Wednesday, 10 June 2009

Things to Come Photo Gallery mega-upload

After a gap of over two years, I've finally got round to uploading all the various Things to Come photographs acquired since January 2007. There are 46 is all, although a few are upgrades of previous poorer quality and/all magazine-sourced pictures. I've also split the Photo Gallery into four sections, as the load time was getting a bit much as a single page.

Although I've tended to concentrate on stills from missing or truncated scenes, it's surprising the details that are apparent in even the familiar parts that can be missed in a fleeting glimpse in the extant footage. My favourite is the Thompson Sub-Machine Gun - the classic gangster's weapon - leaning against the wall in the background in this shot of the Boss's bedroom (just to the left of Rudolph's crooked knee):

It's a real shame Ralph Richardson didn't get to wield that in the character's death scene!

Once you know the gun is there, it can be glimpsed at the start of the scene, when Richardson flops onto the bed, but it's missing later on, when a similar camera angle is used. This is probably explained by one of the cuts made to this scene. After the Boss says, "I don’t bully. I just handled the man," there is a brief cutaway to Cabal in the "detention room" under the Town Hall, before cutting back to Roxana saying, "He’s the first real aviator that has come this way in years." The sole surviving London Films editor's cutting/continuity script documents what's missing:
502. LONG SHOT 11ft. 0frs.
The two.
BOSS: I don’t bully. I just handled the man.
ROXANA: No. You bully. And you bully too soon.
     Boss gets up and goes over to get himself a drink.
BOSS: Ah, I don’t seem able to please you today.
503. CLOSE UP 12ft. 13frs.
Boss, Roxana joins him, as they walk back to M.S.
ROXANA: Well, if you must go from one tactless thing to another. Weakening your authority, sacrificing dignity.
BOSS: Here, what’s the matter with you?
ROXANA: Oh, I saw....
504. CLOSE SHOT 33ft. 8frs.
The two.
ROXANA: There’s your head mechanic - the essential man for the job, and you can’t keep your eyes off his wife.
505. MEDIUM SHOT 33ft. 8frs.
The two, they walk to CLOSE SHOT.
ROXANA: Don’t I know you? But never mind that, I’m accustomed to over looking that sort of thing. What I’m asking you now, whether you bully or not - was it wise to take this man in this way?
BOSS: How else could I have treated him? How else?
     They sit on the bed in C.S.
ROXANA: Well look at it. He’s the first real aviator that has come this way in years. Think of what that means, my dear. You want aeroplanes don’t you? You want your aeroplanes put in order?
506. LONG SHOT 4ft. 7frs.
The two sitting on the bed. Roxana rises.
ROXANA: A really clever man could have had some of those machines up long ago...
The cuts between the surviving fragment of Shot 505 and Shot 506 is noticeably abrupt, the reason being that Roxana had even more dialogue in between, that didn't make it into the scripted version of the film:
ROXANA: Well - I've always doubted if that young man Gordon was up to the job. He's good-looking in a weak sort of way - but is he really skillful and scientific? He - fumbles. He just goes about with this girl of his - whom you think so good-looking.
This dialogue really clarifies the dynamic between the two characters, and sets the scene for Roxana effectively offering to transfer her allegiance to Cabal later on.

And the machine gun? I would hazard a guess that when the Boss goes for his drink in Shot 502, he moves the weapon in the process. Later in the film, however, it is very conspicuously present in the foreground when Burton informs the Boss of Gordon's successful escape: