Template:Infobox film The Time Machine (also known promotionally as H.G. Wells' The Time Machine) is a 1960 British science fiction film based on the novel of the same name written by H. G. Wells in 1895 in which a man in Victorian England constructs a time-travelling machine which he uses to travel to the future. The film starred Rod Taylor, Alan Young and Yvette Mimieux.

The film was produced and directed by George Pal, who also filmed a 1953 version of Wells' The War of the Worlds. Pal had always intended to make a sequel to his 1960 film, but it was not produced until 2002 when Simon Wells, great-grandson of H.G. Wells, working with executive producer Arnold Leibovit, directed a film with the same title.

The film received an Oscar for time-lapse photographic effects showing the world changing rapidly.

In 1985, elements of this film were incorporated into The Fantasy Film Worlds of George Pal, produced by Arnold Leibovit.


On January 5, 1900, four friends arrive for a dinner in London, but their host, H. George Wells (Rod Taylor), is absent. As requested, they begin without him, but then George staggers in, exhausted and disheveled. He begins to recount his adventures since they last met on New Year's Eve, 1899.

A week earlier, George discusses time as the fourth dimension with friends, among them David Filby (Alan Young),Anthony Bridewell played by {Tom Helmore},Walter Kemp played by {Whit Bissell} and Dr Philip Hillyer (Sebastian Cabot)[1]. He shows them a tiny machine that he claims can travel in time, stating that a larger version can carry a man "into the past or the future". When activated, the device blurs, then disappears. Most of his friends dismiss it as a trick. Filby warns George that if it is not a trick, it is not for them "to tempt the laws of Providence." They agree to meet again next Friday.

George heads to his laboratory and sits in his full-scale model. He pushes the lever forward and watches time pass at an accelerated rate. To his amusement, he observes the changing of women's fashions on a mannequin in the window of a shop across the street. He stops at September 13, 1917 and mistakes a man in uniform for David. It turns out to be David's son James, who informs George that his father had "died in the war".

George then travels to June 19, 1940, into the midst of "a new war." His house is hit and destroyed during the War. George's next stop is August 18, 1966, in a metropolis featuring skyscrapers and an elevated monorail. However, he is puzzled to see people hurrying into a fallout shelter amid the blare of air raid sirens. An older, grey-haired James Filby seems to remember him, before warning him that "the mushrooms will be sprouting." James spots an atomic satellite zeroing in and flees into the shelter. An explosion turns the sky red and lava floods down the street. George restarts the machine just in time to avoid being incinerated, but the lava covers the machine, then cools and hardens, forcing George to travel far into the future until it erodes away.

He stops the machine on October 12, 802,701, next to a low building with a large sphinx on top. George explores the seemingly idyllic pastoral paradise and spots young adults by a river. A woman is drowning, but the others are indifferent. George rescues her, but is surprised by her lack of gratitude or other emotion. She calls herself Weena (Yvette Mimieux) and her people the Eloi.

As night falls, George is surprised to find out that the Eloi have no government, no laws, and no civilisation to speak of. Curious, he asks to see their books, but when he finds them all covered in dust and rotted by mold, he becomes outraged. He returns to where he had left his time machine, but it has been dragged into the building, behind locked metal doors. Weena follows George and insists they go back, for fear of "Morlocks" at night. A bizarre creature assaults Weena, but George wards it off with fire.

The next day, Weena shows George what appear to be air shafts in the ground. She then takes him to a museum, where the "talking rings" (metal rings that can play a recorded message) tell of a centuries-long nuclear war. One group of survivors remained underground in the shelters and evolved into the Morlocks, while the other, which became the Eloi, returned to the surface. George starts climbing down a shaft, but turns back when a siren sounds. Weena and the Eloi walk in a trance through the now open doors to the building, conditioned to seek refuge from a non-existent attack at the siren's blaring. When the siren stops, the doors close, trapping Weena and others inside.

To rescue Weena, George climbs down a shaft and enters the subterranean caverns. In one chamber, he finds human bones and realizes that the Morlocks eat the Eloi. Discovering that the Morlocks are sensitive to light, George uses matches to keep them at bay, eventually fashioning a makeshift torch. A Morlock knocks it away, but one of the Eloi summons up the courage to beat the Morlock to death, thus showing that the Eloi are not yet entirely docile. George sets the Eloi to setting fire to material in the cave, driving off the Morlocks, then leads the Eloi up the shafts to safety. Under his direction, they drop tree branches into the shafts to feed the fire. There is an explosion, and the area caves in. The next morning, George finds the doors to the building open again. He goes to retrieve his machine, but the doors close behind him and he is attacked by Morlocks. George manages to activate the machine and escape, first to the far future, then back to January 5, 1900.

