327. Time After Time

Movie: Time After Time

Release Date: September 28, 1979

Director: Nicholas Meyer

Starring: Malcolm McDowell, David Warner, Mary Steenburgen.

Tag Lines: “The Wildest Chase of the Century!”

“H.G. Wells races through time to catch Jack the Ripper!”

“A chase through time — to catch Jack the Ripper!”

“Imagine! A scientific genius named H.G. Wells stalks a criminal genius named Jack the Ripper across time itself, in the most ingenious thriller of our time…”

Relevance: ‘Time After Time’ was one of those movies that I watched over and over again as a child. I guess you can say I watched it “time after time.” (Puns are always intended!) As you may or may not know, HBO in the early 1980’s played certain movies constantly. My family got HBO around that time and those movies that they played over and over and over again became very influential to me. You will be seeing many pop up on this list throughout the year. ‘Time After Time’ is one of those movies.

Released in theaters in 1979, it flew under my radar until I saw it on HBO, exactly what year I don’t quite remember. A sci-fi, romantic, time travel adventure involving a serial killer might not sound like it could work on paper. But this movie absolutely works on every level. Jack the Ripper running amok in modern times being pursued by H.G. Wells…brilliant!

From a very young age I was always fascinated by serial killers and whodunit murder mysteries both in books and films. So this fed right into what I loved most. Even my mom who is not a fan of anything “horror like” would watch this movie with me when it was on, mostly because of the humor and romance. But the story is fun and intriguing so the few scenes that are a little “scary” can be overlooked by the faint of heart.

Today’s Thoughts: I probably have not watched this movie in about twenty years or so. I had a little difficulty finding it to watch today, but so glad that I did. Surprisingly it held up really well. Yes, the effects are really bad and the time machine looks like a Willy Wonka Wonkavator reject, but it’s still such a great, fun ride.

The cast is great, especially Malcolm McDowell as Herbert George Wells. This was years after his brilliant performance in ‘A Clockwork Orange,’ a movie that will be watched much later this year. Herbert is so different from Alex, showing off Mr. McDowells’s versatility as an actor. His character in this is so bumbling, naive and charming but at the same time heroic and romantic. Quite the difference from the villain of ‘A Clockwork Orange.’

Mary Steenburgen and David Warner are equally impressive, especially Miss Steenburgen as this was only her second feature film. She plays a wonderful match to Mr. McDowell’s Herbert, and has great chemistry with him. Not shocking to find out they fell in love and married (for ten years) in real life. She is a little “damsel in distress” at times, but surprisingly also a strong female character considering the time the movie was made.

I am usually not a fan of remakes, but I would love to see one done for ‘Time After Time.’ My only hope if they do make one is to keep the setting in the 1970’s. One of my favorite things about watching it today was the Seventies clothes, fashion and overall ambiance. It’s groovy as hell.

Awards: National Board of Review Award for Top Ten Films (winner).

Ways to Watch: YouTube, Amazon Prime, iTunes, Google Play, Vudu, DVD Availability.

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