Time After Time (1979) Movie Review

This was a much more successful, and enjoyable experience of the Malcolm McDowell double feature I went to in June.


In Time After Time Malcolm McDowell plays H.G. Wells, who has created a time machine that Jack the Ripper uses to evade capture. Wells must then pursue the serial killer across time, eventually arriving in San Francisco in the 1970s. The film also stars David Warner, and Mary Steenburgen, to whom McDowell was married. He actually made a very sweet comment during the Q&A that his favorite memory from filming was meeting and falling in love with his now ex-wife.


This film was a lot of fun to watch. The idea of H.G. Wells hunting Jack the Ripper is interesting enough on its own, adding in the time travel element kicks it up a notch. It was great to see these two characters react so differently to the new time period, and I thought both actors were good. McDowell was incredibly charming as the slightly bumbling but earnest Wells, and Warner was cool and calculating as Stevenson. Steenburgen was such a bright presence any time she was on screen and you could practically feel the chemistry between her and McDowell radiating off the screen.


Seeing McDowell as H.G. Wells was a fascinating experience because I’m so used to him in darker, more disturbing roles. Here he got to play innocent and earnest, and I have to say he was quite convincing on both accounts. I highly enjoyed the film, and was glad that it was the second of the double feature as it allowed me to end the night on a high note.


The Deep Movie Review

Reposting an older review.


This is a fairly light flick. Light on story and complexity that is. It’s really a treasure hunting film with a couple of land and sea monsters thrown in to add to the thrill. There are some rather violent scenes that seem harsh and a bit out of place in an otherwise fun adventure film but they don’t detract from the overall exciting feel of the movie. The roles in this aren’t too complex and there’s a lot for Robert Shaw to fall back on from his previous role in Jaws. He plays a treasure-diving veteran that gets involved in a dive with a young couple that ends up concerning some local drug thugs. There’s a bit of the old sea captain feel of Quint’s character in Jaws in Shaw’s portrayal of Romer Treece and it shouldn’t be surprising seeing as this film was based on a novel written by Peter Benchley who penned the novel Jaws is adapted from. He gets to boss around the young apprentice, spout old sailor wisdom about lost ships and there’s even a close encounter with some hungry sharks. Shaw stars alongside a young Nick Nolte and perhaps the main reason most men went to see this film, the beautiful Jacqueline Bisset. It’s not a perfect film but it’s entertaining and that’s all you can really ask of it. It’s a good summer flick to get you out of the heat and into a nice air conditioned room.