George's friends scoff at his story and leave; only Filby believes him. Filby turns back, but by the time he reaches the Labotory George was already leaving. He tries to break the door down but was too late. The housekeeper, Mrs Watchett (Doris Lloyd), notes that George took three books with him. Filby asks which three she would have taken to restart a civilization, and leaves with the hope (which is maintained by his son, as previously seen) that George may yet return, as "he has all the time in the world."


* Not credited on-screen.


Pal was already known for pioneering work with animation. He was nominated for an Oscar almost yearly during the 1940s. Unable to sell Hollywood the screenplay, he found the British MGM studio (where he had filmed tom thumb) friendlier.

MGM art director Bill Ferrari created the Machine, a sled-like design with a big, rotating vertical wheel behind the seat and an inscription on the control plate "Manufactured by H. George Wells".

The film scenes were all filmed from May 25, 1959 to June 30, 1959 in Culver City, California.

Rod Taylor and Yvette Mimieux also co-starred in Dark of the Sun, 1968.

Of the people who did this film, three actors would go on to TV work during the 1960s. Sebastian Cabot would play Brian Keith's friend Mr.French on Family Affair, Alan Young would befriend the talking horse named Mister Ed, and Irwin Allen reworked this film into the TV Classic The Time Tunnel with Whit Bissell playing General Heywood Kirk and turning the title machine of H.G. Wells' novel into a tunnel created by the government to uncover the secrets of time travel. James Darren, Robert Colbert, and Lee Meriwether also starred, along with John Zaremba. Both Zaremba and Bissell did a TV remake of The Time Machine twelve years later.

1993 sequel/documentaryEdit

In 1993, a combination sequel-documentary short, Time Machine: The Journey Back, directed by Clyde Lucas, was produced. In the third part, Michael J. Fox talks about his experience with Time Machines from Back to the Future. In the last part, written by original screenwriter David Duncan, Rod Taylor, Alan Young and Whit Bissell reprised their roles.

2002 remakeEdit

Guy Pearce starred as the time traveler in a 2002 adaptation directed by Simon Wells, the author's great-grandson. Jeremy Irons co-starred as the leader of the Morlocks.

This remake was distributed by Warner Bros. outside of the US. By the time the film was remade, WB had acquired (through Turner Entertainment) the rights to the 1960 film.

Awards and nominationsEdit

Appearances of the Time MachineEdit

The original time machine prop from the 1960 film reappeared in:

  • the mini sequel Time Machine: The Journey Back.
  • animator Mike Jittlov's short Time Tripper, and thus in his feature film version of The Wizard of Speed and Time which incorporated it.
  • the film Gremlins along with Robby the Robot at the inventor's convention.
  • episode 8 of Carl Sagan's series Cosmos - being piloted by Sagan himself - during a discussion of time travel and its hypothetical effects on human history. (A photo of this scene also appears in the book of the series.)

A replica or similar machine appeared in:

  • an episode of The Simpsons in which, Professor Frink uses a machine, a lot like the one shown, to visit his child self, to encourage him to be less geeky.
  • an episode of Quantum Leap, in which an eccentric inventor tries to make a similar-looking machine.
  • "The Nerdvana Annihilation" episode of the sitcom The Big Bang Theory, in which a replica time machine was used.
  • Duke it out in D.C. - an add-on to the computer game Duke Nukem 3D - the machine being located in a "secret Government warehouse".
  • "Mickey's Nightmare" (bumper version) - Mickey Mouse dreams about a giant monster who chases his left glove for many, many, many, many, many months, 6,000,000 days, and 1,000,000 years into the Craziest Video Month of Museum with directed by John Korty.

See alsoEdit


External linksEdit


Template:George Pal Films Template:H. G. Wellsde:Die Zeitmaschine (1960) es:The Time Machine (película de 1960) fr:La Machine à explorer le temps (film, 1960) it:L'uomo che visse nel futuro nl:The Time Machine (1960) ja:タイム・マシン 80万年後の世界へ pl:Wehikuł czasu (film 1960) pt:The Time Machine (1960) ru:Машина времени (фильм, 1960)

The Time Machine (1960)

'Starring: 'Rod Taylor, Yvette Mimieux, Alan Young Directed by: George Pal Written by: H.G. Wells, David Duncan

The Story: Time. I never seem to have enough of it. Maybe I should build a time machine, like George, the hero of this movie.

If you think of H.G. Wells, this story is probably what comes to mind. I read it years ago, and don't remember much in the way of details, only that I thought it was a pretty good read. This movie is more like the book then the 2002 remake of it, but since they are destined to duke it out in the First Infernal Grudge Match I won't mention the 2002 movie again here.

