Time After Time (1979 movie)

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Time After Time DVD

Time After Time is a 1979 American film produced by Orion Pictures, starring Malcolm McDowell, Mary Steenburgen, David Warner, and Charles Cioffi. It was written and directed by Nicholas Meyer. The screenplay was based on the novel of the same name, which Meyer had previously published under the name "Karl Alexander." The film was in color and lasted 112 minutes.


The movie tells of how science fiction author H.G. Wells (McDowell) builds a time machine in 1893 London, the same one Wells fictionalized in his novel The Time Machine. Before he is able to test the machine, a physician friend of his (Warner) is discovered to be Jack the Ripper and steals the machine to escape capture by going to 1979 San Francisco. Wells pursues, but has difficulty functioning in the future time beginning with the ineffectual use of a false name of a popular literary character from his time he mistakenly thought would be forgotten, Sherlock Holmes. Eventually, he meets and falls in love with bank employee Amy Robbins (Steenburgen). The duo try to stop the Ripper, who has resumed his killings. Jack finds modern American society to be pleasingly bloody; he remarks at one point that in 1893 Britain he was a monster, but in 1979 America he is an amateur.

In an effort to prove that his time machine is real, H.G. takes Amy on a journey three days into the future. Amy is then horrified to find a newspaper with her own obituary: she is to be the Ripper's fifth victim. H.G. and Amy go back three days to try to change history, but H.G. is arrested for suspicion of the serial killings and Amy is left unprotected. A brutally mangled corpse is found in Amy's apartment, and H.G. has given up Amy for dead until he discovers that a different woman was murdered in her place, and Amy is alive but held hostage by the Ripper. She manages to free herself as the Ripper attempts escape in the time machine. H.G. removes a device (the vaporizing equalizer) from the exterior of the machine's cabin, which causes the Ripper to vanish into infinity without the machine. H.G. and Amy then board the machine themselves and return to Wells' own time, after which (actual) history records that the two marry.

McDowell and Steenburgen married after working together on the film.

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