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"Time After Time" was one of those movies of which I didn't even knew
it existed. It certainly is a movie that deserves more recognition for
this movie truly was one of the most entertaining movies I have seen in
The story its concept is already one factor why I liked this movie so much. In the late 19th century The scientist H.G. Wells (Malcolm McDowell) has build a time machine which his good friend John Leslie Stevenson aka Jack the Ripper (David Warner) uses when the police has just discovered his true identity. Ripper travels to the year 1979 and Wells, who feels responsible for his escape to the in his eyes future Utopian society of 1979, follows him to the future, in an attempt to catch him and bring him to justice and prevent him from making more victims in the future. I highly enjoyed this original story and concept and thought that it was perfectly executed by talented director Nicholas Meyer, who made his debut as a director with this movie. After this he made two more well known and widely appreciated Star Trek movies; "Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan" and "Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country" which by the fans are often regarded as the best in the series of Star Trek movies.
The movie has a fantastic and typical '70's atmosphere which I always adore in movies. It's also filled with some typical '70's tense chase sequences, which are brilliantly filmed and edited. The cinematography itself is also at times refreshingly original, especially the perfectly done opening sequence of the movie in which Jack The Ripper makes another victim.
But the movie isn't just tense and original, it also is highly entertaining and it features some good humor. Of course having an 19th century main character who for the first time takes a look in the future 1979 is already good for some laughs. Such as the time were he visits a McDonald's or comes up with the fake alias Sherlock Holmes when he gets in contact with the police. There are countless 'little' fun parts like this in the movie which makes this movie a pleasant and entertaining one to watch as well as a tense nail biting thriller.
Malcolm McDowell is extremely good and convincing as a 19th century gentleman and scientist H.G. Wells. Honestely he plays his best role since "A Clockwork Orange". David Warner is also perfectly cast as Jack The Ripper. He's a perfectly scary and mysterious gentleman. Warner is perhaps well known to everyone for playing Spicer Lovejoy in the 1997 movie "Titanic". The movie also features a at the time still very young Mary Steenburgen in one of her very first movie roles. She also was superb and the talent was already showing. One year later she even already won an Oscar for the movie "Melvin and Howard".
The movie further more features a highly good and underrated musical score by well known Hungarian composer Miklós Rózsa.
This movie is terribly underrated in terms of how well known it is. This movie deserves to be seen by everybody for this movie is an entertaining one as well as a tense thriller, with some excellent performances by the cast and good directing by Nicholas Meyer.
"Time After Time" is an interesting movie. It has the legendary H.G. Wells chasing Jack the Ripper through time, from London in 1893 to San Francisco in 1979. Wells is played by Malcolm McDowell, as a young idealistic visionary and scientific genius, who looks upon the future as Utopia. (How many movies can you remember where McDowell was the good guy?) Jack the Ripper is played by David Warner, who exudes something cold and frightening as the infamous killer. While the future hardly turns out to be Wells' imagined Utopia, Jack embraces the prevalent violence of the 20th century. In "From Hell," Jack the Ripper said he had invented the 20th century. "Time After Time" gives that statement a kind of significance. The movie may not offer much to the many theories surrounding the Jack the Ripper mystery, but it's still enjoyable.
This has always been an interesting movie to watch because of the
unique storyline: two famous characters in history traveling ahead in
time and the opposing each other in the modern world.
Time travel stories appeal to me, anyway, so it's no surprise I found it fascinating. Regardless, there is such a good combination of drama, suspense, comedy, action and romance that it would appeal to most anyone.
Malcolm McDowell is particularly good as H.G. Wells and David Warner is chilling as Jack The Ripper. Mary Steenburgen, even though she is a big '70s liberal-feminist, is still appealing to me, probably because of her face and voice.
This is just a fun movie to watch and I've enjoyed viewing this about every four or five years now for 20 years. there are no dull spots in this movie.
Looking like a nerdy Richard Thomas, Malcolm McDowell plays H.G. Wells
in this highly imaginative sci-fi thriller, that has Wells fast
forwarded from 1893 to 1979, in a quest to find Jack the Ripper. The
film's screenplay, direction, cinematography, editing, and costumes are
all top notch. And Mary Steenburgen gives a fine performance in a
"Time After Time" has an ever so slight comic book, tongue in cheek, feel to the plot, suggestive of Batman and Robin. Yet, right behind this entertaining, if somewhat superficial, facade is a serious message that is both timely and credible: no matter how much society advances in its technology, our world will always have two things ... violence and love.
