The Time Machine – also known promotionally as H.G. Wells’ The Time Machine – is a 1960 science fiction film based on the 1895 novel of the same name by H. G. Wells in which a man from Victorian England constructs a time-travelling machine which he uses to travel to the future.
The film was produced and directed by George Pal, who had earlier made a film version of Wells’s The War of the Worlds (1953). Pal always intended to make a sequel to The Time Machine, but he died before it could be produced; the end of Time Machine: The Journey Back functions as a sequel of sorts.
George 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. Pal originally considered casting a middle-aged British actor in the lead role, such as David Niven or James Mason. He later changed his mind and selected the younger Australian actor Rod Taylor to give the character a more athletic, idealistic dimension.
The film received an Oscar for time-lapse photographic effects showing the world changing rapidly.
The movie was remade in 2002, staring Guy Pierce.
On January 5, 1900, a dishevelled looking H.G. Wells – George to his friends – arrives late to his own dinner party. He tells his guests of his travels in his time machine, the work about which his friends knew. They were also unbelieving, and skeptical of any practical use if it did indeed work. George knew that his machine was stationary in geographic position, but he did not account for changes in what happens over time to that location. He also learns that the machine is not impervious and he is not immune to those who do not understand him or the machine’s purpose. George tells his friends that he did not find the Utopian society he so wished had developed. He mentions specifically a civilization several thousand years into the future which consists of the subterranean Morlocks and the surface dwelling Eloi, who on first glance lead a carefree life. Despite all these issues, love can still bloom over the spread of millennia.