The Time Travelers (1964) Poster

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Arch Stanton16 October 2004
There are a zillion B&W sci-fi cheapies out there, and every one is somebody's favorite. This is one of mine.

Scientists working on a time-camera experiment discover that it's actually a portal. They step through it into the far future, where remnants of a high-tech civilization battle troglodytes for survival. The cave-dwelling good guys and their androgynous androids are engaged in a desperate race against time to build a rocket to take them away from the ruined Earth. Our time travelers fall in with them, fall afoul of them, fall in love with them... well, you know.

This movie is one of those irresistible gems where the real battle is between energetic actors, imaginative directors, and talented technical people who toil fearlessly against a low budget and cheap sets. But if you're a fan of the genre, give this a watch. You'll thank me.
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Time Traveling can be a mind-warp, er, headache
Bogmeister18 July 2005
The reason a film such as this (low budget '50s or '60s sci-fi) is on many viewers favorites lists is not necessarily fond childhood memories or nostalgia - it's because it's well made. Of course, they had very little money for props and such, but the story is more inventive than 95% of the stuff that's released now or has been since the nineties; no, make that the eighties. Yes, I'm one of those guys who saw it 30 years ago as a kid on TV during a Saturday matinée slot or something; but I've seen it again within a couple of years ago and it's still quite entertaining. Here, the writers proposed a question, a 'what if?' question about time travel. What if certain people, a small group of scientists, accidentally invented a time travel device? What if they used it? (Again, accidentally). What if the device short-circuited too early? What if this, what if that - and so on, with inventive answers provided to each question. If you've never seen this picture, you're in for a treat - you'll be wondering what's the next answer every 5 to 10 minutes. This is a quality sorely lacking in most films today. Maybe all the good ideas have been used. The same concept was utilized a couple of years later in the short-lived "Time Tunnel" TV series, but that show lacked the wild turns of this sci-fi set up. Some of the further situations in this story of the future are a bit goofy, but I believe it's intentional. The ending, which I won't give away here, actually puts some pressure on the viewers to wrap their minds around. Watch for famous sci-fi fan & publisher Forrest J.Ackerman in a cameo. Whatta trip!
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fun post-apocalypse moom pitcha!
bob dove15 August 2003
First saw this one when I was 12 and loved it ever since(I'm now 44-a geezer,I suppose}Probably the best low-budget sci-fi ever made,as far as I'm concerned,and one of the best endings of a movie ever(thanks to Ib Melchior and Dave Hewitt).Cast is quite good,especially Steve Franken and the always-excellent Preston Foster.And Merry Anders is,as always, a real babe.Watch it if you get the chance!!!
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great concept,funny,adventure,must see
chefbj71725 October 2004
This is one of my favorites,great camp,lots of inside jokes,a good plot,and if you used to read Famous Monsters of Filmland like I did,there is a special guest shot of Forest j Akerman in it also. This film was also shown in the Air and Space Museum during their sci fi film series. The cast does a good job and some pretty good special effects. For a low budget sci fi flick it covers a lot of ground,post nuclear war,mutants,space travel,love affairs,some wild futuristic music,and of course time travel.I think the ending will leave you thinking,and wanting to see this movie again and again.
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An excellent sci-fi film...
contradad-112 June 2005
Warning: Spoilers
This film has a lot of imagination, an intelligent script, some fine acting and special effects that combine to make an excellent sci-fi film. Those of you who have seen it have probably never forgotten it. The plot concerns a team of scientists working on a viewing screen designed to show images of the past, present, and hopefully the future. Faced with an imminent cut-off of funding, they push the equipment to the limit and a short-circuit results. Accidentally, the view screen produced an image of a devastated earth only 107 years in the future. Even more shocking is the discovery that a portal has been opened, and the scientists are able to step through the screen just as the portal implodes behind them leaving them trapped in the future.....Without revealing any more of the plot, I will just say that the shock ending is one of the best in science fiction. Trivia: the University Campus used in the film was the University of Southern California, and the tall mutants in the film were played by the Los Angeles Lakers basketball team for their exceptional height.
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Fun, watchable, and classic.
oscar-354 March 2009
Warning: Spoilers
American International Pictures had a reputation for turning out cheap sensational movies. But every once in a while they would spend money on a project to make a respectable movie and this is one of them. Ah, the days when independent stations would show movies like this Saturday afternoon or late Saturday nights. Many a rainy day was spent with a local host watching screen gems like this. An excellent and provocative movie from the 60's! One of the overlooked gems of sci-fi. It explored some real paradoxes and took some real risks--including an actual physically-challenged actor to play an atomic-scarred mutant. Watch for the scene where "Famous Monsters" editor Forrest Ackermann has a cameo. The screenplay was by Ib Melchior, who also did the excellent "Robinson Crusoe on Mars". This film concept, storyline and even direct dialog were later used to create the 1967 low budget film "Journey Through The Center of Time." While I have just rediscovered "Journey..." I had absolutely no idea that "TTT" existed, with "Journey..." even getting more theater exposure and later television airplay. I am a big fan of "Journey..." but I am also a HUGE fan of AIP, Sam Arkoff is my hero. It is rumored that this film was the basic idea for the Irwin Allen's TV show, "The Time Tunnel". I saw this film as a matinée item sometime in the mid-sixties, and of course never forgot it. Later at the Hollywood Egyptian theater around 2003, Steve Franken and director Ib Melchior hosted a screening and Q&A afterward. I should have been there to honor both of them. The film gave me a lot of entertainment. I recall the mutant attack on the androids, and one of them being beaten to a pulp. I'll look forward to getting the original length movie on DVD one day...
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Been a long time, been a long time, been a long lonely…
wadwilchap18 November 2002
Whew! Had someone remind me of this movie just recently and I

did a "Boy, did that take me back". A time travel in & of itself.