Often overlooked, "Time After Time" is probably one of the best
time travel movies (if there is such a genre) ever made. The time
travel effects are cheesy and mercifully few, but the film puts story
and character way above visual effects, making for a good trade
Malcolm McDowell is H.G. Wells who, in this movie, actually invents a time machine rather than just writing about one. "The Time Machine" is told in flashback as "the time traveler" emerges from his time machine and recounts his adventures to a gathering of friends at his home. "Time After Time" borrows that scene from the book, having Wells announce that he has built the time machine and will embark on an adventure to the future utopia as soon as he works up the nerve. The proceedings are interupted by police at the door conducting a search in the wake of a new attack by Jack the Ripper. As it turns out, one of Wells' guests, Dr. John Leslie Stevenson (played by David Warner), is the Ripper. While the police comb through the house looking for him, Stevenson makes his way to the basement. There, he enters Wells' time machine and escapes to the future.
Feeling responsible for having turned the maniacal Jack the Ripper loose on the future utopia, Wells enters the machine (which returns to it's point of origin unless a special key is used) and follows Stevenson 90 years into the future. The time travel sequence consists of cheesy optical effects accompanied by a clever audio montage that depicts most of the 20th century. Wells emerges from the machine shocked to find himself in San Francisco, California in the year 1979. The time machine, as well as most of his possesions, are on display in a San Francisco museum.
While searching for Jack the Ripper he meets Amy Robbins (Mary Steenburgen), a foreign currency exchange officer at a bank. She reveals that she exchanged very old pounds for dollars with another Englishman, wearing similarly antiquated clothing. This leads Wells to find Jack the RIpper, now decked out in 70s threads, well integrated into modern society...and continuing his fiendish deeds.
From there, the movie engages the audience in Wells' and Robbins' pursuit of the Ripper through the streets of San Francisco with an entertaining mix of close-calls, sly humor, and the inevitable romance between Wells and Robbins.
Malcolm McDowell plays the part of H.G. Wells with his usual intensity and skill, and comes off as very believable. Mary Steenburgen is well cast as the feminine but strongly independent bank employee, and is adorably frail but surprisingly tough. As for David Warner....well, villians don't get much better than Warner. A fine actor, Warner plays Stevenson/Jack the RIpper as a cool, sophisticated psychopath - exactly, in my humble opinion, as Jack the Ripper should be played.
"Time After Time" makes good use of artistic license to integrate fact with fiction. Scotland Yard has always suspect that Jack the Ripper might have been a surgeon, as he is in this film. Also amusing is the fact that in real life, H.G. Wells did marry an Amy Robbins who was an outspoken feminist. All in all, 'Time After Time" is a well written and acted romantic adventure, and remains one of my favorite time travel movies.
"Time after Time" is a clever battle of wits between Jack the Ripper, who
has used H.G. Wells' time machine to escape to the year 1979, and H.G.
Wells, who steps into the machine to get to 1979 too, and chase after the
Ripper. (This kind of brain-to-brain combat between two very special people
is a theme that Nicholas Meyer will return to in "Star Trek II: The Wrath
Particularly interesting is how Jack the Ripper, an evil serial killer, finds himself completely at home in the year 1979, while H.G. Wells, with his idealistic dreams of a perfectible society, is completely out of place in our modern era.
Malcolm McDowell is believable yet comical as the intellectual Wells, almost bird-like in his quick, darting movements. David Warner is adequate as Jack the Ripper, but you don't get enough of a feeling of the Ripper's insanity and evil. Mary Steenburgen, as Wells' newfound love interest in 1979, acts well enough, but she delivers some of her lines unconvincingly.
The lush Miklos Rosza score is a treat.
I came across this film as I was browsing through some videos that I
hadn't looked at in years. It did stick in my mind as being pretty good
and on viewing it this time around I can say that my initial
impressions were correct. McDowell is very believable as Wells, as is
David Warner in his role. I found Mary Steenburgen slightly weak as Amy
Robbins and at times she seems almost disinterested and just going
through the motions. I think someone like Brook Adams or Karen Allen
would have been much more suited to this role, but the rest of the plot
and cast are so good this is incidental.
Someone mentioned this didn't do very well at the box office, which surprises me as science based fiction was all the rage at the time this film was released (1979). I can only imagine it was dwarfed by sci-fi giants such as Star Trek and Star Wars who were releasing films around this time, and it was subsequently overlooked.
