The Time Machine (Deluxe Box) [DVD]
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George Pal's Oscar-winning adaptation of H. G. Wells' famous short story. George (Rod Taylor), an inventor, transports himself from his present time of 1899 to 1917 when the First World War is in full swing. George then moves through the decades (experiencing yet another world war) until he arrives at 1966 just when a nuclear explosion destroys London. However, he is then trapped in his Time Machine until the year 802,701 where he finds the human race has been divided into two groups; the 'Eloi', who live on the Earth's surface and frolic under the suns rays, and the 'Morlocks', a subterranean species who feed off their ground level cousins.
In 1960 producer-director George Pal's The Time Machine reshaped HG Wells' thoughtful, ironic novel into a two-fisted action movie, but one that still appeals to children and adults immensely and deserves its classic status. Wells' themes of biological and social evolution are played down, but there is a surprisingly melancholy thread as Rod Taylor's Time Traveller keeps stopping off at future wars to find that human stupidity still persists. In the first week of 1900 a group of fussy Victorians gather in Taylor's chintzy, overstuffed parlour to hear him tell of his expedition to the future, where the world is divided between the surface-dwelling, childish, beautiful Eloi and the hideous, underground, cannibal Morlocks. Wells intended both factions to seem degenerate, the logical final evolution of the class system, but Pal has Taylor pull a Captain Kirk and side with the Eloi and teach them to fight against their oppressors. The time travel sequence remains a tour de force, with a shop window mannequin demonstrating a parade of fashions as the years fly by in seconds and charming but still-effective stop-motion effects. The future is a wonderfully coloured landscape with properly gruesome cave-dwelling monsters and a winning Eloi heroine in Yvette Mimieux. It may not be totally Wells, but it's a treat.
On the DVD: The Time Machine arrives on disc in a lovely widescreen print which makes the film seem new all over again. The featurette "Time Machine: The Journey Back" combines some mild behind-the-scenes stuff about the film (and its star prop) with a moving mini-sequel reuniting stars Rod Taylor and Alan Young in a scene that actually addresses a plot point skipped over in the original. --Kim Newman --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Whilst not adhering closely to the original story, this is still a classic film; first-person style, gentlemanly yarn of pure exploration and adventure.Published 6 days ago by David Elliott
Sheer quality film some scenes are sharper than dvd version esp black and red but some scenes show a lot of grain, plays on my R2 player.Published 1 month ago by Malpaso
A great nostalgic- feelgood movie. Enchanting and complete escape.Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
An absolute timeless classic that once haunted me as a child now feels more like a pleasure to watch. Read morePublished 2 months ago by TheReviewinator1999
I saw this asa child and it stayed with me all my life . Watching it again with my own child , it was just as good , and my daughter thanked me for showing it to her , she said... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Trey Blake
An entertaining Saturday afternoon pop-corn munching treat that is cleverer than it initially appears. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Dr David Bellamy