H. G. Wells on Film: The Utopian Nightmare

Overview

One of the most influential men of his generation, H.G. Wells is primarily known for his science fiction writings that looked ahead in time to teach and warn people about the future of the human race. Directly and indirectly, the writings he became famous for inspired films that brought his visions (if often greatly altered or misfocused) to life on the screen. He himself wrote screenplays and closely supervised the production of some of his work.

This work is a study of every ...

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Overview

One of the most influential men of his generation, H.G. Wells is primarily known for his science fiction writings that looked ahead in time to teach and warn people about the future of the human race. Directly and indirectly, the writings he became famous for inspired films that brought his visions (if often greatly altered or misfocused) to life on the screen. He himself wrote screenplays and closely supervised the production of some of his work.

This work is a study of every theatrically released film from 1909 to 1997 based, even loosely, on the writings of H.G. Wells, including The Wonderful Visit, The Time Machine, The Island of Dr. Moreau, The Invisible Man, The War of the Worlds, The Food of the Gods, and Empire of the Ants, just to name a few.

The films based on his work are presented in chronological order and for each, the author discusses the circumstances surrounding its creation, its plot, how it compares with the literary work, its production and marketing, and its strengths and weaknesses based on aesthetic qualities.

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Editorial Reviews

Classic Images
fine and readable...useful...pretty good
Utopian Studies
discerning...meticulous...clearly written...neat, orderly and easily accessible catalogue of the films and their literature...useful
Choice
valuable
Booknews
Surveys films based on 14 novels and four short stories written by H.G. Wells. Arranged chronologically, each chapter examines the original piece of fiction and the circumstances behind its creation, then lists all the films based on that work. Smith (Eastern Illinois University) summarizes each film's plot, adaptation, production and marketing, and strengths and weaknesses. A few black and white photographs and poster reprints are provided. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780786410583
  • Publisher: McFarland & Company, Incorporated Publishers
  • Publication date: 7/15/2002
  • Pages: 205
  • Product dimensions: 10.00 (w) x 7.00 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Don G. Smith is an associate professor in history and philosophy of education at Eastern Illinois University. He has written for numerous publications, including Filmfax, Scarlet Street, Movie Collector's World and Midnight Marquee. He lives in Riverview Florida.

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Table of Contents

Introduction 1
1 The Time Machine (1895) 5
2 The Wonderful Visit (1895) 16
3 The Island of Doctor Moreau (1896) 23
4 The Wheels of Chance (1896) 55
5 The Invisible Man (1897) 58
6 "The Man Who Could Work Miracles" (1898) 95
7 The War of the Worlds (1898) 101
8 The First Men in the Moon (1901) 113
9 "The Story of an Inexperienced Ghost" (1902) 122
10 The Food of the Gods (1904) 125
11 "The Empire of the Ants" (1905) 136
12 Kipps (1905) 142
13 "The Door in the Wall" (1906) 150
14 The War in the Air (1908) 153
15 The History of Mr. Polly (1910) 157
16 Marriage (1912) 162
17 The Passionate Friends (1913) 164
18 Three Short Subjects: Bluebottles, The Tonic and Daydreams (1928) 170
19 The Shape of Things to Come (1933) 172
Afterword 183
Annotated Bibliography 187
Index 193
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