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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars This is the DVD edition to buy
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...
Published on March 4 2001 by Kindle Customer

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars One star for the Print, Five for the Movie = Three Stars
There are film classics that we almost lost - literally. For one reason or another - mainly, I think, because the available version went into public domain and was abandoned by the studio, or because the nitrate film stock of the master negative disintegrated - the only copy extant for video/DVD transfer is a dupe, and a bad one at that. "My Man Godfrey"...
Published on July 20 2000 by Jack Rice


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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
This review is from: Things to Come (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
5.0 out of 5 stars "H.G. Wells':Things to Come (1936) ... Raymond Massey ... Legend Films (2006)", July 30 2007
By 
J. Lovins "Mr. Jim" (Missouri-USA) - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Things to Come [Import] (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. Wells (Book Author / Screenwriter), Georges Périnal (Cinematographer), Arthur Bliss (Composer (Music Score), Muir Mathieson (Musical Direction/Supervision), Charles Crichton (Editor), Francis D. Lyon (Editor), Vincent Korda (Production Designer), John Armstrong (Costume Designer), Rene Hubert (Costume Designer), Lawrence W. Butler (Special Effects), Edward Cohen (Special Effects), Ned Mann (Special Effects), Harry Zech (Special Effects) - - - - The film has Massey's character delivering a speech to the idea of Progress and Humanity's quest for knowledge, claiming that "If Man is merely an Animal then he must fight for every scrap of happiness he can, but if he is something more, then he must strive for more - the Universe or nothing - which shall it be?"

the cast includes:
Raymond Massey ... John Cabal/Oswald Cabal
Edward Chapman ... Pippa Passworthy/Raymond Passworthy
Ralph Richardson ... The Boss
Margaretta Scott ... Roxana/Rowena (as Margueretta Scott)
Cedric Hardwicke ... Theotocopulos
Maurice Braddell ... Dr. Harding
Sophie Stewart ... Mrs. Cabal
Derrick De Marney ... Richard Gordon (as Derrick de Marney)
Ann Todd ... Mary Gordon
Pearl Argyle ... Catherine Cabal
Kenneth Villiers ... Maurice Passworthy
Ivan Brandt ... Morden Mitani
Anne McLaren ... The Child
Patricia Hilliard ... Janet Gordon
Charles Carson ... Great Grandfather
George Sanders ... Pilot

BIOS:
1. Raymond Massey
Date of Birth: 30 August 1896 - Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Date of Death: 29 July 1983 - Los Angeles, California

2. H.G. Wells (Author/Screenplay)
Date of Birth: 21 September 1866 - Bromley, Kent, England, UK
Date of Death: 13 August 1946 - London, England, UK.

3. William Cameron Menzies (Director)
Date of Birth: 29 July 1896 - New Haven, Connecticut
Date of Death: 5 March 1957 - Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, California

4. Alexander Korda (Producer)
Date of Birth: 16 September 1893 - Pusztatúrpásztó, Austria-Hungary (now Hungary)
Date of Death: 23 January 1956 - London, England, UK.

5. Ray Harryhausen
Date of Birth: 29 June 1920 - Los Angeles, California
Date of Death: Still Living

SPECIAL FEATURES:
1. Audio Commentary by Ray Harryhausen
2. Interview with Ray Harryhausen
3. Colorization Process with Ray Harryhausen
4. Ray Harryhausen Bio and Filmography
5. Classic Sci-Fi Toy Commercials
5. Legend Films Trailers - "Things To Come in Color Trailer", "Things to Come Original Trailer",
"She" in Color, "Plan 9 from Outer Space", "Carnival of Souls", "House on Haunted Hill".

Hats off and thanks to Les Adams (collector/guideslines for character identification), Chuck Anderson (Webmaster: The Old Corral/B-Westerns.Com), Boyd Magers (Western Clippings), Bobby J. Copeland (author of "Trail Talk"), Rhonda Lemons (Empire Publishing Inc), Bob Nareau (author of "The Real Bob Steele") and Trevor Scott (Down Under DVD Com) as they have rekindled my interest once again for Classics of the Silver Screen --- looking forward to more high quality releases from the vintage era of the '20s, '30s & '40s --- order your copy now from Amazon where there are plenty of copies available on DVD --- stay tuned once again for top notch never to be forgotten films of Hollywood --- if you enjoyed this title, why not check out Legend Films where they are experts in releasing long forgotten films and treasures to the fans and collectors alike --- all my heroes have been cowboys!

Total Time: 92 mins on DVD ~ Legend Films Video. ~ (11/28/2006)
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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
By 
Tommy Dooley "Tom" (London, England) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME)    (TOP 10 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Things to Come (DVD)
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. The future comes in the shape of a strange aeroplane which leads us on to the final of the three parts of the film and the existentialist dilemmas of progress versus contentment.

This is visually stunning especially given when it was made, depending on the version you get, the sound quality is a bit dated too, but a fully restored version is available which is umpteen times better, so if you are buying then that is the one to go for. There are some brilliant touches in this, almost iconic shots, such as the child buried under the rubble, the cinema blowing up, the Rolls Royce being pulled by horses and the scenes of the future where fashion has been lost along with old world architecture ' marvellous.

