Monday, 21 September 2015

The Time Machine (1960)

Today, September 21st 2015, marks what would have been the 149th birthday of probably the single most important author in British (if not global) science fiction, Herbert George Wells.  To mark this occasion I'm going to share with you one of my favourite things, the 1960 MGM adaptation of his novella 'The Time Machine'.

Originally written in 1895 Wells' novella tells of an anonymous inventor - identified only as 'The Time Traveller' - who uses his craft to travel far into the future to the 803rd century and then on another 30 milion years to the eventual end of the Earth.

The film, in many ways remains faithful to Wells' original just with the emphasis being, of course, more on action as opposed to Wells' meditation on class and society (and possibly free range farming).  Starring Rod Taylor as H. George Wells (can you see what they did there?) an inventor who creates a time machine - surely one of the most beautifully realised pieces of filmic sci fi gadgetry - and who uses it to travel forward to the seemingly idyllic surface world of the Eloi and the subterranean hell of the mutant Morlocks.

Taylor, in his first starring role, is an engaging enough lead in a movie that he mostly carries on his own shoulders with his co star Yvette Mimieux (playing the Eloi, Weena) mostly reduced to giving puzzled looks and being in need of rescuing.  The sets are nicely realised, the action sequences are slick and the supporting cast are solid.

Having been based on a novella that it follows fairly closely the core story at the heart of the movie is fairly thin but, for me at least, it remains a classic of its time and its genre and is a film I can, have and will watch again and again.

Enjoy.


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