THE TIME MACHINE (1960) Reviews and overview

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‘You will orbit into the fantastic future!’

The Time Machine is a 1960 American science fiction film about a man that travels into the future expecting utopia but finds misery.

Produced (uncredited) and directed by George Pal (Doc Savage: The Man of Bronze; The Power; Atlantis: The Lost Continent; Conquest of Space; The War of the Worlds) from a screenplay written by David Duncan (Fantastic Voyage; The Leech Woman; The Thing That Couldn’t Die; Monster on the Campus; The Monster That Challenged the World; The Black Scorpion), based on H.G. Wells’ 1895 novel of the same name.

The movie stars Rod Taylor (The Birds), Alan Young, Yvette Mimieux (Devil Dog: The Hound of Hell; Snowbeast 1977), Sebastian Cabot and Tom Helmore.


“The author had passion in his writing of this iconic tale, and Pal had an equal amount of passion in capturing its essence on film […] it’s a fabulous cinematic journey that not only stimulates the mind to the potentiality and folly of man’s ambitions, but also sports some wonderfully colorful special effects to dazzle the eyes betwixt moments of exposition.” Cool @ss Cinema

“The depiction of the world changing around our hero as he journeys through time is beautifully handled, and the clothes shop through whose window he watches years pass in a parade of changing hemlines adds a nice touch of humour. Overall, this is one of George Pal’s most polished pieces of work and it has withstood the passage of time very well indeed.” Eye for Film

“Like 20,000 Leagues et al, George Pal keeps the book to the period when it was written. Much charm is wrought from the beautiful production design and quaint Victorian attitude to science. The writing in these scenes is whimsical, especially the touching sequence where Philby tries to persuade George against using the device. The future scenes do descend to pedestrian adventure.” Moria

“There are certain things we overlook, simply because, well, it’s a movie that’s forty years old and we’re too distracted by our amusement at the 60s sets and makeup and stuff. Sure, there’s no way in hell the Eloi would turn out to look like Yvette Mimieux after 800 millennia […] You can’t have a film like this without a love interest! Whatever. It’s just a fun flick.” Need Coffee

” …it offers the opportunity for some decent special effects sequences as Pal spared no expense in creating his futurescapes, whether it was in set design or stop motion animation to denote the speeding through the decades, then the centuries. This marked his work as one of the most colourful of cinema’s dystopias, which has often left it regarded as best as a introduction to Wells for children.” The Spinning Image

“William Tuttle’s makeup on the Morlocks, based on Pal’s design, is quite a fright to behold, with their long fangs, blue skin, and glowing eyes. The wonderfully dramatic score by Russell Green is one of the best in all of sci-fi. George Pal’s  The Time Machine is a sci-fi/fantasy treat guaranteed to please even the most jaded viewer, packed with adventure, humor, and enchantment…” Through the Shattered Lens

Choice dialogue:

Filby: “I say, George if you’re going to start floating about in the future, aren’t you going to rather mess things up for the rest of us?”

Cast and characters:

Rod Taylor … H. George Wells
Alan Young … David Filby / James Filby
Yvette Mimieux … Weena
Sebastian Cabot … Doctor Philip Hillyer
Tom Helmore … Anthony Bridewell
Whit Bissell … Walter Kemp
Doris Lloyd … Mrs Watchett
Bob Barran … Eloi Man (uncredited)
Paul Frees … Talking Rings (voice) (uncredited)
Mike Hitlner … Eloi Man (uncredited)
Josephine Powell … Eloi Girl (uncredited)
James Skelly … Second Eloi Man (uncredited)


The Beauty and Horror of The Time Machine:

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