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Thread: George Pal's Time Machine

  1. #1
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    George Pal's Time Machine

    Another film shown to me by my late friend Constantine in 1998 was The Time Machine starring Rod Taylor. It's definitely a film classic, and it still arouses magical memories for me. The first time I saw it I was struck with the fascinating ideas that still seem relevant. e.g: Are we moving through time or is time just a mathematical, human construction?

    The film had (for it's time) amazing special effects. The speeded up sequence when Rod first uses the machine is just as magical as when Dorothy opened the door to Munchkinland. That's George Pal for ya.

    The film starts out as a Victorian-style tale but quickly becomes an odyssey of sorts and ends up being a great adventure- to me better than Indiana Jones. It doesn't hurt that the only female in the film is gorgeous- Yvette Mimieux. She plays Weena, part of a strange-behaving group of white humans who are at the mercy of The Morloks: hairy-monster type creatures.
    I found myself having fantasies about Weena long after the movie was over. (Did I say that out loud?)


    The point is, The Time Machine is a great classic film adapted from the H.G. Wells classic book, and the recently released DVD has a scene with Taylor and Alan Young that was shot 30 years after the movie was made! It completes the story, and you'll be amazed that these two actors were able to reprise their roles without missing a beat.

    P.S. The Machine is a work of art and it's had quite a history since it was used in the film- check out the documentary about how it was restored and saved from destruction which is also on the DVD.
    "Set the controls for the heart of the Sun" - Pink Floyd

  2. #2
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    While Rod Taylor's performance had all the excitement of drying paint, it was Russell Garcia's score I found the most fascinating. Garcia, most known for his rollin' rollin' rollin' score to "Rawhide", created a thing of beauty that lends true quality to a rather mundance adaptation of the classic H.G.Wells story (only part translated to the big screen). Most of the special effects are terrible except the time machine itself, even by 1960 standards, the result of George Pal's stinginess and a low budget (Pal resorted to his 'time-lapse' photography for special effects, originated with his "Puppetoons" films). However, Pal did portray the Eloi almost exactly as Wells describes them in the book. Garcia came back the next year to help Pal with "Atlantis, the lost continent" but not nearly as impressive as "Time Machine." The music themes which accompany George and his friend, Filby is one of the most touching and often repeated themes in all film music. A sweet simple melody that describes the tender friendship without so much as a word. Only a really great composer can do that. Sadly, Garcia was never recognized for this work and faded into obscurity. He is mostly remembered for his contribution to the Frankie Lane song, "Rawhide", (along with Johnny Green and Dimitri Tiomkin) and little else.
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  3. #3
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    Many thanks for the info, cinemabon.

    Yes, the score is interesting, isn't it? I never gave any thought to Garcia until now.

    The time-lapse photography is great: If shown to a 5-year old,they might get the same thrill out of it as Oz. It's an adventure that kinda reminds me of the classic Star Trek episodes. (Foreign landscapes & enemies, sexy but wierd women, etc...)

    And yes, Rod Taylor isn't exactly a scene-chewing thespian. But he does well as "everyman who invents time machine and his life goes awry".
    "Set the controls for the heart of the Sun" - Pink Floyd

  4. #4
    Raoul Guest
    Originally posted by cinemabon
    While Rod Taylor's performance had all the excitement of drying paint, it was Russell Garcia's score I found the most fascinating. Garcia, most known for his rollin' rollin' rollin' score to "Rawhide",
    I LOVE the theme to Rawhide! Remember when the Blues Brothers' Band did it in Bob's Country Bunker? Of course you do.

    I've never seen "the time machine" but I plan to pick it up. Johan only steers me wrong now and then.

    If you like time travel and time travel concepts, have a read at www.johntitor.com. Then, get back here and let me know what you think.

    Raoul

  5. #5
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    I read most of the posts made by "John Titor" and found them to be interesting but fanciful. For example, John insists that the world lost 3 Billion people in World War III, but gives no details about the war other than to say it involved the major countries of the world. He doesn't say if it involved nuclear weapons. If it did, then John Titor's world would be non-existant. He also claims that a civil war erupts in America, but again offers no information about why such a war should happen at all. The idea that five people should run a government is silly (regional leaders). Sooner or later one region would begin to exert influence over the others and they would either merge or THEN go into conflict against one another. No, I would say that John Titor was intelligent (a bit heavy on religious overtones) but illogical no matter how many "predictions" he may have had. Another predictor of the future was Notradamus, who is supposed to have predicted just about everything that has ever happened, which is more than silly... it's just plain ludicrous. The site is facinating from a fictional point of view. John Titor's imagination is on par with the more fundamental and basic levels of science fiction, but far from a Heilein or Brunner, whose visions of the future are more inline with what may possibly happen.
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