tek's rating: ½

Time After Time (PG)
IMDb; Rotten Tomatoes; TCM; TV Tropes; Warner Bros.; Wikipedia
streaming sites: Amazon; Google Play; iTunes; Movies Anywhere; Vudu; YouTube

This came out in 1979 (when I was four years old). I believe I saw it on TV sometime in the late 90s or early 2000s, but by the time I watched it on DVD in 2018, none of it was at all familiar to me. Except for how similar it is to the pilot of the 2017 TV series of the same name.

So, it begins in 1893 London, with Jack the Ripper killing a prostitute. Then we see a dinner party being hosted by H.G. Wells (Malcolm McDowell). He has an announcement he wishes to make to his friends, but he's waiting for one final guest: Dr. John Leslie Stevenson (David Warner). Once Stevenson arrives, Wells reveals to his guests that he has constructed a time machine. He intends to travel into the future, to see the utopia he predicts society will have evolved into. But then the police show up, looking for the Ripper, who they discover to be Stevenson. He escapes in the time machine, which has a feature that makes it return to its point of departure, unless one has the key to countermand the feature... and Wells has the key. So, when his machine returns, he uses it to follow Stevenson to 1979, planning to bring him back to their own time, to be arrested for his crimes. Meanwhile, Wells meets a banker named Amy Robbins (Mary Steenburgen), who provides some information that leads Wells to Stevenson. However, after Stevenson shows Wells that the world has not become the utopia Wells imagined, he tries to steal the key, but is interrupted in his assault, and has to flee. He ends up being hit by a car, and Wells believes he's dead. Later, he meets Amy again, and the two begin dating. But before long, Wells realizes Stevenson isn't dead, and has begun murdering prostitutes in the present. His attempts to track Stevenson down ultimately put Amy in danger.

And that's all I want to say about the plot. It's a decent movie, and if I had seen it before, it's hard for me to believe I forgot the story so completely that seeing it again didn't ring any bells. So I'm really not sure. Still, I don't really think it's a great movie. I suppose I'd say it's good for the 70s. And definitely worth watching. I expect I'll remember it better than the TV series, in the long run.

science fiction index