The Time Machine

The Time Machine (1960)

7 corrected entries

(4 votes)

Corrected entry: The Eloi speak perfect English. One would think that after so many thousands of years had passed, gradually over time the Eloi's English would have degenerated somewhat. At the very least, new slang words would have been adopted reflecting their circumstances.

Correction: In the book the Eloi speak an obscure tonal language - not english. It is the choice of the director to use an unaltered English in order to make the movie easier to watch and understand. This cannot be considered a plot hole.


Corrected entry: Unlike the 2001 version of "The Time Machine," George does not have a protective bubble over him and his time machine so when the land around him is being destroyed by a volcano, shouldn't he have been killed in the process? He does make it to his machine and quickly flies into the future but without some sort of protection the lava that surrounds him also should have fallen on him and ended his journey through time.

Correction: While the time machine is in operation, he is outside of time and therefore not in sync with normal matter.

Corrected entry: If Weena did NOT want to be saved when she was drowning in the river, then why was she screaming? The only possible reason anyone would be screaming in such a situation is if they did want to be rescued.

Gavin Jackson

Correction: Screaming in a situation like that is human instinct. They may have the adopted mentality to not care, but they weren't born that way, they must have been taught it, because if people were born not caring, then that would not control the species.

Corrected entry: From the time traveller's point of view, he is just sitting in a time machine while the world goes on around him at very high speeds. If this is how it works, why, when they go back into the study can they not see the original time traveller making is first trip forward?

Correction: The time traveller is moving to fast to be seen by human eyes. This is explained in the novel.

Corrected entry: In any scene where observers either watch the time machine disappear (miniature demonstration) or find the machine "gone", the observers should actually see the machine still there. Consider that the time traveler (or machine) passes THROUGH every moment of time, rather than "skipping" ahead to any target time (as in "Back To The Future"). This is proven by the fact that the time traveler observes changing day/night, seasons, fashion changes on the mannequin, etc. So, really, his miniature demonstration would have looked lame, because the whirling machine would have just remained there from the observers' viewpoints, not disappeared. In fact, when advanced in time, it would stay in place for 100,000 years or whatever, no matter what happened around it.

Walt Glaeser

Correction: Inasmuch as Space and Time are one fabric, as Einstein correctly theorized, traveling through Space necessarily entails traveling through Time (as demonstrated by high-velocity manned space missions, which do indeed prove that time dilation occurs, such that the astronauts return to Earth a few milliseconds younger than they should be). On the same token, traveling through Time necessarily entails traveling through Space. As this pertains to the subject of the movie, the Time Machine was instantly moving forward through Time but also moving forward through Space. Think of it like this: Let's say that you and I are sitting face-to-face having this conversation when I activate my Time Machine and travel one day into the future, in just one second. In one day, the Earth naturally travels about 1.6 million miles in its orbit of the Sun. Therefore, I must travel not only 24 hours across Time (in just one second), but I must travel 1.6 million miles across Space (in just one second) so as to arrive at Earth's physical location in the future. To your eyes, as the observer, my Time Machine and I would simply wink out of existence, then wink back into existence 24 hours later in apparently the same location. You would be 24 hours older and I would be only one second older, but I would also have just traveled 1.6 million miles across space. So, to traverse Time just one day into Earth's future (in just one second) necessarily means the Time Machine must travel the distance to the Earth's future location in Space at a velocity over 8 times the speed of light. In the movie, the Time Machine is not only traveling 802,000 YEARS across Time in a matter of minutes, it is also traveling 802,000 years across physical Space in a matter of minutes, which would be such a blistering velocity that the Time Machine would be virtually invisible and undetectable to even the most careful observers.

Charles Austin Miller

Corrected entry: In the scene where Rod Taylor gets away from the lava and escapes into the future, he's encased in a mountain for eons. He says that he had to wait centuries for the mountain to wear down around him. Seeing as he can hear sounds, the oxygen must remain a constant inside and outside the machine, so while he's waiting for solid rock to wear away through erosion, what can he possibly be breathing in that time? Any air that may have been carried along within the confines of the machine would have run out and he would die, not just swoon as he did in the movie. He would also need to contend with the poisonous gases given off by lava as well as his own carbon dioxide.

Correction: Two possible explanations: 1. He only needs as much oxygen to survive the time he is indeed travelling (he's driving very fast, so from his point of view the rocks wear away in seconds). It is not implausible that there is still sufficent oxygen in the time machine for this short period of time. 2. As long as he is in the time machine his interacting with matter is different and therefore he is protected against forces from outside (as can be seen when his house burns away in WW1 or the lava encompasses his machine).

Corrected entry: In the atomic blast (depicted in the 1966 stopover of the time machine) the cars, street, bridge and buildings are completely destroyed only feet away from where H. George Wells (Taylor) had been tossed to the ground; yet miraculously he is uninjured and escapes in the time machine.

Correction: One of the oddities of atomic explosions is that they randomly spare areas for no apparent or predictable reason. During the Manhattan Project fake towns were built to test the effects of the atomic bombs on them - sometimes there were entire houses untouched even when the neighborhood around them was ash. It's extremely fortunate but possible.


Revealing mistake: During the big underground fight scene, the solid rock wall moves as George pounds a Morlock's head against it.

Grumpy Scot

More mistakes in The Time Machine

George: What have you done? Thousands of years of building and rebuilding, creating and recreating so you can let it crumble to dust. A million years of sensitive men dying for their dreams... FOR what? So you can swim and dance and play.

More quotes from The Time Machine

Trivia: In the video documenting the making of The Time Machine, Rod Taylor states that if you count the number of rivets on the spinning disk on the back of the machine, there are 365 of them (one for each day of the year). That said, there are actually only 348 pegs.

More trivia for The Time Machine

Question: What was in the envelope he put on the mantel just before he left. It was already gone when his friend and maid ran to see him leave?

Answer: Earlier in the movie, Mrs. Watchit hands an envelope to Philby with a note inside to inform everyone that if George doesn't show up at 8:00, then they can start dinner without him. This is what he most likely left on the mantle before he started his journey through time.

More questions & answers from The Time Machine

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