Here is one that should get released on DVD, or at least get some

TV play on a late-night show. I remember this being great fun

when I was a kid, new to the movie experience.

Yes, saw it in an actual theatre, probably the same one where I

saw "Crack in the World" (1965) with Dana Andrews. Both high in

"cheese" content, but no less fun.

Not really giving anything away, plotwise, this movie deals with our

fearless scientists who because of having the ability to time travel

into the future, try to go about changing it. Something that has been

dealt with over & over again in the ensuing years. Just remember

they are in fairly new territory here. Can one change what

"happened" in the future?

I also remember being scared witless by the mutants they run

across in the future. One guy who has legs, but no feet. You don't

have to be a rocket scientist to figure out they had an actor with

birth defects or an amputation, but to a kid in a dark theatre – it

was really frightening!

Let's see if someone can get this out as a "late night" DVD, eh?
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Decent 1960's Time Travel film
Blueghost15 February 2017
The first time I saw this movie was on a weekend afternoon on one of the UHF stations out of Sacramento. I only saw the first five minutes or so. Up to the part where the characters actually take their first steps forward, and then the family had to go somewhere.

Throughout the years I'd catch the same beginning time and again, but was always drawn away from it.

Well, I finally saw it all last year, and where it wasn't sterling scifi fare, it was decent for a 1960s reminisce-blast from scifi film making of days of yore. Finally being able to see this full film in its entirety put a smile on my face. The same kind of feeling I got when I saw other films that I had often heard about, but had never fully seen, just bits and pieces here and there on broadcast TV back in the 70s and 80s.

But, to the movie; it's standard science fiction time travel stuff. Throw in a few mutants, some robots, and you got yourself a movie. There's a romantic subplot of sorts, some rocket ships, a fight for survival, a battle of good and evil, all the things that make great science fiction great. Only this film isn't exactly the greatest thing ever, it's just decent enough to be watchable.

Lots of basic shots, mostly standard master shots and two shots to push the narrative forward. There are no or few dramatic closeups, no rapid machinegun editing, and a score that's your standard "danger of the unknown" music so prominent of scifi of the 50s and 60s.

It's the kind of movie that someone thought would be a good thing for people to see, and that scifi aficionados like myself thought would be worth seeing once or twice. And the film delivers on that account.

I'm so glad I finally saw it after decades of just catching snippits of it. I'm not sure I'll buy the DVD or bluray to add to my collection, but I'm glad it's out there for all to see.

If you're a scifi fan, then maybe give this film a chance on the player of your choice. Enjoy.
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Highly imaginative time travel saga from the Sixties
henri sauvage18 October 2010
Three scientists and the inevitable everyday Joe are catapulted over a hundred years into the future by a lab accident, into a post-apocalyptic nightmare in which atomic war has devastated the planet. Pursued by a band of savage mutants, they're rescued by the last few humans, a small group of scientists and technicians engaged in a race against time to construct a starship and get away before the more numerous mutants can break through their defenses.

None of these elements is particularly new to the genre, but writer/director Ib Melchior manages to combine them into a fairly entertaining and occasionally original piece of "upper low-budget" sf cinema. This isn't to say that the pace doesn't occasionally lag a bit toward the middle, with some sequences feeling like they were inserted just to pad out the running time. (Like a totally unnecessary scene devoted to what's supposed to be a demonstration of their futuristic "matter transmitter", which is clearly just a stage magician's prop.)

Mostly, though, there's scarcely a moment wasted in exposition or character development, as the story barrels along to its truly unique conclusion.

Set design, miniatures, costuming and makeup -- particularly the androids -- are surprisingly good, for its budget. The optical effects are sparse but imaginative. Though it's early in his distinguished career, having Vilmos Zsigmond behind the camera also contributes considerably to making this a much more polished and expensive-looking production than you'd normally expect to see from American International.
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a_digiacomo15 May 2007
Warning: Spoilers
This flick, like: World Without End, Rocket Ship X-M, and other, are what sci-fi is all about at least to me. I watched this every time it was on TV as a kid(I'm a 45yr old sci-fi writer now, former screen scenarist) and truly loved it. It was about themes, then--SF had sociological themes, cultural themes, somewhat educational themes. writers wrote cool stuff that often could not be expressed with the low tech of the era. Time Travelers shows how to destroy the world through the unconscienced use of science. When you have the technology but not the morality or fundamental spiritual decency, you get twisted by the glitz, glamor, and wonderment of your own technological prowess.

Flicks like this one are cool because in today's era of accidents on the roads caused by drivers on cell phones, and the de-personalization of families because everyone is "doing their own thing" and only in "touch" via text messages or cell calls, sci-fi flicks show the human tragedy of overdependance on technology! If the power grid fails cause a flock of birds or a hoard of bugs enters a vent, or lightning strikes a tower, if the cell towers or network go down, would humanity survive? This flick shows the deterioration of man as he relies too much on his gadgets, toys, and "stuff"--(SPOILER HERE):The mutants who are primitives are winning their war, BECAUSE they are Primitive!

So, all you 20 somethings out there, and teens out there, watch out, lest you fall prey to the "gods in the machines!" When there ain't any more electricity, where ya gonna be?????
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