7.2/10
13,295
115 user 61 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.

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ON DISC
7 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... H.G. Wells
... Stevenson
... Amy Robbins
... Lt. Mitchell
Kent Williams ... Assistant
Andonia Katsaros ... Mrs. Turner
... Shirley
James Garrett ... Edwards
Keith McConnell ... Harding
... Richardson
Byron Webster ... McKay
... Jenny (as Karin Mary Shea)
Geraldine Baron ... Carol
... Inspector Gregson
... Adams
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

H.G. Wells races through time to catch Jack the Ripper! See more »


Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

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Details

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Release Date:

28 September 1979 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Escape al futuro  »

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Technical Specs

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(Metrocolor)

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2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to Meyer from the commentary track for the DVD and Blu-ray release of the film, the author of the novel presented Meyer with 55 pages of his unpublished novel and asked Meyer to critique his work. Meyer liked the premise and immediately optioned the story so he could write a screenplay based on the material and develop the story his own way. See more »

Goofs

In the film, Wells, claimed that his writings on "Free Love" financed the construction of his time machine. In reality, H.G. Wells was only 26 years old in 1893 and he would not yet have been an established, acclaimed, and well paid writer that had a large circle of peers, as depicted in the early scenes at his house. The early 1890s was a struggling period for Wells and he was actually living with his aunt due to being unemployed and having little money of his own. This would be after his short lived stint as a secondary school teacher, his first real professional position after graduating with a Bachelors Degree in 1890. Wells did not get his big break until 1895 with the publication of The Time Machine, only after which he was able to support himself with his writing. See more »

Quotes

Amy Robbins: I like that suit. Is that what they're wearing in London?
H.G. Wells: It was when I left.
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Connections

Version of Time After Time (2017) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Cracking Sci-fi/thriller.
23 August 2004 | by See all my reviews

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.


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