The Time Machine (1960)

The Time Machine Movie Review……………………………………………….

The Time Machine Movie Review

The Time Machine is a 1960 science fiction film directed by George Pal and starring Rod Taylor. It is a solid and frequently great, but ultimately too typical and dated film.

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He’s got all the time in the world

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The Time Machine Movie Review……………………………………………….

Based upon the eponymous book, the film follows an inventor in Victorian England who constructs the time machine and travels to the distant future where humans have divided into two species: the passive Eloi and the cannibalistic Morlocks who feed on the Eloi. I’ve realized that the source material doesn’t contain those trips to the 1910s and 1940s for obvious reasons and those were the highlights for me. Not only were they interesting to watch, but also visually arresting, but I’ll talk more about that aspect later.

But the second half in the future is so underwhelming, clichéd and dated that I didn’t enjoy it. Some aspects and some conversations were great there, but the entire concept is so archaic by now and I personally would have gotten rid of the Morlocks and just stayed with the Eloi and that would have made this movie much better. I liked the structure with the beginning and ending being in present time and the film tied up pretty well, but the entire future segment still felt weak and unfinished.

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The Time Machine Movie Review……………………………………………….

George is a typical protagonist and Weena is very underdeveloped. Even though I really liked their relationship, it was too rushed and underdeveloped in nature. As for the other characters, they are fine and the highlight is the dynamic between the scientists at the beginning and the end of the movie. As for the acting, Yvette Mimieux did not do anything special with her performance, but Rod Taylor is pretty good in the main role.

The Time Machine is a visually memorable film and its visuals are easily the standout aspect here. Those time-lapse photographic effects are awesome and deservedly won an Oscar. I just really liked those scenes where we follow how fashion trends changed throughout the decades and the entire first half in the 20th century was so fun and charming that I just wished that the entire movie revolved just around that period.

The future segment contains some interesting aspects to it with the large and unknown fruit being quite intriguing, but the entire Eloi concept of being is very clichéd and I strongly disliked the Morlocks. That entire concept was too archaic for me. But the production values are solid and the score is also pretty good. The direction from George Pal is also pretty good and I really liked the effervescent tone of the picture and that is one of its strongest points. It does have a good adventurous spirit, especially in that first half.

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The Time Machine Movie Review……………………………………………….

The dialogue is solid and at times very interesting, but mostly too preachy and typical for this kind of film. The pacing is good and the film is quite entertaining throughout most of its running time, but once again, those future scenes were sometimes even dull to me and they really diminish the quality and impact of the end product. Overall, The Time Machine is far from the best that 1960s sci-fi has to offer, but it is still a solid, fun and charming flick that is enjoyable to watch.

The Time Machine is a solid, but very flawed movie. The first half is excellent and filled with a wonderful adventurous and charming tone to it, the effects are exceptional for its time and the film is mostly fun to watch, but the second half is quite disappointing with the future segment not only being somewhat tedious, but also pretty dated and clichéd.

My Rating – 3.5

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Posted in 1960, 1960s, FILM DECADES, MOVIE REVIEWS, Science Fiction and tagged , , , , , , .

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