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Things to Come [Blu-ray] (1936)

Raymond Massey , Edward Chapman , William Cameron Menzies  |  NR |  Blu-ray
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (157 customer reviews)

List Price: $39.95
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Frequently Bought Together

Things to Come [Blu-ray] + Safety Last! (Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray] + To Be or Not to Be (Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray]
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Product Details

  • Actors: Raymond Massey, Edward Chapman, Ralph Richardson, Margaretta Scott
  • Directors: William Cameron Menzies
  • Format: Blu-ray, Black & White, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Criterion Collection
  • DVD Release Date: June 18, 2013
  • Run Time: 97 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (157 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00BX49BAC
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #50,748 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special 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!

  • Editorial Reviews

    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.

    Customer Reviews

    Most Helpful Customer Reviews
    165 of 180 people found the following review helpful
    2.0 out of 5 stars GREAT movie, LOUSY video transfer February 2, 2002
    Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
    NOTE: Unfortunately, I think the new colorized Harryhausen version has the same problems. See more below.

    "Things to Come" was the "2001" of its day.

    In the late sixties, I saw a clean print of this movie in a New York theatre and it blew me away. Although it is in black-and-white, it is visually spectacular; the story is exciting; and it has a wonderful score. The sound was mono optical sound, but it was crisp and clear and capable of delivering the impact of the Arthur Bliss music.

    For years, I've owned a disappointing VHS copy, which looks as if it were made made from a dirty, blurry, over-contrasty 16mm print, and the sound quality is poor. I've yearned to see a clean copy.

    So when I got my DVD player, one of the first things I did was to buy this release, which says that it "features a pristine new film-to-video transfer from original source materials."

    I am sorry to say it looks EXACTLY like the cruddy old VHS version, and the mushy sound is completely unworthy of the composer and music director.

    So, I don't know what to say. If you've never seen the movie _Things to Come_, I recommend the movie highly. But the image quality and sound on this DVD have, alas, that "lousy old 16mm print look."

    UPDATE: I'm afraid I think the "Harryhausen" colorized version is just as bad. My remarks above were written about an earlier DVD, Alas, and to my great disappointment, apart from being colorized, I'm afraid that they do. My review was for an earlier DVD edition.

