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The Best Version
on 18 June 2002
On balance, this adaptation of H G Wells's book is a better product than the more recent 2002 offering. The novel itself has a number of threads running through it, some quite subtle. Most of these are ignored by George Pal who chooses to present the story at a high level. Never mind any suggestions that the world of the Eloi and the Morlocks represents the division between the rulers and the ruled - Pal just presents us with beautiful blonds and blue monsters!
As the film progresses so the narrative deteriorates, until it ends up little better than a sci-fi B movie. Nonetheless there are some very nice touches, such as Weena's near-drowning whilst her friends look on, and the marvellous sequences where the traveller stops off during the two wars, and then in 1966 to witness the nuclear holocaust.
We are given sound performances and for its time, the film has some great visuals, the best being the machine itself. In the 2002 film, the basic shape was retained, and it is easy to see why.
This isn't the greatest sci-fi film ever made, and it only touches on some of the deeper aspects of Wells' novel, but it's fun.
The DVD presentation is very good - some time has obviously been spent cleaning up the picture and it shows. There is a nice documentary included too, confirming what I always hoped - that the Time Traveller survived his trip back to the future..