A week after the turn of the century....the 20th century that is (1900), several English gentleman sit in the dining room of their friend, George, awaiting him. He asked them over for dinner, but is apparently late. Since this is Victorian England these guys grumble and complain about how a gentleman is supposed to be punctual and all that. Geezuz, people must have had a lot more time back then. Nowadays if five friends were waiting for a dude that didn't show up on time they'd be more or less like "Homes musta ran into traffic.". Suddenly, George enters the room, his clothes are a tattered mess and he looks like he just went a few rounds with the Hulk. George explains what's happened by taking us back to a week prior.

The same group of people were at his house...Filby, Dr. Hillyer, Bridewell and Kemp (and Mrs. Watchett, his housekeeper) when George demonstrated a tiny model of his time machine to them. Of course none of these guys believes that time travel is possible, even when George sends the model into the future. Ok, lets be just disappears, and there's really no way of telling if it went into the future or not. Assuming George is right they then start in on him with "What is it good for?" type argument. These bozos are thick, but Hillyer is the thickest (and since he's played by Sebastian, I'm not gonna make the fat joke I was thinking of...forget it) Hillyer says George should turn over his invention to the War Department. Yeah, that's a good idea, Hillyer.....I can only imagine what kind of pandemonium would happen if any government had such a device. Good thing George didn't take him seriously, or we'd all be flying Union Jacks and drinking tea right now. George just wants to travel to the future, though. He believes that the world will be some kind of Utopia in a few centuries.

The others leave, but Filby, George's best friend, remains a moment to have a heart to heart. Filby is concerned with his friends obsession with time. (No [unwrite]. This guy has about five hundred clocks in one room!) George assures him he's fine and tells him to bring the other back for dinner in a week. Then he skulkers off to his lab, hops in the life sized model of his time machine and away he goes. At first George just travels a few hours in time, which I guess was his test run. Makes sense....kind of. For all he knew his model might have just disintegrated. With more confidence in his creation, George travels to the year 1917. His house is now abandoned and boarded up. (The machine moves in time and not space.) There he meets Filby's son, James who tells him that Filby died during the war (WWI). George then travels further into the future, witnessing the air raids of WWII on England as the years fly by. His house is hit by a bomb and disappears, but while traveling in time I guess he's in a state of grace or something since it doesn't affect him or the machine. George then stops in 1966. And WHAT A 1966! It looks like a live action Jetsons set! George is ecstatic! He's amazed at the progress. He's also blissfully ignoring the fact that everyone on the street is running to an underground shelter and that there's a siren going off. He even meets James Filby again. Filby, now an old man tells him they have no time to talk, they have to get to the shelter, but George doesn't listen. (Amazingly, Filby remembers meeting him in 1917. Wow. I can't remember people I met last year. And how old is Filby now, 100?) Filby leaves dumbass George on the street when the nuclear bombs start falling. George climbs into his machine and starts her up in order to escape the destruction and once again heads for the future. But the earth starts spewing lava which in George's accelerated point of reference turns quickly to stone, encasing him and the machine. Now he has to wait for the machine to take him far enough into the future for erosion to wear away the rock. And he does, emerging 800 centuries or so centuries later. Right next to where the machine is, a big freaking Temple like Sphinx stands. Stopping the machine rather abruptly cause it to send him flying out of his seat, knocking himself out. When he awakens, he explores the now green, tree studded landscape. There he sees the Eloi....future humans....basking by a stream. They don't react when one of them falls in the water and starts to drown. George saves the girl, whose name is Weena. Weena doesn't offer any real information to George, but after spending some time with the Eloi, George learns that they don't do anything, have no drive or ambition or even creativity. Books that they own are in an abandoned and ill kept library, and fall to dust when touched. George flips out. The Eloi are pretty sorry. He decides to leave them and return to his own time...only...the Time Machine is gone!

What's the problem with you, George? Why didn't you build the damned thing with some kind of anti-theft safeguards? Anyway, Weena comes out into the night to warn George that the Morlocks may be about when the sun goes down. And that the Sphinx belongs to the Morlocks. She takes him to an old ruin which presumably was a museum or command center or something because it contains the talking rings. Some kind of gizmo that has recorded history. George then discovers the terrible truth...Constant wars laid the Earth barren. Mankind split into two parts. Some tried to survive on the surface and became the Eloi...the others eked out a living underground and became the Morlocks. The Morlocks are cannibals. they feed and clothe the eloi to keep them ignorant and use them like cattle. George really wants his time Machine back now!

When Weena and some of the other Eloi are captured by the Morlocks George makes it into their underground lair to free them. Knowing that the Morlocks are afraid of fire (How? I don't know...the Morlocks must employ fire to cook the Eloi and to run their machines, yet they fear it like Frankenstein's monster does) George fends off the blue skinned brutes and fights his way out of the caverns....inciting the passive and pathetic Eloi to fight too. They all escape and George has the Eloi throw burning wood into the Morlock cavern entrance burning them out.

