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
Yvette Mimieux was actually underage when shooting began (she turned 18 during the shoot) and was not legally supposed to work a full shooting schedule, but did. She was inexperienced - as she worked on this film she kept getting better and better so that by the end of the shoot they wound up going back and re-shooting some of her earliest scenes. See more »
When George arrives at the Pyramid, before walking off, he takes the crystal control lever and puts it in his front pants pocket, clearly creating a large protrusion. The protrusion disappears until it's time to restart the machine. See more »
Fourth Time Was A Charm: A Thought-Provoking Film That Looks Better Than Ever On DVD
Boy, did a nice DVD transfer of this not only mak me appreciate the visuals in here more but made the story seem better, too, for some reason. I only acquired the DVD as a memento, so to speak. I had to have at least one movie which had the woman I had a crush on back in the early '60s: Yvettte Mimieux. She still looks great, too. The main thing, however, is how I now viewed this story and how much more I wound up liking it than in the past. This was my fourth look at this movie over a 45-year span and I enjoyed it the most this last time.
Since time travel stories always fascinate me, my favorite part of the film is when "George" (Rod Taylor) is actually in his time machine and experiments with it, slowing it down here and then and then stopping it a couple of times to observe World War I and then WWII. Then, he stops in 1966 when supposedly there was a nuclear attack. (Apparently, scare-mongers back in '60 thought that was a short-term likelihood.)
Anyway, when "George" (H.G. Wells, the author of this story) finally stops, in the year 200,000-something, the story loses some of its momentum. However, it's a fairly interesting study of a group of ultra-passive people being dominated by others who live underground and then literally eat the good people. Taylor is astounded that mankind has not progressed as he had figured but seemed to have regressed.
The message I got on this last look is that man is still man, meaning sinful and capable of anything bad as well as good, and to put one's faith totally in man is a mistake. It's only going to lead to disappointments as "George" found out on each of his stops. (Notice he never stopped during a peaceful, progressive period.) Yet, "George" is still an optimist and wants to be one to help initiate change for the better. There's always hope for a better world and people like George, with his idealism put to action, can make a difference.
Overall, an entertaining and thought-provoking film.
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