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ENGLAND'S FIRST MILUON DOLLAR FILM. ? : ' .?,? ._ ?*?/ .. n- }??»_.' - ?'. ?:.. _????? - * f^ , London Opinion on **Things to Come/* r
? (Bv AmfromOiir Special Correspondent.)
J ONDON, Feb. 26.— Any day during this -week— and ? presumably ? . ior many weeks .In the future— huge crowds may be seen Queuing outside the Leices
ter Square Theatre, from 10 ajn. on wards, in order to qualify for admission to the pre-release of London Film Pro ductions* most spectacular and ambiti ous picture, 'Things to Come.' It is the mose expensive film ever made in Eng land, the cost being just over a quarter of a million pounds. No less renowned a literary figure than H. G. Wells wrote the story, dialogue and screen treatment. The critics have almost without ex ception given- 'Things to Come' the benefit of their most flattering plaudits. The point most strongly made is that this film is different from any other film yet made, being an attempt to replace 'the pulpit, the stage, or even the printed word as the forum of the popular ora tor.' 'Observer': 'It is very easy to nag at Things To Come.' When a thing is so big that the imagination cannot quite embrace it, there is always a picking and scrambling at the detail. At a dozen points the film is vulnerable, and I have no doubt at all that it will go out into the world stuck full of Lilliputian ar rows. But not one of them will measure Us stature nor impede its power. 'There has never been anything in the cinema like Things to Come.' No film, not even 'Metropolis.' has even slightly resembled it. An extraordinary thing, a miracle, has happened in the picture house. This film has been used for the first time to state a hard and fairly com plex argument, and to state it with a force and beauty that gives you no choice to follow and attend. 'I do beg of you, whether you enjoy the cinema as an entertainment or not, to see Things to Come' and ponder on its implications. Not necessarily on its content— although we shall none of us be any the worse for a reminder of the imminence of war-madness, or. worse, of war complacency— but on its potential rhetoric. I think you will agree that, for the first time in its story, the cinema has replaced the pulpit, the stage, or even the printed word as the forum of the popular orator.' 'Daily Telegraph': 'With Things to Come,' Alexander Korda has once again
made nun history. Here is England's first million-dollar picture; . it cost, to' be pre cise. £260.000; its theme, is the loftiest ever conceived by a producer; its visions of a world destroyed and then rebuilt are astonishing in their Immensity, power, and exciting beauty. ' 'Things to Come' makes such stories of the future as 'Metropolis* look like a quota 'quickie.' and the trick photography has given. us spectacle after thrilling spectacle that must be seen to be be lieved. 'But with it all there is a suggestion of the class-room. Mr. Wells's moral les sons, instead of being implicit, are a shade too thoroughly rubbed in, and this may affect the picture's chances at the box-office. He and Mr. Korda have de liberately chosen problems few producers would nave dared, or wanted, to- tackle — the problems of war and peace, of man's relation to the State, of salvation through self-sacrifice dictated by science for the ultimate good of the species.' 'Sunday Express': The early part of the picture is a great film in itself. Its peace propaganda influence win be enormous, but from the point of view of film skill alone it is terrific. There is a moment when over the cliffs of Dover comes, a swarm of enemy planes. The sky is thick with them, the air deafening and furious with their savage drone. The dramatic power of that scene cannot be described in words. 'Anybody who does not see this film is guilty of a lack of Interest— not In films, primarily— but In the world, in life on this earth, and in the future of themselves and their species.' 'Morning Post': 'It is incomparablj the greatest technical achievement of filmcraft to date, and in scope and sin cerity sets a mark for film producers to aim at for many yean to come. The heroes of the flint are the tech nical departments. Ned Mann (trick work) and Vincent Korda (settings) have created a world of the future which everyone must see. Hubert Arm strong, and the Marchionwa of Queens berry have dressad it with beauty, and Georges Perinal has photographed it with genius. Raymond Massey speaks the ponderous dialogue in which Wells ex pands his argument with tremendous conviction. In presence and delivery he is superb.'