Saturday, March 28, 2009

The Time Machine (1960) [G] ****

H. George Wells (Rod Taylor) is a scientist in Victorian England who becomes fascinated by time, the fourth dimension, and invents a time machine. On December 31st, 1899, Wells bids farewell to his longtime friend David Filby (Alan Young) and uses his time machine to travel eight hundred thousand years into the future. There he discovers that humanity has evolved into two sub races: the childlike Eloi who live on the surface of the Earth in an Eden-like paradise, and the cannibalistic Morlocks who live below the surface. The Morlocks feed and clothe the Eloi, maintaining them like cattle until they consume them. Wells becomes fascinated by the Eloi, and especially by the lovely young Weena (Yvette Mimieux), but when the Morlocks steal his time machine and capture Weena, Wells must go below ground and risk his life in order to save Weena and recover his time machine.

Based on H.G. Wells' prophetic 1895 novel, The Time Machine reflects his strong social, economic and political opinions, and was intended to warn his countrymen about what he saw as England's decline as the world's greatest economic and military power. As film critics have noted, Eloi may be derived from the Old Testament Elohim meaning God, and Morlock from Moloch, the Canaanite god to whom children were sacrificed.


Although Wells’ novel was written nearly 120 years ago, it contains a clear warning for the present-day United States. We have become a nation that consumes more than we produce. Our manufacturing sector has declined to half the size of our financial services sector; we import much of our petroleum, consumer products, and food. Our infrastructure is rapidly deteriorating, and foreign sovereign wealth funds are buying up our most valuable farmland, natural resources and manufacturing plants. We are fast becoming an Eloi nation, fed and clothed by industrious Morlock nations like the BRIC nations (Brazil, Russia, India and China) and the wealthy Persian Gulf states.


Of course, The Time Machine appears terribly dated from a technological point-of-view, as does any science-fiction film from fifty years ago. Nevertheless, if you enjoy films like Forbidden Planet with Walter Pidgeon, Anne Francis and Leslie Nielsen, then you will likely enjoy The Time Machine

Labels: adventure, romance, sci-fi, space-time, thriller
Internet Movie Database
RottenTomatoes Averages (critics=69, viewers=70)


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