Thursday, June 9, 2011

Top 300 Movies Of All Time: #245 The Time Machine (1960)

There have been a few attempts at H.G. Wells' classic science fiction thriller, "The Time Machine", but none equal the 1960 film version. It certainly ought not to be confused with the boring but beautiful looking Guy Pearce version. Many might dispute this being a list of great films but that's because great sci fi gets short shrift against critically acclaimed dramas.Or they get lost in special effects masterpieces like "2001 A Space Odyssey".

Like most early attempts at science fiction this film doesn't have the wizardry of a special effects genius, but fortunately the story makes up where the makeup and bright lights are lacking.But it did win the Oscar for special effects.
Rod Taylor is perfect in the lead retelling his adventures in the future.It is a world that is bleak in a post apocalyptic planet although the surface is inhabited by beautiful people called ELOI. He discovers that the sloth of the Eloi is rooted in a sense of hopelessness for as it turns out they are both labor and food for the evil subterranean MORLOCKS.

Rod Taylor's disgust for the future of humanity is tempered by his affection for his love for Weena played by the stunningly beautiful Yvette Mimieux. In fact Mimieux never gets mentioned among the great screen gems but she had the look and was a better actress than credited.

This film was a hit in its time and has a solid following and is deserving a better reputation as a great film. The same year this film came out a British drama called "Sons and Lovers" was nominated for best picture. Ever hear of it? Ever see it? I have and it's a very fine film worthy of the nod in its day, but the measure of greatness is endurance. This version of "The Time Machine" has endured when many other critical successes have met the ash heap of film history. It belongs on the list. 

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