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Time After Time [VHS] (1979)

Malcolm McDowell , Mary Steenburgen , Nicholas Meyer  |  PG |  VHS Tape
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (236 customer reviews)

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Time After Time [VHS] + The Time Machine [VHS]
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Product Details

  • Actors: Malcolm McDowell, Mary Steenburgen, David Warner, Charles Cioffi, Kent Williams
  • Directors: Nicholas Meyer
  • Writers: Nicholas Meyer, Karl Alexander, Steve Hayes
  • Producers: Herb Jaffe, Steven-Charles Jaffe
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, HiFi Sound, NTSC
  • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Number of tapes: 1
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • VHS Release Date: December 13, 1993
  • Run Time: 112 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (236 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 6300271781
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #338,916 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

In this clever speculative tale, story collaborators Karl Alexander and Steve Hayes and screenwriter-director Nicholas Meyer (Star Trek II and VI) send two famous historical figures ahead in time. In late 19th century England, writer H.G. Wells (Malcolm McDowell) unwittingly includes Jack the Ripper (David Warner) in his social circle. When one of Wells's dinner parties is crashed by the police looking for the Ripper, Jack uses the author's time machine to escape. But there's one catch--after it has been used, the machine returns to Wells's time. Thus the literary genius bravely sets out to find his evil friend before he can wreak havoc on another time period, and soon arrives in modern-day San Francisco. What follows is a fascinating merger of a suspense thriller--as the charming and polite Wells tries to hunt down the shrewd, brutish Ripper and take him back to the past--and a love story, as Wells befriends and falls in love with a bank administrator (Mary Steenburgen) who acts as his guide through the future. Through its brilliant combination of creepy suspense and tender romance, Time After Time manages to become a classic in two genres at once--a rare cinematic achievement. --Bryan Reesman

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
154 of 157 people found the following review helpful
It has been a while since I've reviewed something on my lifelong favorite's list. So I've chosen "Time After Time" because it isn't very well known by younger audiences nor is it necessarily considered a "classic."
However, I instantly fell in love with this movie over 25 years ago--and I still consider it a rip-roaring good time!

Starting out with the most bizarre plot ever, "Time After Time" will keep you enthralled. It is a glorious popcorn flick--fast, light, fun, and exciting in equal measures. Set in 1893, we meet H. G. Wells (Malcolm MacDowell) who is unknowingly friends with Jack The Ripper (David Warner). MacDowell has constructed a time machine which Warner misappropriates as he is fleeing the authorities. He travels to modern day San Francisco where he continues his murderous ways. MacDowell follows him, he must stop Jack The Ripper! He meets up with a local woman, Mary Steenburgen, who helps him adjusts and ultimately gets caught up in his unlikely story.

