The Time Travelers (1964)

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The Time Travelers (1964)

Post  BoG on Sat Mar 06, 2010 7:18 pm

And Melchior said: let there be Time Travel! And it was good.
Of course, H.G.Wells & The Time Machine (1960) preceded this film but this was an inventive little Sci-Fi adventure, copied a couple of years later by The Time Tunnel TV series and, to worse effect, by a wretched ultra-low budget quasi-remake, Journey to the Center of Time (1967).

Preston Foster, who was in many movies of the thirties & forties, plays the elder member of a small group of scientists. Philip Carey is his younger assistant, Merry Anders is the female and Steve Franken plays the dopey maintenance man who sort of messes with their experiment on time traveling. They accidentally create a window into the future (107 years, I believe); only, as Franken finds out, it's not just a window, but a doorway! Unfortunately, this doorway leads to a bleak, post-nuclear war landscape, populated by hostile mutants. The entire group gets stuck there and, luckily, find the entrance to the domain of the last remaining civilized inhabitants, who have carved out a small underground kingdom for themselves.
If any of this sounds familiar, it's because this is similar in plot to World Without End (1956). However, I don't consider it derivative, as the story is far more interesting & surprising than 90% of the films released since the eighties. It throws a lot at you - time portals, future post-holocaust Earth, hostile mutants, secret underground civilizations, androids galore, technicians played by famous sci-fi magazine editors for no real reason, free love attitudes, rockets waiting to be launched and even a time travel paradox by the end! This was one of my earliest experiences with pure sci-fi in cinema... If you've never seen this, you're wondering what will happen next every 5 minutes, a quality sorely lacking in many of today's films. The trippy ending even puts some pressure on the audience to wrap their minds around it. BoG's Score: 8/10

Time Trivia: Famous Sci-Fi magazine editor Forrest J Ackerman
pops up in a cameo around the middle of the film, as some technician.  

I was waiting for a DVD release of this little beauty for many years; I had to content myself with a DVD-R which only worked in a third of the players I tried it in. I finally managed to acquire a decent DVD-R of the film, one with good picture and one that played all the way through on my player without any problems.
I got this DVD-R at Sci-Fi Station, a good resource for sci-fi fans searching for that obscure sci-fi film which is still not available on conventional DVD: The SCI-FI STATION Site>The Time Travelers.  This was finally given an official release on a 4-film set of Sci-Fi Classics in 2013, and could be purchased for as low as $5 on - that's for 4 films!

Other Trivia Travelers: this film is playing in a movie theater in a scene about 25 minutes into Desperately Seeking Susan (1985)

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