Making the Grades
Many a partygoer has passed a tedious and boring New Years Eve, while waiting for what seems like eons before they may finally go home. However, in the movie adaptation of H. G. Wells' The Time Machine, eccentric inventor George (Rod Taylor) entertains his pragmatic guests with a glimpse of the seemingly impossible. Opening a small velvet lined box, the host reveals a model of his latest invention; a miniature sleigh (minus eight tiny reindeer) that he successfully launches into the future. The intrigued visitors, perplexed by the concept of time travel, turn to a lively deliberation of its possible commercial uses. Only his best friend Filby (Alan Young) becomes suspicious his troubled chum has found an escape from his unsatisfactory life.
When the company leaves, George does some fine-tuning on his full-scale contraption and quietly slips behind the driver's seat. Perched comfortably with a great view from his laboratory window, the scientist turned adventurer slowly propels himself forward in time. Optimistic to see the accomplishments of mankind, his heart breaks as he observes war after war envelop the land. Increasing his acceleration rate, George eventually skids to a halt after 800,000 years. Eager to meet the inhabitants of what appears to be a peaceful paradise, he encounters the naive and simple Eloi people who are living off the fat of the land. Befriending Weena (Yvette Mimieux), George squeezes in a bit of romance while researching the many paradoxes of this puzzling culture. But Utopia turns into terror when he discovers the real movers and shakers of this society are cannibalistic, cave dwelling Morlocks. It's a race against (dare I say) time to avoid becoming an entree on a subterranean menu!
Can man control his own destiny? Can he change the shape of things to come? Will humanity ever overcome its self-destructive nature and obsession with war and greed? This 1960's Academy Award winning sci-fi thriller entertains as well as asks some thought provoking questions, which are sure to spark at least a few family debates or enliven any festive occasion.
Discussion Ideas After The Movie
Teaching ideas and topics to discuss about The Time Machine (1960).
When George escapes into the future, what problems does he leave behind? What new ones does he pick up along the way? Was it a worthwhile trade? George states that without knowing our past we have no future. How can knowledge of world history influence current events?
If you could go into the future, what information from the past would you want to take with you?
What can we learn from the indolence of the Eloi? How might those lessons apply to our own society’s attitude of “working toward retirement?” What are the benefits of challenge, hard work, and education?