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Extras confirmed for reissue of Pet Shop Boys film ‘It Couldn’t Happen Here’

1988 film restored and reissued as a deluxe package

The new image above gives a good feel for the deluxe packaging of the reissue of the Pet Shop Boys 1988 film It Couldn’t Happen Here.

The feature has been newly restored from a 4K scan and the new limited edition set includes a blu-ray and a DVD (in high and standard definition, respectively) of the Jack Bond-directed film and comes as a ‘digi-book’ package which looks like it slots into an outer slipcase.

Sadly, we are not getting the hoped for Tennant/Lowe audio commentary, but we do now know exactly what the extras are in this package are, and they are as follows:

  • The book includes a new interview with Neil Tennant and previously unseen excerpts from his personal on-set production diary, as well as an introduction to the film by director Jack Bond and writing on the film by Anthony Nield, Jason Wood, Omer Ali, John Ramchandani, William Fowler and Vic Pratt
  • Comprehensive feature commentary by Jack Bond, James Dillon and Simon Archer (2020)
  • West End Boy: Jack Bond (2020, 27 mins): the director discusses his eclectic career as a filmmaker and his enterprising approach to the making of It Couldn’t Happen Here
  • It Can Happen Here: Arlene Phillips (2020, 26 mins): the renowned choreographer reflects upon a life in dance and the trials and tribulations of working on It Couldn’t Happen Here
  • Always on My Mind (1987, 5 mins): the full-length promotional video for Pet Shop Boys’ single, featuring Joss Ackland and footage from the film
  • Actually: an unfilmed early version of the script for the film, included here in its entirety for the first time anywhere
  • As it Happened: Image galleries including the complete final version of the script, the director’s shot lists, Pet Shop Boys reference lyric sheets and promotional materials for It Couldn’t Happen Here
  • Original theatrical trailer (digitally reconstructed for this release)

It Couldn’t Happen Here will be released on 15 June 2020. Note, the DVD is region 2 and the blu-ray is region B.

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47 responses to Extras confirmed for reissue of Pet Shop Boys film ‘It Couldn’t Happen Here’

  1. Richard John says:

    Just got an email update that the release date is now 20th June, instead of 15th.

    Anyone else get the delay notification?

  2. Graham Turner says:

    This can currently be pre-ordered from BASE for £16.99 with free UK delivery.

  3. Wayne says:

    Not really related, but ld like to see the same thing done with The Style Council film Jerusalem. Bit like PSBs it was a bit naff, but would like to see it packaged like this. Come on Mr Weller.

    • Chris Squires says:

      The Red Shoes was no better. I have that on Laserdisc and drag it out occasionally. As the saying goes “Don’t give up the day job”, luckily these people are very good at their day job!

  4. -SG- says:

    If the script for this film had actually been good, had there been a real plot, had there been something they could have really sunken their teeth into, their careers may have been very different. Perhaps they would be actors today or media mogul hosts of talent shows, former pop stars who had a few big hits in the 80’s. We would have really missed out, and we are lucky that did not happen. Instead, this was basically a long form music video, a curiosity which weaves in and out like a drunken stupor, full of cryptic references to songs and inside jokes, however, despite all it’s flaws, it beautifully captures Pet Shop Boys at the top of their game — and for that it is priceless. And yes, it is a shame they did not do a commentary track for this, it would have really added to this movie.

  5. m says:

    For those who have never seen ICHH, don’t get your hopes up too much – as a movie it’s pretty dreadful, but as a 1988 time capsule of PSB in their “imperial phase” and able to get away with anything, it’s unbeatable and I’ll definitely be buying it.

    IIRC (and I’m sure this will be covered in the extras) , the genesis of the film was a mooted South Bank Show profile of the band, but rather than the usual interviews-spliced-with-promo-video-clips format, the Boys wanted to create specially-shot musical inserts relating to their backgrounds and influences (hence the seaside piers and so on), but when the profile was dropped, they decided to continue with it as a feature with Jack Bond.

