After the rollicking open sequence this technically stupendous effort resolves into a kind of foresighted stasis perhaps too aware of the monumental task of trying to both prophecise - fairly accurately on material grounds if not it’s Utopian concerns (based on current trends) - and engage a mass audience. Nevertheless the audacity is laudable; Bliss’s score a rightful gem.
A realistic and terrifying opening of a film that shows major destruction and bombing with the killing of men, women and children. The film is also full of extravagant sets, gorgeous details and the cinematography is strong, but there is not much room for human emotions except for some rallying speeches and philosophic comments which make this a 30's blockbuster extravaganza to be honest.
"Which shall it be?" War, plague, power, utopia, and the title that says it all when Wells adapted his little story to the big screen at the time he was around. Still effective today as it was then, amazing futuristic production designs & great acting fill in a film that starts out as a war film but then turns into sci-fi.
I was blown away by the foresight that was put into this picture, predicting everything from the London blitz to flat screen TVs. It’s also rather smart and captivating science fiction, with big bold ideas and set pieces and scale to match. The imagery is often haunting, and the events depicted are sometimes truly chilling in a surprisingly real way. Effective on most accounts.
Science fiction films are tailored made for ideas and visual wonder and this film certainly provides plenty of both. It's strongest asset is its production design which is phenomenal. But unlike the superior Metropolis this visual lecture has little-to-no character development, only adequate performances (except Massey), & an unneeded subplot of bourgeois revolution. It's visionary but not quite a masterpiece.
Interesting, but somewhat uninvolving adaptation of H.G. Wells' prophetic opus. Menzies crafts an impressive visual spectacle, especially considering when it was made. But a number of intriguing ideas aside, the bland characters are just devices for pushing forward a plot that's more concerned with preachy idealism than compelling storytelling. But still, a fascinating classic for science-fiction fans.