The destruction of Everytown, 1940

The week before last, I had the opportunity to present a talk about my PhD topic at an Open University summer school (cheers Chris!) It was the first time I've given a talk about the thesis as a whole and I think it went OK -- I don't know that I'm getting better as a public speaker but at least I'm not so nervous these days. But I had intended to show a scene from the 1936 science fiction classic, Things to Come (adapted by H. G. Wells from his own 1933 novel, The Shape of Things to Come). For once the technology worked; but I'd queued up the wrong scene on the DVD and so after a few attempts at finding the right part I gave up. But thanks to YouTube, here's the scene the students didn't get to see. It's the air raid on Everytown on Christmas eve, 1940:

I think it's very well done, and would have been very impressive on a big screen. For the small screen, there's a new special edition DVD, which I must get around to buying ...

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5 thoughts on “The destruction of Everytown, 1940

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  2. Roger Todd

    I've been lucky to see Things To Come on the big screen, twice. The first time was ten years, with a BFI print at the South Bank, the second was a few months ago when the new DVD was projected (surprisingly effectively) at Sci-Fi London (art which there was the Kim Newman Incident I mentioned in an earlier post here!). And yes, it is very impressive on the big screen!

    The new DVD is superb. If you are in any way a fan of this film, I really recommend you buy it.

    A brief word on the special effects... Korda's head technician was the American Ned Mann, a special effects wizard who was behind the incredible scenes in 'Deluge' (1933) in which New York city is destroyed by an earthquake and tsunami. A junior effects man was Wally Veevers, who many years later was a senior technician on 2001: A Space Odyssey, the Things To Come of its day.

  3. Post author

    Well, I've looked for the DVD in shops here, but haven't seen it -- I would have thought Forbidden Planet would have it. I can just order it over the net, but I may as well do that from home.

    ObKOB: the author of the book Deluge was based upon was none other than Sidney Fowler Wright, who later wrote Prelude in Prague and its sequels. Deluge must have been one of the first disaster movies, and for that matter surely Things to Come -- the middle section anyway -- was just about the first post-apocalyptic movie too?

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