YMMV / The Time Machine (1960)

  • Alternate Character Interpretation: A popular fan theory basically goes, "George went to the future to interact with the peaceful, future humanity - and he destroyed it". The Morlocks, while monstrous looking, are the only one of the two decedent races of humans to show societal intelligence by domestication, preserve of old technology; and are coming up with a civilization of their own after ancient humanity blew itself to bits. The Eloi look pretty by human standards, but show very few degrees of sentience and are as dependent on the Morlocks for survival as something like domestic cattle and pigs are to humans. While George does go back to try an educate the Eloi, how effective that is going to be could be entirely fruitless given their low intelligence. Yes, the Morlocks did attack him, but only after he invaded their home and happened to look exactly like their primary food source. But because Weena and the Eloi are dumb but pretty and the Morlocks are smart but ugly, George kills the latter for the former. What Measure Is a Non-Cute? indeed!
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: Considering the familiar accent that Alan Young skillfully provided for his character, he sure gave it to more popular use many years later.
    • Can you even guess what Rod Taylor's voiceover narration connected with a year later?
  • Interspecies Romance: The beginnings of romance between George and Weena might suggest this in light of some interpretations which posit the Eloi as being just as much an evolved post-human species as the Morlocks, in spite of the fact that only the Morlocks look visibly non-human.
  • Misaimed Fandom: Of course the Morlocks are evil and the Eloi are good!
  • Special Effects Failure: Granted, it was 1960, but the nuking of London look painfully like a model. The early episodes of Doctor Who actually look better.
    • There was a literal special-effects failure on the set. The day before the crew was set to "destroy" the London of 1960, they made a huge batch of oatmeal, which would stand in for the lava flow. Unfortunately, there came a very hot day, which caused the oatmeal to ferment! It no longer had that thick consistency, but the effects team had to just roll with it.
    • Another real life example had Alan Young commenting on his make-up as the aged James Filby failure:
      "They made a face mask of me to fashion all that rubber stuff — the old age pieces — all around. On the morning of that shot, I got made up by Bill Tuttle, and as I left, he gave me a little jar of glue, and he said, 'That's in case it comes off,' and I said, 'Well, won't you be on the set?," and he said, 'No, the budget can't afford a makeup man on the set.' So, I had this jar of glue, and that was at 6:00 or 7:00 in the morning. Well, they didn't get around to shooting that scene until late afternoon, and by then I could feel bits of my face falling off, so I'd get the glue out and stick it back on again, but by the time they actually got around to shooting that scene, it was about 4:30 or 5:00. So George said, 'Alan, I can't do any close-up's because I can almost see the glue brush strokes on your eyes.' So, if you remember the scene, it was done in a two shot all of the time. There were no close-up of this old man because bits of the face were peeling off."
  • Tear Jerker: David Filby's ultimate fate. It's made even worse in a short film done for a DVD release of the movie in which an older George returns and meets Filby right before he leaves for the front. He tries to warn him, expecting to be disbelieved. Filby does believe him... and he goes anyway.
    • James Filby's fate. In the space of five minutes, George watched his best friend's infant son grow into a young man with a lot of promise, then become an old man who likely died along with everyone else when London is hit by a nuke. And it goes From Bad to Worse when Weena's comment causes him realise that Filby's warning to "Hide until the all clear" has become twisted into the means in which the Morlocks have conditioned the Eloi to walk blissfully to the slaughter.
    • George's Heroic B.S.O.D.. He starts by checking out the books on a shelf, which crumble on his grip. He starts with a dead calm "Yes. These books tell me all about you (the Eloi being Brainless Beauties)" and then goes into a screaming tirade at the Eloi about how their world is horrible (from his point of view) and how he would prefer to go back in time and die alongside the rest of humanity "who are MEN! MEN who THINK! MEN who HAVE LIVED BETTER LIVES THAN YOU!".