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I remember watching a short film that was probably from the 40's or 50's. It was in black and white. I don't remember any names; just how the story goes. It wasn't aired on television when I saw it; it was during a high school class on a VHS tape.

It starts with an elderly man being honored for having traveled 100 years into the future 100 years ago to the day. The story implies that he was the only one to have done it and did it only the one time. When he came back he told everyone of a paradise society, and, naturally, 100 years later, that society was a reality.

The world was anxiously waiting to see his historic journey conclude. Many gathered around the area where his vessel was to appear from 100 years earlier. They waited up to the minute, but he did not come. Nothing happened. The people were bitterly disappointed and utterly confused. The society he saw was here; his story had been verified, but he did not appear. When asked what was going on, he confessed a different story than he told everyone 100 years ago.

He never did go into the future. He deceived everyone with essentially a magic trick and an a very convincing demeanor. He created the story so that the people would believe it then work to that end, which is exactly what they did. The paradise society became a reality because they were told that is what would happen. A self fulfilling prophecy.

What is the name of this short film? It should be in public domain by now, so if it is available on YouTube or somewhere else that would be awesome.

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    It is unlikely to be in the public domain, even if it dates back to the forties. Public domain starts 70 years after the death of the author. That may increase as Mickey Mouse gets older ... – babou Feb 19 '14 at 22:44
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The story you are describing is The Toynbee Convector, but it was written in 1984, so if you remember something that looked like it was from the '40s or '50s you may be confusing the look of it with some other film you saw (or maybe you just saw the 1990 TV adaptation on a black and white TV?)

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    This is interesting, but I distinctly remember an old style film on a color television. I also distinctly remember the protagonist's face quite clearly. He looked similar to Grand Moff Tarkin from Star Wars; just fatter in the face and bigger body. Unless the tv episode was made to be black and white, I'm sure this is not what I am referring to. – fredsbend Feb 19 '14 at 20:45
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    You can see the Toynbee Convector TV adaptation at youtube.com/watch?v=W2sv5XWaiQY and check if the old actor is the one with the face you remember. Either way, I think your memory is playing tricks on you: the story details you describe are clearly those of The Toynbee Convector, so either you're projecting that story onto a totally different movie, or you're misremembering the video above as being a black and white production with '40s or '50s style. – Hypnosifl Feb 19 '14 at 20:56
  • Yes, that is exactly it. I knew right away when I saw his face. I seriously remember it being black and white though. Strange how 15 years can change your memory like that. – fredsbend Feb 19 '14 at 21:19
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    Or maybe in your school they had a black and white television. ;) – Maurizio In denmark Mar 31 '14 at 14:35

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