The Time Machine (1960)
The Time Machine (also known promotionally as H. G. Wells' The Time Machine) is a 1960 American science fiction film in Metrocolor from Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, produced and directed by George Pal, that stars Rod Taylor, Yvette Mimieux, and Alan Young. The film was based on the 1895 novella of the same name by H. G. Wells that was influential on the development of science fiction. It was released on August 17, 1960.
Scientist H. George Wells (Rod Taylor) builds a time machine, and despite the warning from his friend David (Alan Young) against "tempting the laws of providence," decides to visit the future. Jumping ahead 14 years, he observes changes in women's fashion. Jumping ahead 40, he meets David's son (also Young) amid a terrible war. Finally, he travels thousands of years ahead to discover a post-apocalyptic world inhabited by humanoid Eloi and the monstrous Morlocks that feed on them.
Why It Rocks
- The premise of an inventor in Victorian England constructs a machine that enables him to travel into the distant future; once there, he discovers that mankind's descendants have divided into two species, the passive, childlike, and vegetarian Eloi and the underground-dwelling Morlocks, who feed on the Eloi is original.
- It has the message of cultural division and its consequences.
- Scientist H. George Wells is a likable and well-developed character. He builds a time machine, and despite the warning from his friend David against "tempting the laws of providence," decides to visit the future. After jumping ahead on each year, he finally travels thousands of years ahead to discover a post-apocalyptic world inhabited.
- It has very faithful to the source material that it didn't making too many changes.
- The action scenes are cool, such as George fight against Morlocks.
- Great acting of the cast, like Rod Taylor, Yvette Mimieux, and Alan Young.
- The designs of Morlocks are spot-on and impressive.
- Flawless direction of George Pal.
- The poster shows George Wells holding flaming torch and protect humanoid Weena is well-done.
- Its soundtrack is epic and cool, performed by Russell Garcia.
- Great dialogue, like "Then I realized the truth of the matter – this was a new war..." and "One cannot choose, but wonder. You see, he's all the time in the world."
- The ending is great where George recovers his machine from the Morlocks and returns home.
- Like the Time Traveller in the original novel, George Wells use it for scientific exploration.
- Plot hole: When George discovers that the Morlocks have moved his time machine, it is late afternoon or twilight on the same day he arrived. The light-fearing Morlocks would not have come outside to move the machine until after dark.
The Time Machine was well-received by critics and audiences. The film has a score of 76%, with an average score of 6.94, at the film review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, with 28 out of 37 critics giving the film a positive review. The site's critical consensus reads, "Its campy flourishes tend to subdue its dramatic stakes, but The Time Machine brings H.G. Wells' story to life with plenty of sci-fi charm and a colorful sense of visual design.".
- George Pal, who had made the first film version of Wells' The War of the Worlds, always intended to make a sequel to The Time Machine, but he died before it could be produced; the end of Time Machine: The Journey Back functions as a sequel of sorts. In 1985, elements of this film were incorporated into the documentary The Fantasy Film Worlds of George Pal produced and directed by Arnold Leibovit.