The Time Machine 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.
The Time Machine OK, so some people are intent on pointing out factual or historical inaccuracies. Some people ridicule the costumes and accents, but what’s important is the spirit of the film. I sincerely doubt anyone made the same kind of comments back in 1960. It was a seminal film and must have inspired a generation of film makers. You don’t need CGI to make a good film. It’s all about the story and the ingenuity of having to make do with the things you’ve got to hand. This film exemplifies that attitude.
I first saw The Time Machine as a 10 year old in 1970 and was utterly captivated. The stop-motion photography was spell-binding to me; particularly when George kills one of the attacking Morlocks. The gory footage of the body decomposing will abide with me forever. More importantly, and for the first time in my life, I was completely swept away with the concept of time travel. This film was unlike anything I had ever seen before and sowed seeds of profound thought for many years after.
This film may not be for everyone, but it was for a certain 10 year-old boy all those years ago. How I wish I could go back and recapture those moments…