The World of Tomorrow

Director: Lance Bird, Tom Johnson
Screenwriters: John Crowley

Institute History

  • 1985 Sundance Film Festival


The World of Tomorrow is a film that looks back into the future—the future most Americans imagined for themselves at the Great World’s Fair of 1939-40 in New York. For just a glittering moment, between the Depression and the war, one could glimpse a future of wonderful progress.

We experience the Fair through the eyes of our narrator who went there as a boy of ten. He was dazzled by the promises of science and technology and more than a little worried he wouldn’t measure up to the future. And now, looking back on that naive summer vision, he can see what he could not see then, the world of tomorrow as we live in it today.

Compiled from an exhaustive collection of promotional films, newsreels, home movies and other vintage graphics, this beguiling, wonderfully revealing and very funny documentary offers us an opportunity to see the world turning from what it is to what it will be. It gently, intelligently encourages speculation about the past that transcends mere nostalgia. It asks the question, “Are you better off today than you were more than forty years ago?”

Screening Details

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