But George still doesn't have his machine. He's stranded in the future. Until the sphinx doors open and he sees his machine inside. George hops into it, ecstatic, but the surviving Morlocks inside the sphinx attack. The doors close cutting the Eloi off from helping him and cutting off George's escape. With no choice, George activates the time machine and returns to his own time.

And here he sits, telling his friends this story. Naturally they think he's making it up. But as soon as they leave, George drags the time machine...which materialized in his backyard....back into his lab and leaves again...taking three books from his shelf. What three books we don't know. We only learn from Filby that the reason he moved the machine was so it would reappear outside of the Morlock temple, instead of in it.

Some things don't age gracefully, but this movie isn't one of them. 40 years later and its still pretty good. Hell, it almost makes me want to read the book again....but then I don't have the time. Get it? Hahahaha....oh, never mind. Rod Taylor was George. Alan Young was both the elder Filby and his son, James. Yvette Mimieux was Weena, and Doris Lloyd was Mrs. Watchett.

Best Lines: "What have you done? Thousands of years of building and rebuilding, creating and recreating so you can let it crumble to dust!" - George flips out on the Eloi because they don't value knowledge at all.

Are you kidding me?

1.) Perhaps George should get some new friends. He's a little late and they're all bitchin' and moanin' about how rude he is, etc. Guys, you're in his house eating his food! If they were complaining like that in my kitchen I'd be throwing fat English dudes out of the window.

2.) When George travels from 1900 to 1917 he meets Filby's son James and at first believes its Filby. Hey, George....did it even occur to you that Filby couldn't possibly look that young 17 years in the future? If I traveled 17 years into the future and looked up one of my old buddies I wouldn't expect them to have not aged a day!

3.) George should be less concerned with technological progress and more concerned with developing some common sense survival instincts! When he arrives in 1966 its during an alert. There's a siren going off and people are all running and screaming to get into the shelter. He even meets James Filby, now an old man, again. Filby is less interested in talking and more interested in getting into the shelter. Now I understand that George doesn't know what a siren is, or anything about Nuclear bombs, but its no big whooping secret that there's something real bad about to happen. If the dumbest guy on earth walked outside of his house and saw everyone running away and saying "Get to the shelter!" I'd assume that even he would run and get to safety. Does George, a man smart enough to build a Time Machine? No, like a complete meathead, its beyond him that everyone is running for a reason! For Heaven's sake George, you just saw TWO world WARS! Instead of a journey in time take a trip on the Clue Train!

4.) George tells Weena not to worry about the Morlocks because fire seems to keep them away. How does he make that conclusion? He hasn't lit a fire yet!

5.) Speaking of fire, Weena sticks her hand into it because she's never seen it before. But when the fight in the Morlock caverns starts George tells Weena to find anything that burns so he can use fire to keep the Morlocks at bay. George, she barely knows what fire is, so how is she gonna find something that burns? She'll probably hand you a rock, man, she doesn't even know fire is hot!

6.) After the atomic blast in 1966 (My history teacher never told us that someone nuked London in 1966) George is trapped under tons of molten rock and must wait for the ages to wear the rock away before he can stop the Time Machine....why didn't he just go back then? Slap that puppy into reverse and return to his own time?

Nudity and Sex: None


What the heck? I can understand the need for a test model...after all, I would want some proof that the time machine works myself. But its so tiny! What powers it? You'd think a machine that could somehow move through the 4th dimension would use an enormous amount of energy. Did George also create the world's first AAA Ever ready Battery when he made his model? Hell, what's the actual life size time machine run off of? It was built in what? 1899? 1900?

That mannequin sure as hell lasted a long time! Geez, the store its in lasted a long time! Do mannequins usually get used for 60 odd years?

Good thing George didn't catch a lethal dose being out in the open when that nuke went off, huh?

I guess its supposed to be a noble thing for George to return to the future after moving the Time Machine so he'll reappear outside of the Morlock sphinx. Its kind of a goofy thing to do if you ask me. Weena and the Eloi are pretty pathetic. The only reason I could think of for going back to them is to TAKE OVER AND RULE THE WORLD! Filby and Mrs. Watchett note that he's taken three books, but don't know which ones....probably "The Art of War", "How to make firearms" and "Building Castles: A guide to making a stronghold".

Another thing about George leaving for the future....he must have no regards for his friends at all. Mrs. Watchett is effectively out of a job! And it doesn't seem to bother George to leave his friends behind forever! What a dick!

The Final Judgment: Do they still make kids read H.G. Wells in school nowadays? they should. (Shoot, they just make 'em read period.) The Time Machine is an extremely enjoyable movie and one of the few in The Inferno to get a five devil score and the recommendation that's a family type of movie. The Morlocks might frighten smaller children, but I doubt it. There are scarier monsters shown on TV nowadays. If only I the time to watch TV...get it?...ok, I'll stop it with the lame time jokes.

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