They Came to a City

They Came to a City

classified U

Cities, Future Cities, and Film


Please note: This was screened in Oct 2019

Basil Dearden
John Clements, Googie Withers, Raymond Huntley
78 mins, 1944, UK
Primary language:

Adapted from a J B Priestley stage play, a group of disparate characters discuss their hopes for an ideal city. A group of people are killed in an air raid, arrive at the gates of a mysterious city, and each describes what kind of place he or she hopes it will turn out to be. Touching on themes of class, socialism and misogyny as well as utopia, the cast includes John Clements, Googie Withers, Raymond Huntley and Renee Gadd with a cameo appearance by Priestley himself.

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The film will be introduced by John Boughton, historian, author of Municipal Dreams: The Rise and Fall of Council Housing, who will talk about utopian town and city planning during and just after the Second World War.