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Things To Come (Special Edition) DVD

William Cameron Menzies, 1936


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Film Details

Directed by William Cameron Menzies

Produced in 1936

Main Language - English

Countries & Regions - British Film

MovieMail's Review

Digitally restored from the most complete prints available (all previous versions having been heavily cut since the original release), this new print of HG Wells's visionary paean to scientific progress has been long awaited by sci-fi fans around the world and is due to premiere in London in May.
The film opens to show Christmas, 1940, where a war scare looms over the festivities. The resulting war lasts 30 years, leaving plague-ridden ruins in its wake, and a society that has reverted to warlordism, under the uncertain rule of 'The Boss' (Ralph Richardson). However, unlike many dystopian future films made since, Things to Come holds out the hope that mankind can redeem itself through science.
The scale of the filmmakers' vision of the future, with its believable rendering of a future world, has rarely been surpassed; above all, this is a science fiction story that speaks to the nature of science itself, something most clearly postulated in its justly famous ending with Raymond Massey stating, "The universe or nothing - which shall it be?"

Milo Wakelin on 16th April 2007
Author of 106 reviews

Film Description

A restored version of William Cameron Menzies’ sci-fi classic Things To Come, a pro-science fantasy film, showcasing the hopes and predictions of H.G. Wells, who worked closely on the script.

It’s Christmas 1940 and the people of Everytown, unprepared and ill-equipped, find themselves at war against an enemy who has been planning such a conflict for years. The land is devastated by the horrors of aerial bombardment as the war drags on for thirty years, causing a period of despair, with feudal tyrants ruling a downtrodden populace suffering famine and pestilence. Can the human race rise above its desperate circumstances and build a scientific utopia?

Things To Come set a high benchmark for science fiction with its fantastic design, gigantic sets and spectacular special effects. Beginning in the then future of 1940 with WWII, the film shows humanity's struggle against its own worst impulses over several generations, as it works towards a utopian ideal. This new edition has all its cut scenes edited back into it, making it the most complete version currently available.

DVD Details

Certificate: PG

Publisher: Network

Length: 94 mins

Aspect ratio: 1.33:1

Format: DVD B&W

Region: 2

Released: 7th May 2007

Cat No: 7952504

DVD Extras

  • 2 discs. Brand new digital restoration of the longest existing version
  • Virtual extended version allowing inclusion of text and images from missing scenes
  • Audio commentary from Nick Cooper
  • 'On Reflection: Brian Aldiss on HG Wells (1971, 25 mins)
  • Ralph Richardson interviewed by Russell Harty in 1975
  • Extensive booklet written by Nick Cooper
  • The Wandering Sickness - an original 78rpm recording
  • Comprehensive image gallery
  • Merchandise image gallery
  • US Re-release trailer.

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