Combustible Celluloid
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With: Malcolm McDowell, David Warner, Mary Steenburgen, Charles Cioffi, Patti D'Arbanville, Leo Lewis, Karin de la Penha, Corey Feldman
Written by: Nicholas Meyer, Steve Hayes, based on a novel by Karl Alexander
Directed by: Nicholas Meyer
MPAA Rating: PG
Running Time: 112
Date: 08/31/1979

Time After Time (1979)

3 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

Clock Fighters

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Writers Karl Alexander and Steve Hayes came up with a brilliant idea for this 1979 movie, pitting H.G. Wells against Jack the Ripper, using Wells' time machine as a conduit. On the verge of being caught in 19th century London, Jack (David Warner) steals the machine and travels to modern-day (well, 1979) San Francisco. Wells (Malcolm McDowell) follows suit and teams up with horny bank worker Mary Steenburgen (who later married McDowell). Former publicist Nicholas Meyer helped out on the screenplay and made his directorial debut, having great fun exploiting the fish-out-of-water idea of a great writer and a great killer stuck in the weirdness of our modern age. Best of all is a scene in which Jack shows Wells a few moments of violent American television, which causes Wells to get angry and snap back at him. Keep an eye out for the chase through the Embarcadero, which hasn't changed much. A young Corey Feldman plays the first person Wells meets in the 20th century.

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