The Time Machine

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The Time Machine

Post  BoG on Fri Mar 12, 2010 11:23 am


This is one my favorite sci-fi films from the fifties era - as Bill Warren indicates in his book, "Keep Watching the Skies," that era didn't really end until 1962 or so. This was George Pal doing what he did best, drawing us - the audience - into another world - a fantastic, fanciful world where almost anything can happen.  More to the point, this is exploration in the most direct manner; the central character begins a journey, but it's really us on that trip - he (George, played by Rod Taylor) is merely the conveyor of information.
This film is also my favorite Pal production. War of the Worlds comes close and is, technically perhaps, the better film, but The Time Machine embraces and flows with the most astounding of science fiction concepts. This involves radical invention, radical theories, mind-blowing ideas, and, as mentioned, an ultimate kind of journey.
I don't really mind the trajectory here - George journeys through the two World Wars and then an atomic war in 1966. Others feel this is a bit of a narrow framework but it neatly fits the theme of human mass chaos trying to overcome George's optimistic view of possible futures, both in the film and in the original novel by H.G.Wells. (and even connecting to the stepchild of this film, Time After Time '79, where the main character is H.G.Wells himself).
Above all, though, this is grand adventure. If you've never seen this before and, especially if you're young, you'll be wide-eyed throughout most of this, wondering what is the next thing George will encounter. It's very colorful, especially in the scenes of the future (about 800,000 years from now - no other films ventured that far into the future, except the remake in 2002). The picture is really great on DVD, in terms of color and design. The climactic battle with the Morlocks is a bit hokey, with George (as played by very manly, old-fashioned Taylor) showing that plain fists are the only answer to problems in the end, but, let's face it, much of this was geared towards a young crowd; the fancy ideas are from novelist Wells. BoG's Score: 9 out of 10
Here's the ultimate Time Machine website (click image):

Time Trivia: remade for TV in 1978 and later as a theatrical feature in 2002. I did see the TV remake version of 1978, which changed the story to fit the then-present times of the seventies, away from the late 19th century. It was also an even lower-budgeted version, of course, being a TV-movie, and very average, to put it kindly. For that one, see the Sci-Fi TV section of the seventies. The big budget remake in 2002 - that one had the opportunity to surpass this 1960 version, but did not succeed in my opinion.


Last edited by BoG on Sat Mar 28, 2015 10:45 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Time's Publicity & Behind the Scenes

Post  BoG on Sun Nov 23, 2014 4:32 am



BELOW: Taylor with George Pal
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