A classic science-fiction cautionary tale adapted from the H.G. Wells novel, THE TIME MACHINE is a fun romp with some interesting comments on society but rusty at times and ultimately a little underwhelming. 


It’s the turn of the century and George H. G. Wells (Rod Taylor) has invited his friends over to his home for dinner. Much to their shock, he bursts in late in a disheveled condition and proceeds to tell them a quite extraordinary tale. 


Wells has perfected travel through time and he has traveled into the future. He started off slowly with small leaps. First to the 1940’s and then the 1960’s to only discover that war was still prevalent. He then barely escapes with his life, but is trapped within a mountain of rock for hundreds of thousands of years. He’s finally able to stop and move freely in the year 802,701. 


It is here where he meets Weena (Yvette Mimieux) and her tribe called the Elois. But much to his dismay, they are simple people with no interest in the past or the future for that matter. 


He soon discovers why, when the cannibalistic mutants known as the Morlocks steal his machine. The Elois are in essence their cattle and every so often will abduct a group to feed off of. 


The fanciful special effects won the film an Oscar, but be aware that compared to today’s wizardry, they are a tad chintzy and this isn’t helped on blu-ray where the use of matte paintings and miniatures become quite obvious. This is not a criticism, as this was high tech for the time, it’s just something to be aware of. 


The film starts off a little slow, but as soon as Wells hops aboard the titular craft it does become quite exciting. Unfortunately the third act leaves a little to be desired and it feels like a simplistic approach to the novel. 


It’s worth watching for fans of science fiction, as it’s a bonafide classic, but even though it’s rated “G” young kids may have a rough time sitting through it due to the pacing.

AUGUST 3, 2014

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THE TIME MACHINE (1960)