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The Story Of Mankind


The Story Of Mankind


Year: 1957

Director: Irwin Allen

US Premiere: 8 November 1957

A Cambridge Production
Copyright 1957 Warner Bros Pictures Inc.

Plot Summary

Story based on highlights of Man's history. Vincent Price plays the devil and does battle with Ronald Colman who represents the spirit of man.


Ronald Colman - The Spirit of Man
Vincent Price - Mr. Scratch, The Devil
Groucho Marx - Peter Minuit
Harpo Marx - Sir Isaac Newton
Chico Marx - Monk
Hedy Lamarr - Joan of Arc
Virginia Mayo - Cleopatra
Agnes Moorehead - Queen Elizabeth
Peter Lorre - Nero
Charles Coburn - Hippocrates
Ray Flynn - Aristotle
Nestor Eristoff - Socrates
Cedric Hardwicke - High Judge at High Tribunal
Cesar Romero - Spanish Envoy
John Carradine - Pharaoh Khufu
Dennis Hopper - Napoleon Bonaparte
Marie Wilson - Marie Antoinette
Helmut Dantine - Mark Antony
Edward Everett Horton - Sir Walter Raleigh
Reginald Gardiner - William Shakespeare
Marie Windsor - Josephine
George E. Stone - Waiter
Cathy O'Donnell - Early Christian Woman
Franklin Pangborn - Marquis de Varennes
Melville Cooper - Major Domo
Henry Daniell - Pierre Cauchon, Bishop of Beauvais
Francis X. Bushman - Prophet Moses
Tybee Afra - Dancer in Nero's Court
Jim Ameche - Alexander Graham Bell
David Bond - Early Christian Man
Jack Costanzo - Drummer in Nero's Court
Nick Cravat - Devil's Apprentice
Dani Crayne - Helen of Troy
Richard H. Cutting - Court Attendant
Anthony Dexter - Christopher Columbus
Toni Gerry - Wife
Austin Green - Abraham Lincoln
Sam Harris - Nobleman in Queen Elizabeth's Court
Eden Hartford - Laughing Water
Paul Kruger - Pharaoh's Guard
Alexander Lockwood - Promoter
Melinda Marx - Early Christian Child
Bart Mattson - Cleopatra's Brother
Don Megowan - First Early Man
Marvin Miller - Armana
Nancy Miller - Early Woman
Leonard Mudie - Chief Inquisitor
Burt Nelson - Second Early Man
Tudor Owen - High Tribunal Clerk
Paul Power - Leonardo da Vinci
Ziva Rodann - Egyptian Concubine
Angelo Rossitto - Dwarf in Nero's Court
Harry Ruby - Indian Brave
William Schallert - Earl of Warwick
Reginald Sheffield - Julius Caesar
Abraham Sofaer - Indian Chief
Bobby Watson - Adolf Hitler
Charles Horvath - Attila the Hun

Production Crew

Producer - Irwin Allen
Director - Irwin Allen
Screenplay - Irwin Allen and Charles Bennett
Original Novel - Hendrik Van Loon
Director of Photography - Nick Musuraca, A.S.C.
Technicolor Color Consultant - Robert Brower
Associate Producer - George E. Swink
Music Composer and Conductor - Paul Sawtell
Art Director - Art Loel
Supervising Film Editor - Roland Gross, A.C.E.
Film editor - Gene Palmer
Assistant Film Editor - John W. Hanley
Assistant Director - Joseph Don Page
Set Decorator - Arthuer Krams
Costumes - Marjorie Best
Makeup Supervisor - Gordon Bau, S.M.A.
Sound - Stanley Jones
Research - Jean McChesney
Technical Advisor - Ruth K. Greenfield
Music Editors - Leon Birnbaum, Robert Tracy


  • This movie features an all star line-up of famous actors and actresses from the golden era of Hollywood.
  • Marie Wilson appears as Marie Antoinette and had previously starred in Irwin Allen's A Girl in Every Port alongside Groucho Marx.
  • This was the last movie to feature the three most famous Marx Brothers, namely Groucho, Chico and Harpo.
  • The Story of Mankind was Groucho Marx's third appearance in an Irwin Allen movie; the other two being Double Dynamite and A Girl in Every Port.
  • Eden Hartford (Laughing Water) was actress Dee Hartford's sister and was married to Groucho Marx during the 50's and 60's.
  • Melinda Marx (Early Christian Child) is Groucho Marx's daughter (with wife Kay Marvis).
  • This was the first of two Irwin Allen productions to feature cult actor Dennis Hopper. He also had an uncredited role in The Time Tunnel pilot episode.
  • The arrow flying right over Vincent Price's head in Troy is a very dangerous but well done effect.
  • Peter Lorre appeared in several other Irwin Allen movies: The Big Circus, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea and Five Weeks in a Balloon.
  • Eras depicted in the story:
    • Early man c. 3500 B.C.
    • Egypt at time of Pharaohs c. 2580 B.C.
    • Moses, 1000 years after Pharaoh
    • Troy c. 440 B.C.
    • Greece at time of Socrates c. 400 B.C.
    • Greece at time of Plato c. 350 B.C.
    • Greece at time of Aristotle c. 330 B.C.
    • Greece at time of Hippocrates c. 380 B.C.
    • Egypt at time of Cleopatra c. 30 B.C.
    • Nero's Court in Rome c. 60 A.D.
    • Early Christianity c. 60 A.D.
    • Attila the Hun c. 450 A.D.
    • England at time of the Magna Carta 1215 A.D.
    • France at time of Joan of Arc 1431 A.D.

Alternative Titles

Italy: L'inferno ci Accusa
Portugal: A História da Humanidade
Venezuela: La Historia de la Humanidad



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