"Time After Time" succeeds in several different genres concurrently. This is a credible sci-fi pic, a sweet romance, a fish out of water comedy, as well as a decent serial killer thriller. I think that's what I love and respect about this film, it's out there. There is no way that this picture should work, it should be terrible. And yet, inexplicably, Nicholas Meyer has crafted an intricate and audacious work. Even if I didn't love this movie, I would respect its ambition and scope. But love it I do, this is one of the most wildly entertaining pictures you could hope to see. Some people might be tempted to dismiss this work as dated or even slight--and yes, you do have to accept that this is a product of the 70's.
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57 of 59 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting Time Travel Variation October 20, 2002
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
It's amazing that with time travel stories having been around for 100 years that we can continue to think of variations. In this case the variation is a good one, perhaps one of the best that has ever been done.
A relatively innocent and naive H.G. Wells, well-played by a Malcolm McDowell very different from the one that played Alex in "A Clockwork Orange", sets the stage for Jack the Ripper, played by David Warner, to travel forward into 1979 to menace modern San Francisco.
The movie has a few flaws. The special effects of time travel are a bit cheesy. Fortunately time travel is a device to set the stage for the movie, and the weak special effects can be forgiven given the quality of the rest of the movie. As for why the time machine moved from London to San Francisco, there isn't any really good way to explain how that happened. The best explanation I can give is that the Earth was spinning below the time machine as it maintained a fixed location. However, gravity must have played a role because had that been really true, both Jack the Ripper and H.G. Wells would have ended up in outer space as The Earth and the solar system moved out from under them. If you can suspend your belief in time travel you can also suspend your belief in how the time machine moved.
Getting past the special effects you get to a marvelous early performance by twenty-five year old Mary Steenburgen. She plays a very modern woman to Malcolm McDowell's Victorian naivete, and while she is very modern, holding an executive position and talking about sexual relationships with the casualness of pre-aids 1979, she also has an innocence of her own that is well suited to Malcolm's character.
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42 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's about time this was on DVD... August 12, 2002
Nicholas Meyer's gem of a film imaginatively catapults Victorian-era novelist H.G. Wells against the diabolical villainy of Jack the Ripper in San Francisco circa 1979. Malcom McDowell (A Clockwork Orange) delivers an exceptional and convincing performance as the innocently naive Herbert George Wells whose idealistic dream of a futuristic utopia is disillusioned by the hedonistic, technological and violent decadence of the late twentieth century. David Warner is comfortably at home in the present day as the sinister John Leslie Stevenson alias Jack the Ripper. Mary Steenburgen (Back to the Future III) is remarkable as the innocent love interest for Wells, especially when one considers that the fireworks were both on-screen and off between her and co-star McDowell making the romantic chemistry between the two all the more credible. Director Nick Meyer (Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan) pays homage to George Pal's vision of The Time Machine complete with Jules Verne style production design and a memorably vintage score from veteran composer Miklos Rozsa. This DVD presentation includes a theatrical trailer for the film as well as trailers for both George Pal's 1960 version and Simon Well's (great-grandson of H.G. Wells) 2002 version of The Time Machine and feature-length audio commentary with Malcolm McDowell and Nicholas Meyer providing retrospective insight into the production of the film. Time After Time is one of the most creatively imaginative "What-If?" tales to be fictionalized for cinema and is a film to be watched and enjoyed "Time After Time."
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars I watch this movie
wow, I have not seen this movie for the years, until I was looking for this movie at the store, but I could not find it and then on here that when I saw the Time After Time (1979),... Read more
Published 5 days ago by KennieHearts
5.0 out of 5 stars Time After Time
Very interesting story and special effects and action.
I liked the way HG Wells inter-acted in modern San Francisco.
Mary and David were also very good.
Published 5 days ago by Jim
4.0 out of 5 stars A Sci-FI minor classic that has it all!
A movie that has HG Wells chasing Jack The Ripper across time, to modern day (1979, I think) San Francisco. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Alvy Singer
3.0 out of 5 stars A British Back To The Future
In this clever speculative European tale, story collaborators Karl Alexander and Steve Hayes and screenwriter-director Nicholas Meyer (Star Trek II and VI) send 2 famous historical... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Taheen Lopez
5.0 out of 5 stars A Good TIME AFTER TIME ..... :-)
I love this movie!! I have wanted to watch it again for some time now. This is a movie I could watch over and over again and it would not bore me. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Michele
5.0 out of 5 stars H G Wells Classic
I have been looking for this in DVD a long time...good find. I like time travel movies and this has good acting and interesting storyline. Transaction was smooth and easy!
Published 1 month ago by Patricia Endicott
2.0 out of 5 stars Enough already
I bailed just before the halfway mark. Two main reasons. One, what I consider to be poor production values ( innumerable aw, c'mon moments--jump the shark type stuff) and two (and... Read more
Published 2 months ago by insertbrain
5.0 out of 5 stars H.G.Wells fans need this in their collection
The first example I saw of an author made a character in someone else's fiction. McDowell is appealing, as is Mary, and clearly they agreed, as they fell in love while making this... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Sharon
5.0 out of 5 stars Time After Time
One of the most engaging and interesting films ever! One of my favorite films from my teen years and still holds up extremely well!
Published 2 months ago by Anonymous
5.0 out of 5 stars I love this movie
The actors in this are top notch, the plot is a lot better than the Time Machine with Tober Taylor even though I liked that one. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Tony Martin
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