    I don’t think they’ve ever been especially enamoured of the film, except as a curiosity, hence the long wait for the DVD, but with that in mind I’m not surprised there’s no commentary track, notwithstanding any comments they may have made in the past about one…

  6. Shane says:

    How can anyone say “US market neglected once again” when most discs are in inferior quality NTSC even for acts that never even released a single in those regions?
    I suggest you invest in a region-free player like thousands and thousands of the old continent inhabitants.

    Was there even a commentary from Neil and Chris or was it just hope they would record one?

    • Paul Sinclair says:

      It was a ‘hoped for’ thing. If they’d actually done a commentary then it’s hard to see why it wouldn’t be included.

    • DianeM says:

      In regards to “inferior NTSC quality” a BD doesn’t have NTSC or PAL source video, the digital files are system agnostic, it’s only region coding that differs.

  7. Ernie says:

    I remember seeing this on a video shop rental & to be fair, it’s crap. But, this looks quite a good collectible so I wouldn’t mind refreshing my memory.

    • Stephen Rickard says:

      It’s still crap! I had the vhs which I transferred to DVD about 10 years ago. I thought I’d dip into it the other week, and that’s all I could do was dip, it’s not good. This is just my opinion on the film itself though.

  8. Kittens69 says:

    I recall seeing it at the cinema and finding it jolly hard work to say the least. In a way I wish they’d done a film a few years later when they’d embraced house music, were prepared to refer to HIV/politics, Chris had hit the clubs and their visuals had grown a bit more ambition (circa ‘Very’). Think they’d have made a more interesting film.

  9. Andy B says:

    I’ve been a big PSB fan since the mid-eighties but I’ve never seen the film and never had an urge to see it at the time. Am I missing out?

  10. Rik Skyline says:

    I do hope the Pet Shop Boys will release an updated reprint of their book ‘Catalogue’ at some point. A reissue of ‘Relentless’ would be great as well.

  11. Craig Hedges says:

    I’m happy that this is still due to be released, thought it would get delayed or cancelled. This release is done more to focus on the filmmakers rather than the Pet Shop Boys hence why their involvement is quite limited. Not sure if we would’ve got a more informed view from a commentary by Neil and Chris (although they are hilarious) other than Chris saying how much he hates the way he looks and disappearing halfway through like he did on the commentary for Performance.
    My favourite parts of the film are the cafe scenes, Barbara Windsor lip syncing to Dusty lines in What Have I Done…. and Neil wobbly about on a bike.

  12. Andy says:

    As has been commented already, great news for the BFI. However, my memories of watching this back on release in 1988 are not particularly fond. Still, each to their own and some are obviously excited by this news so all well and good.

  13. Mikael says:

    Great news, so where is Mantrap, and The Look Of Love live with an Orchestra?
    You know, to get that full 80s feeling.

  14. Derek Langsford says:

    I have an Oppo UDP 205, maybe 10 UHD 4K discs, 3 music titles with Dolby Atmos, and am saddened/frustrated by the lack of 4K films and Dolby Atmos music titles being released.

    Then again with music now being archived in 96/24 you’d think it would be easier/cheaper than ever to release blu-rays of albums. I would have to assume the labels are relying on hi-res downloads to satisfy that market and placing the burden on the purchaser to figure out how to play such files.

  15. NightFlight says:

    Great news for the BFI who are facing a difficult future.
    I recall watching this film in an otherwise entirely empty ABC Toledo in Glasgow in 1988 (made famous around that time for its screening order of three contemporary films, Big, Frantic & Shag!) In its time, It Couldn’t Happen Here was certainly “unusual” and ambitious. I hope time has been kind to it….

  16. Keith says:

    The US market is neglected once again. :(

  17. David says:

    This has smashed orders for BFI pre-sales; quite timely at such a difficult moment for retail.

  18. Jason says:

    This has been a long time coming i really can’t wait for the release of it couldn’t happen here a master piece in its self and the extras look great to all of it roll on June

  19. Timm Davison says:

    I hope they do a region-specific iTunes release, since these discs won’t be playable on my US machine. :(

  20. Steven Roberts says:

    I have about 30 4K UHD titles – mostly bought in 3 for £30 ZOOM promotions and the like – and I would buy more if the companies would only *release* them.

