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The Time Machine

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General Information:
Year Released: 1960
Country: US
Director: George Pal
Literary Source: H. G. Wells, The Time Machine

The Time Machine is the story of a Victorian age man who travels to the future to discover than mankind has split into two factions: the Morlocks, who are cannibals living below ground, and the Eloi, who are the peaceful prey of the Morlocks. Unlike the story, which presents this split as an issue of class, the film submits to the 'nuclear menace' theme so popular in films up to this point, and says that the split is due to a nuclear war.

The Promise of Science: Time Travel

Wells' famous time travel novel was later made into a full-length film, and The Time Machine has become one of the best-known science fiction films. In the beginning of the film, a well-conceived explanation of the fourth dimension is given by George, a late Victorian-age scientist/hobbyist who has invented a time machine. This scientific explanation sets the stage for the technology at hand: the time machine. This machine is Victorian in style, fitting in well with the film's overall form.

The experience of time travel in this film is straightforward and has fewer consequences than many other time travel films. One trip is made to the future, and one trip is made back. Time travel in this film is merely a way to get from one point to another, and does not introduce many of the complications found in later films. Travelling forward through time is much like watching a video on fast forward or a time-lapse film, and this effect contributes greatly to the film's success.

The Victorian-age time machine.

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. erika . .
. last modified: Jul 20, 2000 .