World, Five Weeks in a Balloon, City beneath the Sea, The Swarm, and Beyond the Poseidon Adventure, delivers The Story of Mankind. The storyline for this picture is below average and fairly disappointing. The settings and scenes were cool, but it didn't really come together well. The acting was fairly good and the cast includes Vincent Price, Ronald Colman, Peter Lorre, Charles Coburn, John Carradine, Dennis Hopper, and Cesar Romero.
"Let the wine flow!"
I DVR'd this picture because it starred the legendary Vincent Price and has an all star cast. Unfortunately, this film is a bit bland and disappointing. I didn't think the stories and cases that made up the great subplots made for an interesting primary storyline (conceptually, the film just didn't work for me). Overall, I'd recommend skipping this film.
"Love and hate are really the same."
all star cast as allen shows hints of the good stuff to come
Great cast. Crap movie