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(aka 'The Man Who Could Work Miracles')

directed by Lothar Mendes, Alexander Korda (uncredited)

UK 1936


It seems that the H.G. Wells film that almost everyone has heard about is Things to Come (1936), a rather grandiose SF effort directed by William Cameron Menzies. But back in the 50s when there were still double features on a regular basis at some theaters, I caught Things to Come playing with another British movie adapted by Wells from his own work, made the following yearóa piece of very English whimsy thatís also a serious fable about the tyranny of desire, at once more modest and more cosmic than its predecessor. A mousy young haberdashery clerk named George McWhirter Fotheringay (Roland Young, better known as Topper) gets picked at random by some quarrelling gods in the starry sky and, as an experiment, is given the capacity to perform miracles, without offering him any explanation why. (He can do just about anything in the physical world, but he canít alter how people think and feel.) Much of what ensues is pretty funny, and made all the more appealing by a fine supporting cast that includes Ralph Richardson as blustery Colonel Winstanley, Joan Gardner as the heroís coworker Ada (whom he canít induce to fall in love with him), and even George Sanders in a bit part as one of the quarrelling gods....

Excerpt from Jonathan Rosenbaum's article at DVDBeaver located HERE


Theatrical Release: July 23rd,. 1936


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DVD Review: Network - Region 2 - PAL

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Region 2 - PAL

Runtime 1:19:09 (4% PAL speedup)

1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.99 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.


Audio English 2.0
Subtitles None
Features Release Information:
Studio: Network

Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1

Edition Details:
• None

DVD Release Date: June 12th, 2005
Transparent Keep Case

Chapters 10





I've always wanted to see The Man Who Could Work Miracles ever since Jonathan Rosenbaum wrote this article for DVDBeaver - Ten Overlooked Fantasy Films on DVD and mentioned it in a subsequent article Great 30's Movies on DVD. It's a wonderful pure fantasy romp. I'm so glad I was able to watch it! A perfect film to wash over you with its 'What If'' charms.

This PAL transfer is from Network out of the UK. It seems totally at the mercy of a source in-need of restoration. Criterion has been know to listen - and this would be a fabulous choice to restore for 1080P. There are light scratches but I would think the overall condition of the print is the main culprit behind this dark, muddy image. On the positive it is consistent and still watchable with plenty of grain textures - you get used to the visuals very quickly and can ascertain what is transpiring - in-motion better than the stills below.

Audio is about the same level as the video - weak and at the mercy of the production but audible and the UK accents are not too dense. The unique score is by Mischa Spoliansky (Saint Joan, Hitler: The Last Ten Days.) There are no subtitles on the region 2 disc.

No extras at all on the disc.

For those keen this is a real 'find'. I can easily see myself indulging multiple times over the years. Real thanks goes to Jonathan! I don't know that is available in any other digital source. Despite the poor quality image and bare-bones status - at the right price this is whole-heartedly recommended!

  - Gary Tooze

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