This is for all serious fans of cinema and especially those with an interest in the history of cinema, I was transfixed and I know this will be one of those rare films that stay with me for a long while I utterly recommended.
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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 (Ontario, Canada) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Things to Come (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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars HE AIN'T HEAVY, HE'S MY BROTHER, March 9 2001
This review is from: Things to Come (DVD)
First - the review posted here is for the IMAGE WADE WILLIAMS release of THINGS TO COME - this edtion sports a remastered print. There are several releases out there, and if you're not looking carefully you can easily get confused - look for the WADE WILLIAMS logo in the upper right hand corner to be sure. With that out of the way I can say that this DVD release is by far the best on the market right now. The film has been remastered and despite a few artifacts and scratches, it is balanced and holds together very well throughout the entire film. And what a film - preachy, heavy handed, intelligent, witty and downright entertaining. THINGS TO COME is more than sci-fi, but poli-sci - a massive recounting of the stages of war and the human struggle against not only their nature, but themselves. While the dialouge may be stilted, and the performances fit more for the stage than the screen - there are moments of outright shock, terror and pure chills than most films combined in the same genre (I dare you not to feel a general unease as we launch in the post war, plauge ravaged EVERYTOWN where people barter for food and their lives admist the rubble and shadows of their once great supermarkets and stores - where the shop signs remain, but the goods and good will have long since been worn away). This film shoots for the moon - so much so that it ends on that high note. THINGS TO COME is a well meaning and entertaining gem of a movie. For fans of the genre, it's a must for any collection - for the curious you'll find a surprise that bears repeat viewing. Highly recommdned.
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3.0 out of 5 stars One star for the Print, Five for the Movie = Three Stars, July 20 2000
By 
Jack Rice (California, USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
There are film classics that we almost lost - literally. For one reason or another - mainly, I think, because the available version went into public domain and was abandoned by the studio, or because the nitrate film stock of the master negative disintegrated - the only copy extant for video/DVD transfer is a dupe, and a bad one at that. "My Man Godfrey" and "Nothing Sacred" come to mind. And, of course, "Things to Come".
If one could reify the art deco aesthetic into a story, this would be it. If the Chrysler Building really were a rocket ship and could fly past the the moon and stars and comets of art deco friezes . . . if we could look into the mindset of those whose naive and fresh vision of man's destiny had recently been energized by the discoveries of relativity and of deep space and of rocket travel and their implications . . . we would perhaps come up with the image of "Things to Come". Some of the scenes may strike us a corny - much as those in Fritz Lang's "Metropolis" might - but they are no more corny in their context than those in "2001, a Space Odyssey" or, for that matter, "Starship Troopers".
Unless you have the discipline to see past the awful print quality of the video and DVD (and even of the versions you see on TV which, presumably can get the best), you will come away with a distorted impression. It took me a number of viewings to discover the greatness of "Things to Come". I give the DVD and video only three stars to encourage the search for a good master from which to transfer a five-star movie.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Don't be confused--this DVD version is the remastering!, March 3 2001
By 
Bill Barrick (Cathedral City, CA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Things to Come (DVD)
I've loved this film for decades and lived with the wretched old 16mm Blackhawke print (to tape and later to DVD) because of the outstanding film making it is. Whether you think it's preachy or passionate, the direction, art direction and performances are outstanding.
Anyway, don't be confused. This is a remastering from 35mm originals found in some vault somewhere (no details offered on packaging or disc). I only gave it 4 stars instead of 5 because there's no restoration here--just remastering. Still, it's wonderful to see more detail and better contrast come through. There might even be a snippet or two that aren't in the previous version--can't be sure.
Enjoy!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Buy the Image Entertainment DVD, March 28 2001
By 
ccbaxter47 (Los Angeles, CA USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Things to Come (DVD)
I just want to reiterate the comments below that this new Image Entertainment DVD release is by far the finest version of this sci-fi classic that I've ever seen. Though not perfect, it towers above the many public domain versions that have been floating around over the years. Though occasionally a bit pompous, this memorable film is justifiably notable for its striking production design--the futuristic portion may be the part everyone remembers but the design of the post-apocalyptic Everytown by William Cameron Menzies is just as impressive. "Things To Come" is a worthy addition to one's sci-fi DVD collection.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "Science is the enemy of everything that is natural in life.", Oct. 14 2013
By 
bernie "xyzzy" (Arlington, Texas) - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
Starting with the year 1940, we are given insight to how humankind progresses or regresses due to the inevitable war that lasts for decades. Will mankind ever learn to live in peace or are we destined to destroy ourselves watch this movie as you are about to see "THINGS TO COME."

For those people that actually have read HG Wells you will find that this film is not too far left field from his original thoughts. Much of HG Wells' works shows that he has some sort of a techno-fascist who believes that scientists and engineers were designed to rule the world. Raymond Massey who makes great speeches; you might remember him from Ayn Rand's the Fountainhead. In this film he states "and now for the rule of the air man and a new life for mankind." Another of Raymond Massey's speeches ends with "all the universe or nothing."
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing Film, Good Transfer !, June 18 2013
By 
Stephen Bieth (Mississauga/ Canada) - See all my reviews
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Verified Purchase(What's this?)
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. This version is better then the other but it's not mind blowing. But how much can you expect from a film made in 1936 and not been given the proper storage and care like say King Kong was. This is an amazing film. You will not believe how many things this film comes up with that were not invented until years later. Helicopters, flat screen TV's to name just a couple. This film is very dark even by today's stanards.
I am very glad I bought the Criterion version. Like I said it's not night and day compared to the old one but there is improvement in picture and sound (my only complaint is the mono sound track coming just from the center channel. I have a good one but would have preferred double mono coming out of you left and right speakers). This is a classic film with effects that were ground breaking in their day). If you are a film buff or ScFi nut this is for you!
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