High Treason

Videophones, television news, a tunnel under the English Channel; terrorists, arms dealers, and a superpower quick to declare preemptive war based on false intelligence-High Treason's 1929 vision of 1950 looks an awful lot like 2005. A British answer to Fritz Lang's Metropolis, the film boasts futuristic design details that range from surprisingly accurate to charmingly corny (autogyros landing on quaint models of London rooftops, a Rube Goldberg-esque automated orchestra, a high-tech shower). The plot imagines a world divided between Europe and the vaguely defined “Atlantic States”; when acts of terror heighten hostilities between the powers, the (almost all female) World League of Peace must race to prevent global war. If the movie's political ideals are a tad confused-“Our twenty million members are pledged to fight to the death for Universal Peace!”-its fears are only too prescient.

This is a silent print of a film originally released in both sound and silent versions.

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