Time After Time (1979) by Kinderpal Mickster

Is TIME AFTER TIME a thriller, a romance, or science fiction? The answer is yes! TIME AFTER TIME (1979) delves into all three genres. I distinctly remember watching TAT on HBO at my older sister’s apartment back in 1980. My clearest memories of the film involve Jack the Ripper, of course. I have been fascinated with Jack the Ripper as long as I can remember (see my JACK’S BACK post), so this movie was right up my alley. I received the movie on DVD a couple of years ago and finally got around to revisiting it this summer.

Mickster’s Memorable Moments:

*Jack’s special pocket watch with his tune for murder.

*Wells finds a young boy (Corey Feldman) at the museum is staring at him.

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Chuckles72 (@chuckles72)
9 years ago

Mary Steenburgen – wasn’t she also the time-travel romantic interest in Back to the Future Part III?

Anyhow, TAT was another one in heavy rotation in HBO’s early days. I’m surprised that the Mickster did not mention the McDonald’s scene – “Fries are Pom Frits!”

Dylan Donnie-Duke
Dylan Donnie-Duke (@dylan-donnie-duke)
9 years ago

When I first discovered A Clockwork Orange in high school I went through a Malcolm McDowell obsession (That I’ve never really outgrown.) which lead me to every movie that he was even remotely associated with. Being an obsession it was required that I watch the films in order of release whenever possible. Going from Caligula to TAT was a beautiful bit of actor shock. As you note, seeing MM play the good guy was an adjustment. High school me didn’t like it for that very reason. College me watched it again and found it quite fun. 40 year old me needs to watch it again to see where I fall. Thanks for the reminder!!!

FilmFather (@ezwriter68)
9 years ago

Great post, Mickster! I too was introduced to Time After Time by HBO circa 1980…and so began my immersion into all things Malcolm McDowell and David Warner.

Speaking of the latter, your post is quite timely. Happy belated 71st birthday to David Warner! (July 29)

mickster (@mickster)
9 years ago

Thanks everybody! It is funny, but I saw MM as a hero before I ever saw him as a villain. Whenever I see David Warner, however, I assume he is the bad guy (except in the 1984 version of A Christmas Carol as Cratchit). Happy Belated B’Day, David “Badass” Warner!
BTW, I love that I have a category called Kinder Loves Mickster! Mickster loves Kinder too!

Hail Ants
Hail Ants (@hail-ants)
9 years ago

This is the film that introduced McDowell to mainstream American audiences. He was so charming, polite & lovable in it that it was a huge shock to see his early performance in Clockwork later on.
McDowell was wonderful as the ‘fish out of water’ in the early scenes of the film. Acting like he’s hailing a cab or even answering a telephone for the first time in his life, and totally pulling it off! And when I saw it on HBO, when he refers to “that Scottish place where I breakfasted” they overdubbed it to “McDoogals”. I guess McDonalds threatened to sue maybe?

mickster (@mickster)
9 years ago

I am surprised I didn’t mention the McDonald’s scene because it is so cute! Hmmm…I thought it sounded odd when he called the place McDoogal’s!
I also love that he is totally shocked to see the chick in the clear plastic pants, but doesn’t seem phased at all by the airplane in the sky. Thank goodness, I didn’t see Clockwork until I was an adult! I don’t think my naive mind could have taken it.

surferJohnny25 (@surferjohnny25)
9 years ago

I was just thinking of this film today! I wasn’t expecting to find it here. I’ve only seen this film twice; it was years between viewings and it’s been years since I last saw it. It’s been too long; I recall it as being a highly suspenseful and exciting film. The writing is remarkable; the film is well-constructed in that the story unfolds in a perfectly natural, almost inevitable way and yet still manages to hold the viewer in suspense.

David Warner is easily the best Jack the Ripper ever to grace the screen (in fact, Warner is one of the best screen villains ever; he’s made a career based on how well he does villainy). His gentlemanly facade (which he famously casts off at the end of the film) makes him all the more chilling. Malcolm McDowell is equally wonderful, but I personally feel that Warner steals the show in this one.

I remember Jack’s demise giving me chills the last time I saw the film 🙂 The cheesy SFX made the scare value even more intense, somehow 🙂

Although there are points that one could nitpick in this film. For instance, in both H.G. Wells’s novel and the film versions of “The Time Machine,” it’s explicitly stated that the machine moves people through time, not through space. If that’s true, how did they get from London to San Francisco? Of course, the machine had been moved to the museum, but wouldn’t it make more sense to have two time machines, as in “Back to the Future?” Anyway, it’s not a big deal. The film is great anyway.

The McDonald’s scene is one of my favorite scenes in the flick 🙂 Too funny!

Tenshi (@tenshi)
4 years ago

Don’t forget, Cyndi Lauper saw this movie mentioned on a channel guide and that’s how she got the title for her song “Time After Time”. I hope she saw the movie itself, though. David Warner is the best. Especially as Sark.