Things to Come on Blu-ray
The H.G. Wells-scripted 1936 landmark sci-fi movie Things to Come is released on Blu-ray for the first time on 18 June 2012 by Network. The film has been restored and is the most complete known version. Here’s an extract from our Reel Sounds column on its soundtrack, composed by Arthur Bliss:
As well as being one of the first ever sci-fi talkies, William Cameron Menzies’s film of HG Wells’s Things to Come (1936) is notable for inaugurating a new wave of British film soundtrack composition. It was in this era, with Muir Mathieson as music director of Alexander Korda’s Denham Studios (later to become part of the Rank Organisation), that a number of important British composers of concert music began writing scores for the screen – notably Ralph Vaughan-Williams, William Walton, Arnold Bax, and Elisabeth Lutyens, along with Things to Come’s own composer, Arthur Bliss.
With the forward march of scientific progress seemingly unstoppable, the film reaches its climax with a protest of artists and craftsmen against a proposed trip to the moon. You scientists, cry the artists led by the sculptor Theotocopulos, make our creations ‘look small’. The reflexive sense of this mise en abyme may be found in the way the film’s visionary picture of scientific progress and urban regeneration can scarcely be matched by any corresponding music of the future.
Special Blu-ray Features:
HD restoration of the longest existing version
Virtual extended edition – a viewing option allowing for the inclusion of text and images from long missing and unfilmed scenes to present a tantalising ‘what it’?
Audio commentary with THINGS TO COME expert Nick Cooper
On Reflection: Brian Aldiss on H.G. Wells – 25-minute documentary from 1971
Ralph Richardson interview by Russell Harty in 1975
Extensive booklet (expanded from the DVD set) written by Nick Cooper
The Wandering Sickness – an original 78rpm recording
Comprehensive HD image gallery, including many rare stills
HD Merchandise image gallery
US re-release trailer
Script PDF (disc one)