The Time Machine 1960 CC

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(82) IMDb 7.6/10
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In George Pal's version of the H.G. Wells classic, Rod Taylor stars as George, a young scientist fascinated with the concept of time travel. On December 31, 1899, George seats himself in his jerry-built time machine and thrusts himself forward into 1917. A dyed-in-the-wool pacifist, George is distressed to see that World War I is raging all about him. He moves past the 1920s and 1930s into the 1940s, only to be confronted by another, even more terrible war. Next he stops in 1966, just as London is destroyed in a nuclear explosion. Retreating to his Time Machine, George is sealed in his cellar by molten lava. By the time he and his machine manage to escape their tomb, the year is 802,701. Looking around, George observes a seemingly idyllic world populated by gentle people. But he also notices that the citizens of the future, known as Elois, behave more like mindless sheep than human beings. Befriending the lovely Weena (Yvette Mimieux), George learns to his dismay that humankind has forgotten all that it has learned through the centuries, preferring instead to frolic endlessly under the sun. Plot holes and inconsistencies abound in The Time Machine, but the film's true selling points was its Oscar-winning special effects; in this respect, producer-director Pal succeeded beyond anyone's wildest dreams. Another plus: the haunting musical score by Russell Garcia.~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide

Starring:
Sebastian Cabot, Rod Taylor
Rental Formats:
DVD

Product Details

Discs
  • Feature parental_guidance
Runtime 1 hour 38 minutes
Starring Sebastian Cabot, Rod Taylor, Yvette Mimieux, Alan Young
Director George Pal
Genres Science Fiction
Studio WARNER HOME VIDEO
Rental release Limited availability
Main languages English
Subtitles Arabic, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, Romanian, German, Dutch, French, Bulgarian, English
Hearing impaired subtitles Italian, English

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Junglies on 10 Nov 2002
Format: DVD
The sight of Jeremy Irons as the Morlock leader was enough to drive me to the local video store to buy this mid-priced selection.
While the new version of the H. G. Wells novel plays to the contemporary youth market with the emphasis on the special effects to create the Wellsian idyll and the deformities of the Warlocks, it does miss the point a little, or actually by a lot more than a little.
This, the original, won an Oscar for the special effects and given the technology of the day it was clearly well deserved. The movie itself set the tone for science fiction movies too with it's original setting and the ability to show the passage of time through several devices such as the circulating sun and the tailors dummy.
It is the conception of the novel however, which for me emphasises the differences between this movie and the newer version. The central difference lies in the somewhat ordinariness of the society of the Eloi. They are living a simple, almost idyllic lifestyle, knowing nothing much about the world around them except what they need to know. They live in ruins with food and clothing provided for them. In the newer version there is some complex structures which do not make a whole lot of sense as they are still susceptible to raids from the Morlocks.
The Eloi suggest a socialist society where each according to ability each according to need whereas the Morlocks represent the evils of the capitalist machine. In the end of course, the victory over the Morlocks is achieved with the aid of our hero who's single minded devotion to rescuing the heroine culminates in defeat of the capitalist machine.
Thus the original time machine remains as true to the concept of the novel as perhaps it can be whereas the message of the new is obscured.
Certainly the original Time Machine is a little dated but it is worth it.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Sheryl Jackman on 19 Sep 2006
Format: DVD
George Pal made many science fiction movies during his career, but this, I think, is one of his best. Filmed in sumptuous Metrocolor, the movie tells the story of George Wells, an inventor who creates a wonderful time machine. Disillusioned with the violence of his time, he sets off into the future, only to discover that mankind's struggle for knowledge and progress is doomed to end after a devastating third world war. Finally, in the year 802701 he saves a beautiful girl, Weena, from drowning and is introduced to the Eloi, a race of peaceful, almost childlike, innocents. But then his time machine is stolen by the Morlocks, and he discovers that the Eloi's idyllic existance isn't all that it seems to be .....

The Time Machine is a veritable feast for the eyes. The Victorian era scenes are filmed with an unerring eye for detail, and the film won an Oscar for its time lapse photography depicting the time machine's forward travel. But it's with the future scenes that the movie really comes into its own, with vibrant colour and simple yet extremely effective sets. It's true that the acting is a little stilted in places, but I think this just adds to the movie's charm, and I've always thought that Rod Taylor made a very creditable and handsome hero!

But, for me, the star of the movie always has been, and always shall be, the time machine itself. Introduced with virtually no build up or fanfare whatsoever, the time machine is, in my opinion, one of the finest props ever produced in movie history.
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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Kurt Messick HALL OF FAME on 3 Jan 2006
Format: DVD
George Pal directed this classic from 1960, starring Rod Taylor as the scientist who travels back through time (George, although we are meant to understand that this is a character-cipher for H.G. Wells), and Yvette Mimieux in a very early role (interestingly, she became an anthropologist, the study of which has a concern in the overall plot development and socio-political points Wells was trying to drive home with his novel).
The plot follows Wells' late Victorian novel fairly well. Scientist George invents a time machine, and after making the proclamation to several of his nay-saying friends, including a test with a miniature time machine, takes off on a few journeys. The early journeys are just to test, and we see a few fascinating effects here. But the greater story lies in George's hope for the future, so he sets himself to go nearly a million years in to the future - the year 802701.
Trivia buffs will recognise the date on the machine as October 12, the same date Columbus discovered the new world. George embarks into this new world, finding the human race has evolved into a split species - the above-ground Eloi, and the below-ground Morlochs. The Eloi are carefree airheads for the most part - that is, until the Morlochs threaten, and then they become the hunted. The Morlochs are presented as base creatures, following only their appetites, and afraid to remain above for too long.
The effects of the time machine itself and the transition scenes are quite good for the time - I recall as a child watching this film on television and being mesmerised by the passage of time, the scenery changes through George's window as the time streamed by, and the contrast between the Victorian household set and the future world.
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