    Yes, I understand that the costs to market for 4K are higher than BD and that the market is limited – but the problem with titles such as this not getting even a limited physical UHD release at launch is that I don’t think they’ll get a physical release later, either.

    See: Genesis – When in Rome (still only available on DVD after 13 years, for crying out loud)

  21. Kevin says:

    Too bad it’s not an all-region disc.

  22. chris says:

    You know, with so many groups / singers, etc stuck at home and sometimes performing stuff and putting it out on Youtube, Instagram, etc, wouldn’t it be a neat idea if both Neil and Chris watched the film at the same time (from their respective locations) and did a running commentary while watching it? I mean, what else can they do at this moment in time?

  23. Rob says:

    This is excellent news, and I can’t wait. It seems churlish to have a gripe when this film is finally getting a proper release, but I know Chris and Neil made reference to recording a commentary track a few years ago, so it’s a shame not to have that too.

  24. Rich E says:

    Stop the car! I’m getting out……to replace my VHS copy which an ex girlfriend purloined many moons ago. Would love to see the soundtrack promo given a proper release as well (since I didn’t win the Smash Hits competition to get one back in the day)

  25. Chris says:

    Looking forward to this, not seen the film in years.

    It also looks like a great package.

  26. Steven Roberts says:

    Never ceases to amaze me how films are scanned at 4K for re-release and they then release a blu-ray and/or DVD…

    See also: INXS.

    • Paul Sinclair says:

      Do you mean you are amazed they aren’t releasing it as a UHD 4K disc?

      • Never ceases to amaze me how films are scanned at 4K for re-release and they then release a blu-ray and/or DVD… (Steven Roberts) Do you mean you are amazed they aren’t releasing it as a UHD 4K disc? (Paul Sinclair).

        Yes, Steven, almost definitely means that and I agree, I would like to see 4K discs myself. However, technically, there are a couple of reasons for no UHD 4K disc.

        1. Cost – it is significantly more expensive to physically produce a UHD 4K disc versus a blu-ray (this is doubly so because, AFAIK, even the 4K master disc is very expensive to produce let alone the reproduction costs on the 4K discs)

        2. Licensing rights. UHD 4K discs are not region locked at all. If you have to region lock the blu-ray due to rights issues then a 4K disc is not going to get produced.

        They scan at 4K because they can always release that 4K disc later on when the physical costs come down + the 4K digital master can be used immediately/sooner for DRM encoded digital streaming/download e.g. iTunes

        • Paul Sinclair says:

          I think both of those points apply in this case, so thanks for the extra info Graham.

          • Chris Squires says:

            The definition of uncool.

            I bought a UHD 4K player last October just so I could play the single 4K disc set I have. Mamma Mia – Here we go again (Steelbook edition).
            Does it look better than HD Blu-Ray? Well yes it does.
            Still only have one 4K disc……..

          • Paul Sinclair says:

            I probably have half a dozen or so films now on 4K, including Blade Runner 2049 etc. The problem is there are so expensive and as someone who has recently watched quite a few old region 1 DVDs on a 55-inch TV and thought they looked remarkably good, I’m yet to be totally convinced I ‘need’ them :) Having said that I have the special edition of The Shining on order!

          • Mike the Fish says:

            UHD 4k would also be a limited market format for a limited market film. It’s got the lowest common denominator formats. Surely no different to recording/remastering at hi-rez levels then releasing on CD and vinyl.

          • John McCann' says:

            Don’t bother with joker on uhd its no better looking than the blue ray,iv got both,
            Only uhd iv been impressed with are blue planet 2, and planet earth 2they look amazing, and iv bought a few over the last few years, maybe you really need a right top of the range TV,iv just got a bog standard 55lg4k,,

          • SimonP says:

            Some films (Little Women that comes out this week is a perfect example) are being released digitally in 4K but not getting a physical disc version. This is a slippery slope I don’t want to be sliding down. That 4K player weren’t cheap!

          • Paul Sinclair says:

            Yeah, I have an OPPO 205 – wonderful machine but as you say bloody expensive.

          • SimonP says:

            Only a mere UDP-203 here. The 205 was about twice the price, so I’m glad I didn’t splash out the extra if the disc supply is going to dry up in the near future.

            My fave disc for PQ? Sicario.

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