Time After Time (1979)

PG   |    |  Adventure, Drama, Sci-Fi

Time After Time (1979) Poster

H.G. Wells pursues Jack the Ripper to the 20th Century when the serial murderer uses the future writer's time machine to escape his time period.




  • Malcolm McDowell in Time After Time (1979)
  • Charles Cioffi in Time After Time (1979)
  • Malcolm McDowell in Time After Time (1979)
  • Patti D'Arbanville in Time After Time (1979)
  • Malcolm McDowell and Mary Steenburgen in Time After Time (1979)
  • Charles Cioffi in Time After Time (1979)

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6 November 2011 | lost-in-limbo
| "My friends call me Jack."
What do you get when you put H.G. Wells together with Jack the Ripper; you get this admirably ambitious and candid sci-fi fantasy thriller that sees the idealistic scientist / writer Wells pursing the notorious Ripper in to the future (that's 1979) after using Wells' newly created time machine to escape the authorities from late 19th century London. The interesting novelty is that the ripper is revealed to be one of Wells' gentlemen buddies. So it becomes a race against the clock to stop the ripper continuing his grisly attacks in the future, because from what he sees he feels right at home. "Time After Time" starts off quite well, setting up an atmospheric beginning, especially the ripper's first attack in the foggy streets of Victorian London and his revelation. Then it seems to play out accordingly when it hits present day San Francisco (where the director does capture a great sense of place). This is when the pacing does hit a halt, as a romantic angle kicks in… this might take away any real sense of urgency and even suspense, but nonetheless the inclusion involving the very sweet Mary Steenburgen has its charm and so do the scenes of a fish out of water Wells trying to adapt to new technology and present day ideology. But the gripping moments do arise when these two historical figures come to blows and the stellar performances go a fair way to cementing that. Malcolm McDowell is perfectly cast as Wells, fidgety but persistent in his quest and David Warner has that classy, but creepily formidable underlining as Jack the Ripper as he goes about leaving a bloody mess of his victims. It's an amusing chase… through time and some romance on the side. It's balanced out by some witty humour and a cerebrally literate script - that compares these two men's visions of the future --- one expecting a Utopia and the other believing man will never change. An Imaginative, if old-fashion Sci-fi trip.

"You astonish me HG. The future will prove you wrong."

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