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The Time Machine (1960)

7.6
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 21,554 users  
Reviews: 181 user | 69 critic

A Victorian Englishman travels to the far future and finds that humanity has divided into two hostile species.

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(screenplay), (novel)
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Title: The Time Machine (1960)

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Won 1 Oscar. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

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Doris Lloyd ...
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Storyline

On January 5, 1900, a disheveled looking H.G. Wells - George to his friends - arrives late to his own dinner party. He tells his guests of his travels in his time machine, the work about which his friends knew. They were also unbelieving, and skeptical of any practical use if it did indeed work. George knew that his machine was stationary in geographic position, but he did not account for changes in what happens over time to that location. He also learns that the machine is not impervious and he is not immune to those who do not understand him or the machine's purpose. George tells his friends that he did not find the Utopian society he so wished had developed. He mentions specifically a civilization several thousand years into the future which consists of the subterranean morlocks and the surface dwelling eloi, who on first glance lead a carefree life. Despite all these issues, love can still bloom over the spread of millennia. Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The Time Machine whirls you to a world of amazing adventure in the year 800,000! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

17 August 1960 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

H.G. Wells' The Time Machine  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$750,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (video)

Sound Mix:

(35 mm optical prints)| (Westrex Recording System) (35 mm magnetic prints)

Color:

(Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The original time machine was sold at the MGM studio auction in 1971, the same auction that originally sold the Ruby Slippers (see trivia for The Wizard of Oz (1939)). The winner of the auction was the owner of a traveling show. Five years later, the prop was found in a thrift store in Orange, CA. Film historian Bob Burns purchased it for $1,000. Using blue prints his friend, George Pal, had given him years earlier, he and a crew of friends restored it. The restoration crew included D.C. Fontana script consultant and writer on Star Trek (1966) and Michael Minor art director on Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan (1982). Please see www.hollywoodlostandfound.net/props/timemachine.html for further info on this amazing prop. See more »

Goofs

After the Eloi are called into the Morlock's cave and the large steel doors close, George turns around and yells, "Well, what happens to them?" but his lips say, "Well, where did they go?" See more »

Quotes

Talking Rings: The war between the east and west which is now in it's three hundred and twenty-sixth year, has at last come to an end. There is nothing left to fight with, and few of us left to fight. The atmosphere has become so polluted with deadly germs, that it can no longer be breathed. There is no place on this planet that is immune. The last surviving factory for the manufacturing of oxygen has been destroyed. Stockpiles are rapidly diminishing. And when they are gone, we must die.
See more »

Connections

Remade as The Time Machine (2002) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
George Pal Realizes His Vision
14 March 2002 | by (Salem, Oregon) – See all my reviews

In 1960, filmmaker George Pal brought to fruition a visionary concept for a film based on a novel by H.G. Wells, about an inventor who builds a machine that enables him to travel through time, specifically into the future, where he learns a timeless, universal truth about the machinations of society and some of the basic tenets of human nature. `The Time Machine,' which Pal produced and directed, stars Rod Taylor as George, the inventor/time traveler/hero, who, born into a time and world that doesn't suit him, decides to do something about it.

A week into the 20th Century, four of George's closest friends, Dr. Philip Hillyer (Sebastian Cabot), Anthony Bridewell (Tom Helmore), Walter Kemp (Whit Bissell) and his best friend, David Filby (Alan Young), are gathered at his house for dinner, but George is late; when he finally shows up, he is disheveled, disoriented and hungry-- and has a story that is beyond belief. It's a tale that actually began one week earlier, on New Year's Eve, 1899, when the five had last been together. On that evening, George, after a discussion of the reality of a `Fourth Dimension,' had given them a demonstration of a model of a `Time Machine,' he had built, a miniature prototype of the machine he hoped would take him some day into the future.

His demonstration is met with interest, but skepticism; only Filby, it seems, is able to keep an open mind, but even he encourages George to accept the constraints of Time, which to the rational mind are absolute and immutable. George, however, views Time as a parameter; a variable whose value is subject to change. And on that last night of the 19th Century, after his friends leave-- gone off to celebrate the arrival of the new century-- George acts on his theory by stepping into his machine and beginning a journey that will prove to be the adventure of a lifetime. A journey during which he sees a number of wars and changes in the world around him, and which ultimately transports him some 800,000 years into the future, where he finds a world ravaged by fate, where humankind has been divided into two sects: The gentle Eloi, living on the surface of the earth, and the Morlocks-- mutants who dwell beneath as the Master Race, and who prey upon the weak and simple Eloi.

He also discovers the dark secret of the Eloi and the Morlocks, and determines to address the situation. But first he returns to his own time, to tell his friends the story, and to retrieve something he needs. When his guests leave, Filby remains behind with words of caution for George; but as soon as he leaves, George is off to fulfill his destiny, and he has all the time in the world to do it.

Going into this project, George Pal had a definite vision of what he wanted to accomplish with this film, from the way the time machine itself looked, to the way he wanted to present the future of mankind and the world. And working from the intelligent, imaginative screenplay by David Duncan, he succeeded by delivering a film that has since become a classic of the Science Fiction genre. The nature of the story demands that the viewer suspend disbelief, of course, but Pal develops his story in such a plausible, straightforward manner that it is easy to do just that. He puts George on the journey of a lifetime, and he takes his audience along for the ride. He does an exquisite job of establishing the Victorian era in which the story begins, as well as the world of the Eloi and the Morlocks. The F/X he employs to convey the sense of George's movement through time-- like the swift arcing of the Sun and Moon, and the quick, subtle (and sometimes not-so-subtle) changes George observes-- are entirely effective. Pal obviously had a devotion to detail that pays off handsomely here. A dedicated filmmaker, he refused to settle for less than what he knew was right for his picture, and it shows. The result is a film that is entertaining, timeless and memorable.

As George, Rod Taylor is perfectly cast and gives a solid performance in which he embodies the boldness, the imagination and tenacity of his character. Most importantly, he makes George believable and his motivations credible, which enables the viewer to be swept along with the story. Taylor has a commanding presence that serves his character well, and he is, in fact, the veritable personification of the explorer/adventurer, a man willing to take a chance or face unbelievable odds to accomplish his goal. Taylor is a fine actor who has made a number of movies, but of them all, this is the role for which he will probably be best remembered.

Also perfect in her role is Yvette Mimieux, as one of the Eloi, Weena. A talented actress-- now something of a ‘60s icon, in fact-- her fair beauty, along with the innocent demeanor and vulnerability she manages to convey, makes her character entirely convincing. And the way she plays it makes George's actions more likely, as well. Granted, her character is well written to begin with, but Mimieux's the one who sells it in the translation from page to screen.

The supporting cast includes Doris Lloyd (Mrs. Watchett), Bob Barran (Eloi Man), James Skelly (Second Eloi Man) and Paul Frees (Voice of the Talking Rings). A transporting flight of fantasy, expertly crafted and imaginatively presented, `The Time Machine' is captivating entertainment that will make you believe that time travel is possible. it paints a bleak picture of the future, to be sure, but it gives you and leaves you with that which has kept Man putting one foot in front of the other since Time began: Hope. That's the legacy of H.G. Wells and the promise of George Pal. And it's the magic of the movies. I rate this one 8/10.


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