The plot is fairly seamless as the brilliant but naive Wells creates his time machine only for it to be misused by the equally brilliant, but evil, Stephenson. Everything about it is well thought out, with the exception that why does he (Wells) get himself into such a panic about Stephenson's presence in late 20th century San Francisco, when Wells has the machine (and the key to it)to go back before Stephenson left and prevent him going in the first place! I don't pretend to be an expert on timelines(and alternative timelines)but if time is fluid (as is thought) and flows backward and forward, then by going back and preventing something from happening will obviously alter or stop it's progression into the future, no! But of course that would have undermined the films whole premise.
It's also quaint and naive to hear Wells speak of a socialist utopia, without realising that the socialist society, as with any other form of Government, can just as easily become corrupted and distorted from it's original ideal so it produces a monster like Stalin. Absolute power corrupts absolutely. In fact, Wells visited Russia after the Bolshevik revolution and met with it's then leaders (Lenin and Trotsky). I'm not sure how he felt about the revolution, but he did die a disillusioned man having lived through the 1st and 2nd World Wars.
All in all though this is a very good sci-fi adventure,and it is thoroughly recommended.
In 1893, in London, H.G. Wells (Malcolm McDowell) has just finished his
time machine, when his friend Dr. John Leslie Stevenson (David Warner)
indeed Jack the Ripper uses it to escape from the Scotland Yard.
Wells decides to follow John, and arrives in 1979, in San Francisco.
While in a bank chasing John, he meets Amy Robbins (Mary Steenburgen),
who is responsible for the exchange of currencies, and she gives the
address of John, in Hyatt Hotel. Wells and Amy have a crush on each
other, while John threatens them, trying to get the key of the time
machine. "Time After Time" is a classic, and one of my favorite sci-fi
movies. The first time I saw it was in 1979, in the movie theater, then
I have watched it at least three times on VHS, and now it was my debut
on DVD. The plot has some irrelevant inconsistencies, as usual in
movies that deal with time travel, but these flaws do not reduce its
charming. There is sci-fi, action, romance, suspense and drama blended
in a delightful story. Malcolm McDowell and Mary Steenburgen have a
perfect chemistry, and Malcolm McDowell has probably one of the nicer
character in his career, where I would like to highlight three
excellent movies and performances in his filmography: the masterpiece
"A Clockwork Orange", "Time After Time" and "Cat People". David Warner
is excellent as usual in the role of a charming villain. "Time After
Time" is a highly recommended film, for lovers of sci-fi films. My vote
Title (Brazil): "Um Século em 43 Minutos" ("One Century in 43 Minutes")
I have watched this film many tens of times because I am amazed by its construction and try to find ( unsuccessfully ) flaws in its time logic. The first time I saw it, I was in a state of unhealthy tension during the last half hour, wandering whether they were going to get out of it alive. David Warner was a good actor for the baddie as he has that evil glint in his eye. I learnt many years after that the two protagonists, McDowell & Steenburgen actually got married in real life after making the film. This didn't surprise me at all, I could tell by watching the film, no matter how good their acting was that they were really, really in love. So when I learn't later that they were married, this confirmed what I had sensed on watching the film. The plot is well made, and although fictional is quite logical and everything fits together at the end. The way Jack the Ripper finds himself " in his own element " by zapping through the Tv channels and finding violence on almost every one is also quite impressive. There are also some hilarious moments during the first half, when Mc Dowell walked in to a McDonalds hamburger shop starts feeling the counter and then mechanically orders the same " burger and fries " as the person before him. His experience with a motor car was also very amusing. To summarize, one of my favourite films which I watch over and over again, time after time so to speak and about which I have only one question : why on earth cannot it be found on DVD ??????????
Having a premise of HG Wells ( Yes that one ) pursue Jack the ripper (
) to the 20th century has all the makings of a really camp and totally
film , but despite the outrageous idea TIME AFTER TIME is a very
Unlike most time travel films ( THE TERMINATOR , BACK TO THE FUTURE not to mention several DOCTOR WHO and STAR TREK stories ) TIME AFTER TIME doesn`t really concern itself with concepts like the blinovitch limitation effect ie a temporal paradox , instead it concentrates on how a radical 19th century idealist like Wells would have found 20th century " Utopia " and how he would have been sickened by it . It`s here that the film works best with Wells travelling through the time vortex listening to the history of the 20th century and the scene with Wells and Jack watching television . It`s also interesting to note that the movie`s most amusing moments ( And they are genuinely amusing )are when Wells notices the difference in sexual mores of the present day . The film is much weaker when it switches to " Hero tracks down serial killer " type thriller but that`s not really what the film is about .
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