© 1979 Orion Pictures Corporation

Time After Time (1979)

The premise of Time After Time sounds like it would make a pretty ridiculous movie: author H.G. Welles (Malcolm McDowell) is entertaining friends at home in 1893, and reveals to them that he has actually built the time machine that appears in his famous novel. Little does he know, but one of his guests, a Dr. Stevenson (David Warner), is actually Jack the Ripper. Scotland Yard comes knocking, and Jack gets away via the time machine. (Scotland Yard had actually closed investigations into the Jack the Ripper case in 1893, but oh well). Welles goes after him, landing in the middle of an H.G. Welles exhibition in 1979 San Francisco, where the time machine is on display. Fully expecting to arrive in a Utopia, he is dismayed to find that two world wars have passed. Jack fits right in and gets up to his old tricks. Welles meets a modern gal and falls in love. It is a ridiculous plot, but McDowell is passable as the bewildered dreamer, and David Warner is excellent as always, and their performances somehow save the film. There is also a nice score with an Old World feel by Miklós Rózsa, who was near the end of a long career that stretched back to the ’30s.

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