117 user 66 critic

Time After Time (1979)

H.G. Wells pursues Jack the Ripper to the 20th Century when the serial murderer uses the future writer's time machine to escape his time period.


Nicholas Meyer


Karl Alexander (story), Steve Hayes (story) | 1 more credit »

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7 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Malcolm McDowell ... H.G. Wells
David Warner ... Stevenson
Mary Steenburgen ... Amy Robbins
Charles Cioffi ... Lt. Mitchell
Kent Williams ... Assistant
Andonia Katsaros Andonia Katsaros ... Mrs. Turner
Patti D'Arbanville ... Shirley
James Garrett James Garrett ... Edwards
Keith McConnell Keith McConnell ... Harding
Leo Lewis ... Richardson
Byron Webster Byron Webster ... McKay
Karin Collison ... Jenny (as Karin Mary Shea)
Geraldine Baron Geraldine Baron ... Carol
Laurie Main ... Inspector Gregson
Joseph Maher ... Adams


It's 1893 London. Futurist H.G. Wells believes that the future holds a Utopian society. He also believes in time travel. He has just built a time machine which he is displaying to a group of skeptical friends, including surgeon Dr. John Leslie Stevenson. Unbeknown to Wells or anyone else among that circle, Stevenson is better known to the public as Jack the Ripper. Just as the police are about to capture Stevenson, he uses the time machine to escape, with Wells being the only one who knows what happened to him. Not telling anyone except his trusting housekeeper, Wells follows Stevenson in order to capture and bring him back to face justice. Where Stevenson has gone is 1979 San Francisco. There, Wells is dismayed to find that the future is not Utopia as he had predicted. But Wells is also picked up by a young woman named Amy Robbins. As Wells and Amy search for Stevenson, Stevenson conversely is after Wells to obtain the master key to the time machine. As Stevenson continues his ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


A chase through time -- to catch Jack the Ripper! See more »


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Release Date:

28 September 1979 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Escape al futuro See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Color (Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Malcolm McDowell listened to recordings of H.G. Wells to prepare for the role. According to him, Wells' voice was high-pitched and Cockney-accented, so he decided not to imitate his voice. See more »


The jeweler states it will take a week to get a check and Wells states he doesn't have a week. Wells has a time machine. It would not be hard for him to go to November 14 or 15, collect the check, cash it, and return to November 7. See more »


[Jack the Ripper uses the Time Machine to travel to 1979]
H.G. Wells: What... have... I... done? I've turned that bloody maniac loose upon Utopia!
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References The Red Shoes (1948) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

"My friends call me Jack."
6 November 2011 | by lost-in-limboSee all my reviews

What do you get when you put H.G. Wells together with Jack the Ripper; you get this admirably ambitious and candid sci-fi fantasy thriller that sees the idealistic scientist / writer Wells pursing the notorious Ripper in to the future (that's 1979) after using Wells' newly created time machine to escape the authorities from late 19th century London. The interesting novelty is that the ripper is revealed to be one of Wells' gentlemen buddies. So it becomes a race against the clock to stop the ripper continuing his grisly attacks in the future, because from what he sees he feels right at home. "Time After Time" starts off quite well, setting up an atmospheric beginning, especially the ripper's first attack in the foggy streets of Victorian London and his revelation. Then it seems to play out accordingly when it hits present day San Francisco (where the director does capture a great sense of place). This is when the pacing does hit a halt, as a romantic angle kicks in… this might take away any real sense of urgency and even suspense, but nonetheless the inclusion involving the very sweet Mary Steenburgen has its charm and so do the scenes of a fish out of water Wells trying to adapt to new technology and present day ideology. But the gripping moments do arise when these two historical figures come to blows and the stellar performances go a fair way to cementing that. Malcolm McDowell is perfectly cast as Wells, fidgety but persistent in his quest and David Warner has that classy, but creepily formidable underlining as Jack the Ripper as he goes about leaving a bloody mess of his victims. It's an amusing chase… through time and some romance on the side. It's balanced out by some witty humour and a cerebrally literate script - that compares these two men's visions of the future --- one expecting a Utopia and the other believing man will never change. An Imaginative, if old-fashion Sci-fi trip.

"You astonish me HG. The future will prove you wrong."

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