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Time After Time [Malcolm McDowell]

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Time After Time, starring Malcolm McDowell, David Warner, Mary Steenburgen
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Time After Time (1979), starring Malcolm McDowell, David Warner, Mary Steenburgen

Synopsis of Time After Time

In Time After Time, H. G. Wells travels from 1893 London to 1979 San Francisco in pursuit of Jack the Ripper.  The Ripper has stolen his time machine and continued his murders in the future.

Cast of characters in Time After Time

  • H.G. Wells (Malcolm McDowellStar Trek: Generations).  The yet-to-be author has invented a time machine.  But after it’s stolen and taken into the future, he pursues the thief:
  • Stevenson (David WarnerTitanic).  Better known to history as Jack the Ripper, he’s fled to the distant future to continue his murder spree.  Excellently acted.  One of the people that he’s after is:
  • Amy Robbins (Mary SteenburgenBack to the Future Part III).  A bank teller, living in San Francisco in 1979.  A “liberated” young woman, who chases Herbert, a total stranger, directly into her bed.  And he falls madly in love with her.  This is the weakest part of the plot, but not the fault of the actress, who does a good job.

Editorial review of Time After Time courtesy of

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

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