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Things to Come (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray]

31 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Format: Black & White, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region A/1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Studio: Criterion
  • Release Date: June 18 2013
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00BX49BAC
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #23,887 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)
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Product Description

A landmark collaboration between writer H. G. Wells (Island of Lost Souls), producer Alexander Korda (The Thief of Bagdad), and designer and director William Cameron Menzies (Gone with the Wind), Things to Come is a science fiction film like no other, a prescient political work that predicts a century of turmoil and progress. Skipping through time, Things to Come bears witness to world war, dictatorship, disease, the rise of television, and finally, utopia. Conceived, written, and overseen by Wells himself as an adaptation of his own work, this megabudgeted production, the most ambitious ever from Korda�s London Films, is a triumph of imagination and technical audacity. SPECIAL EDITION FEATURES � New high-definition digital film restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack � Audio commentary featuring film historian and writer David Kalat � Interview with writer and cultural historian Christopher Frayling on the film�s design � Film historian Bruce Eder on Arthur Bliss�s musical score � Audio recording from 1936 of a reading from H. G. Wells�s writing about the �wandering sickness,� the plague in Things to Come � PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by critic Geoffrey O�Brien � More!

Customer Reviews

3.5 out of 5 stars

Most helpful customer reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Kindle Customer on March 4 2001
Format: DVD
Please note that some of the reviews below refer to the two previous DVD releases, both of which are low-priced (one is the double-feature that also includes "Journey to the Center of the Sun"). Picture and sound quality on these other releases is poor; however the Image release, priced at around ..., features a new transfer that boasts a clear sharp picture through most of the movie and an improved soundtrack (on the cheap editions, the dialogue was frequently unintelligible). If you are a fan of this movie, this is the DVD version you should buy.
I agree with some reviewers that Wells's vision of the future is fascist in some respects. The vaulting ambition of human PRO-gress depicted in this movie is inspiring to a degree, but is laid on pretty thick. Viewed in the context in which it was made, this is a very enjoyable film, featuring some first-rate production design and visual effects, particularly for the time, along with a lantern-jawed performance by Raymond Massey that is stirring if not always believable.
This is a worthwhile film for all science fiction fans, in my opinion, and should be seen at least once. If you're going to buy it on DVD, though, I recommend you spend the extra bucks and buy the IMAGE version.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Jonathan Stover on Jan. 15 2012
Format: DVD
Things to Come; written by H.G. Wells; directed by William Cameron Menzies; starring Raymond Massey (John Cabal/Oswald Cabal), Edward Chapman (Passworthy/Passworthy) and Ralph Richardson (The Boss) (1936): Things to Come gives us 100 years of extrapolated human history in about 100 minutes. That doesn't leave a lot of room for characterization, but characterization isn't on Wells's mind anyway -- or at least not the characterization of individuals, as humanity is the evolving character in the bildungsroman presented here.

We follow humanity's rocky road by watching the history of Everytown (pretty obviously London, England), beginning on the eve of a world war in 1936 and ending with humanity's first baby steps into outer space in 2036. In between, we get vignettes of diasaster and rebuilding, and one long middle section setting the hyper-civilized, transnational Airmen against the tribal warriors of bombed-out Everytown, led by Ralph Richardson's engaging barbarian Boss, the only character in the movie I could imagine not punching in the face as soon as I met him. And he's the bad guy!

The visual effects are occasionally stunning -- moreso given the technology of the time. One's reactions to Wells's utopia, built by scientists and engineers who love lengthy declamatory speeches and airplanes with giant wings, will vary depending on one's own opinions about 'human nature', the perfectability of man, and the wisdom of wearing togas and capes all the time. Why did seemingly everyone in the 1920's and 1930's think the citizens of future utopias would wear capes and dress all in white? Recommended.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By J. Lovins TOP 100 REVIEWER on July 30 2007
Format: DVD
Legend Films present "H.G. WELLS:THINGS TO COME" (Released: March 31, 1936) (92 mins) (Fully Restored/Dolby Digitally Remastered) --- now in COLOR and Glorious Black and White --- Things to Come is a 1936 British science fiction film, produced by Alexander Korda and directed by William Cameron Menzies. The screenplay was written by H. G. Wells and is a loose adaptation of his own 1933 novel The Shape of Things to Come and his 1931 non-fiction work, The Work, Wealth and Happiness of Mankind. The film stars Raymond Massey --- The film, written throughout 1934, is notable for predicting World War II, being only 16 months off by having it start on 23 December 1940, rather than 1 September 1939. Its graphic depiction of strategic bombing in the scenes in which Everytown is flattened by air attack and society collapses into barbarism, echo pre-war concerns about the threat of the bomber and the apocalyptic pronouncements of air power prophets. Wells was an air power prophet of sorts, having described aerial warfare in Anticipations (1901) and The War in the Air (1908).(From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

The Shape of Things to Come is a look into the future from the perspective of the people of 1936 --- the film relates to what could have been a real possibility, shows the horrors of war and the price of progress looking at a world on the brink of World War II --- what the world would be like if a major war broke out --- an early attempt of a science fiction film that takes a long hard look into the future.

Under William Cameron Menzies (Director), Alexander Korda (Producer), Lajos Biro (Screenwriter), H.G.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By martel on Nov. 17 2009
Format: DVD
I saw this movie on tv years ago and fell in love with it.

Some have felt that none of H.G. Well's predictions came true. I beg to differ.

Shot in 1936, who would imagine that England would have been going to war 2 years later AND being dragged on for decades in the H.G. Wells version, although I'm sure that 6 years DID seem like an eternity.

Another prediction that came true was the use of television. In the future rebuild of 'Everytown' a big screen is lowered into the city to broadcast a potential reveolution to start.

This movie is brilliantly done cinematography and acting are first class.

Sir Arthur Bliss' film score is so well suited to the movie and was later recorded in stereo I believe conducted by the composer. That is the ONLY thing that suffers is that the audio is typical of most optical soundtracks from the '30's.

The transfer of this movie to dvd is excellent. Detail of the filn is brought out by the transfer making it all that more riviting.

This a TRUE gem of British film of that time and now preserved, it will be enjoyed for generations for those to discover this great gem.

This is a MUST HAVE if you are a collector of classic films
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