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

3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
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Things to Come (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray] + Safety Last! (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray] + Wild Strawberries (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray]
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Product Description

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

Most helpful customer reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars This is the DVD edition to buy March 4 2001
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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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Film that still resonates today July 14 2012
I finally got round to seeing this and am ashamed that I left it so long. This is what the golden age of cinema is all about. Based on the legendary sci-fi classic by H.G. Wells who also wrote the screenplay, this is set originally in 1940 and an unidentified enemy is about to unleash war on 'Everytown' which is a substitute for London ' complete with the Underground. This was released in 1936 when the Germans were helping the fascist Franco unleash a wave of terror on Spain and air raids on Guernica not to mention what was unfolding in China. As the scenes of aerial bombardment begin they are strangely prophetic of what is to befall London within five years, so the impact of this can only be imagined on the audience with the benefit of hindsight.

I was gob smacked at how accurate it was. The Characters in this surround John Cabal (the absolute legend that is Raymond Massey) who is a spirited pacifist and the coterie of inhabitants. Once the war comes it does not stop. The film is set in three time zones, the initial out break of the war and then taking us through decades of fighting, where mankind is quite literally bombed back to the dark ages. Then we hit 1966 and with the ending of everything except aggression, medicine is all but non existent and a strange plague befalls the Earth, this is 'The Wandering Sickness' and as the previously mentioned Dark Ages, this is like the Black Death and wipes out half of humanity. Everytown is now in ruins but is used as a microcosm of what is taking place in the rest of the World.

Soon the disease burns itself out and what emerges and dictatorial leaders that rule their fiefdoms, in this case it is Rudolph, played completely over the top by the marvellous Ralph Richardson who is now at war with neighbouring tribes.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Men with Capes Jan. 15 2012
By Jonathan Stover TOP 1000 REVIEWER
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 50 REVIEWER
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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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A good film of hope despite the cheezy effects.
I saw this film once as a youth. Despite the cheezy effects the positive message of the film remains valid and in today's screwed up world even more necessary.
Published 1 month ago by geo
5.0 out of 5 stars GREAT DEAL
Fabulous, came before I expected, mint condition, real classic worth keeping
Published 1 month ago by Calvin Woosnam
4.0 out of 5 stars "Science is the enemy of everything that is natural in life."
Starting with the year 1940, we are given insight to how humankind progresses or regresses due to the inevitable war that lasts for decades. Read more
Published 11 months ago by bernie
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing Film, Good Transfer !
A little over a year ago there was a release of this film in colour and black and white. It looked so much better then the $0.99 VHS I found in a dump bin back in the '80's. Read more
Published 15 months ago by Stephen Bieth
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazingly remastered and well done colorization of a cinenamic classic
This is a profound film for several reasons, it predicts WW-2, modern warfare, including nukes-chemical and biological warfare. Read more
Published 18 months ago by David Meldrum
4.0 out of 5 stars classic colourized..how do we view it today!
Here we have a film made in the 30's during the start of talkies..which really was the advent of a new medium
talking movies. Read more
Published 19 months ago by Anthony Marinelli
5.0 out of 5 stars "Science is the enemy of everything that is natural in life."
Starting with the year 1940, we are given insight to how humankind progresses or regresses due to the inevitable war that lasts for decades. Read more
Published on July 25 2010 by bernie
5.0 out of 5 stars A TRUE classic
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. Read more
Published on Nov. 17 2009 by martel
3.0 out of 5 stars Classic Wells
This is classic H.G. Wells. 70 years on, technology is still both a boon & a bane, just like the people who create & use it. Read more
Published on Oct. 7 2009 by Cat
5.0 out of 5 stars A Total Classic - Massey takes it to another level
If you are a SCI-FI and Space film fan like myself you tend to be very critical of films. Some films lack detail and some have actors that destroy the story. Read more
Published on April 11 2009 by S. Keller
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