    I had great hopes for this new release with the Harryhausen name, and I'm aware that apparently other reviewers' opinions differ from mine. I think they must never have a 35mm print of this film, though.
    Read more ›
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    58 of 60 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars Buy the VHS From Englewood! October 15, 2000
    By A Customer
    Format:VHS Tape
    I have loved "Things To Come for over twenty years and have taught it in my classes. It is slow and talky for many viewers, but it is also indisputably a great film---in fact, with "2001: A Space Odyssey" and a few others, it is that rarest of works: a genuine, serious science fiction movie.
    However, be warned. Most of the public domain prints out there are simply horrible, as many of the reviews on this page attest. I have viewed numerous prints of this film and had long ago given up hope of ever seeing the movie in anything resembling reasonable condition---and then came the Englewood Entertainment video, with its glorious "neon" packaging. The picture has been cleaned up a good deal, and is much less shaky and spliced than other versions;but the glory of this edition is the soundtrack. Major work has been done here, eliminating hiss and pops and rendering the dialogue easily comprehensible for the first time in my lifetime and revealing the fully rich beauty of Arthur Bliss's magnificent score. You simply have not seen "Things To Come" until you've seen the Englewood print!
    Perhaps someday the British will take it upon themselves to restore "Things To Come" to its full glory, with a complete 113-minute print (the Englewood is the standard 90-or-so minutes).That will be a great day for fans of science fiction film. But until then, Englewood has rendered a tremendous service to lovers of this movie. Get it. Cherish it.
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    85 of 91 people found the following review helpful
    1.0 out of 5 stars A Good Movie Made Unviewable April 25, 2000
    By A Customer
    Format:DVD
    Having seen Things To Come on VHS, I looked forward to buying it on DVD. When I received it, however, the reproduction was so poor as to render it essentially unviewable. In the initial scenes the images are so murky that I was often unable to make out the faces of the principal characters. I only knew who was speaking because I'd seen the movie before. In all scenes the image is extremely fuzzy, looking exactly like the background when a camera is tightly focused on a face in the foreground. Sadly then, this DVD is worthless and you should wait for a better version. Note that the movie itself is a science-fiction classic, and ought to be seen by anyone interested in the part of the genre that was not usually shown in drive-ins. Note carefully, however, that most of the reviews are based on the VHS version, not the DVD. These reviews of course give no hint of the unacceptably low technical quality of the current DVD release. Just as an aside, I hope I'm not one of those people who spots a speck of dust and declares the room filthy. I'm actually being kind to the folks who made this DVD!
    Was this review helpful to you?
    71 of 76 people found the following review helpful
    2.0 out of 5 stars Incredible Film Marred By Poor Print July 3, 1999
    By A Customer
    Format:DVD
    Two stars for the film print used on this DVD -- but FIVE STARS for the original film itself. The film "Things To Come" has been called cold, distant, intellectually contrived ... but it is truly one of the most remarkable early films, predicting the rise of savior technology from the ashes of terrible world wars. Like "Contact," "Things to Come" explores the Cartesian division between science and faith, exploring the schism between universal technology and provincial tribalism. Its views of the perfect technocracy of 2036 must be viewed in the context of the 1936 film, but it also weirdly echoes today's "information age" progress. It is most unfortunate that this great film is so badly marred in this DVD edition by such a terrible print. Much of the sound is muffled; the brightness of the print pulsates perceptably; and even the famous ending (the last, wordless, mouthed line) is cut because the film print on which it was taken was tattered. Do NOT waste your money on even this inexpensive version. It is a shame that people -- especially young people who may never have seen this masterpiece -- will view this marred version. DVD companies should stop rushing into production the worst of these film prints! and only produce the finest -- "all or nothing, which shall it be?..."
    Was this review helpful to you?
    Most Recent Customer Reviews
    2.0 out of 5 stars Come For The Art; Stay (If You Can) For The Story ... Especially The...
    In all seriousness, I hold classic films in very high regard. I’ve always been fascinated by what storytellers have been able to accomplish in cinema, and it’s even more... Read more
    Published 19 days ago by Edward Lee
    5.0 out of 5 stars Look into the future
    Legend Films has once again released a classic to be enjoyed for years to come. H.G. Wells was of course well ahead of his time. Read more
    Published 23 days ago by Deidre Ann
    5.0 out of 5 stars Prophetic film merging technology and human destiny,
    Love the evolution of ideas here, Wells really had a knack for envisioning the future, we are close to this point now, did he just envision the segway, the helicoptor, plastic,... Read more
    Published 25 days ago by Greg N.
    5.0 out of 5 stars it's the entire universe or nothing
    Well to our eye something is laughable (the gas of peace, make shiver my wife) but the fight between the progressive people an the NIMBY was already in the air. Read more
    Published 1 month ago by Alberto Lupi
    5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing foretelling
    I love this film - a little preachy, but I'm always astounded at its ominous ability to predict future events.
    Published 1 month ago by RM
    5.0 out of 5 stars Classic old sci fi.
    I love old sci fi that did not have to spend millions of dollars and countless time in stupid war scenes.
    Published 1 month ago by John O. Kinnick
    5.0 out of 5 stars Visionary
    I love this movie and periodically watch it. Made in 1936, it's a marvel of scince engineering and a prophetic vision of what will happen to the world as we transend from a utopian... Read more
    Published 2 months ago by J. A. Marquez
    3.0 out of 5 stars I remeber this old movie
    Saw it a long time ago in the early 50's when theaters would show "new" movies for over 15 years after release.

    As a child I thought it was fantastic. Read more
    Published 2 months ago by William V. Susel
    5.0 out of 5 stars Some profound insights.
    Enjoyed colorized version. It's amazing that in 1936, flat screen TV's (without knobs!) were predicted. Read more
    Published 2 months ago by Craig Detmer
    5.0 out of 5 stars Great fun!
    This is one of those rare films. It was ahead of it's time, and actually involved the participation of H.G. Wells himself. Think about that for a moment. Read more
    Published 2 months ago by Obsidian
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