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  • صورة الكاتبA.J Fowkes

Life Imitates Art?

The Inventors of Science Fiction

Through the centuries art had been financed by the Royals and the rich. From medieval times artist, sculptures and painters recorded the events, battles and the personalities of the day. Whether Kings, Queens, Princes, Popes and Millionaires to pastoral landscapes all needed to be recorded and remembered for all time. Stories were written about the past and the present with little thought to what the future could possibly hold.

The change in attitudes may have contributed by the birth of 'Mechanised Warfare'. The industrialised nations in Europe and America flooded the battlefields of World War One with new inventions. Man had only just begun to fly and suddenly there were men dropping bombs, by hand from biplanes. The machine gun was in its infancy and it found its way to the frontlines. Chemical weapons were also brand new and immediately put to use as mustard gas blinding troops on both sides.

The powerful impact of machines to change the twentieth century civilisation became apparent. To the scientists, politicians and visionary writers of the day it became obvious that technology will play a dominant role in Mans destiny.

At the begining of the 20th century there was a great interest of scientific

investigation into interplanatery spaceflight, inspired by fictional writers such as

Jules Verne and H.G Wells.

Jules Verne (1828-1905)

Jules Gabrial Verne, was a French Novelist. Vernes largest body of

work is the ‘Voyages Extraordinaires’. His publisher Pierre-Jules Hetzel had long

planned a family magazine which combined science fiction and scientfic education.

The first publication was ‘Five Weeks in a Balloon’ in 1863, which has nothing to do

with balloons. Their professional relationship was strained during the writing of

‘Twenty Thousand Leagues under the Sea’ in 1870, but they continued working

together and published ‘Journey to the Centre of the Earth’ in 1864, ‘From the Earth

to the Moon 1865’. Vernes titles include ‘Around the World in Eighty Days’ which first

appeared in 1872.

On March 24 1905 while ill with diabetes Verne died at his home in Amiens, France.

His son Michael Verne, oversaw publication of his final novels ‘Invasion of the Sea’

and ’The Lighthouse at the End of the World’ after his death.

The original book covers of Jules Verne's early books.


Movies Inspired by Jules Verne.

Masters of the World (1961)

Mad inventor Capt. Robur (Vincent Price) kidnaps a team on a government expedition to investigate a mysterious crater in Pennsylvania. The team is taken aboard Robur's spectacularly engineered air ship, the "Albatross," which Robur plans to fly around the world to various military installations in his desperate desire to eradicate weapons of mass destruction, thereby bringing about world peace. The kidnapped team's leader, John Strock (Charles Bronson), responds by planning an uprising.

Cast and characters
  • Vincent Price as Robur

  • Charles Bronson as John Strock

  • Henry Hull as Prudent

  • Mary Webster as Dorothy Prudent

  • David Frankham as Philip Evans

  • Richard Harrison as Alistair (Helmsman)

  • Vito Scotti as Topage (Airship Chef)

  • Wally Campo as First Mate Turner

  • Ken Terrell as Crewman Shanks


Journey to the Centre of the Earth (1959)

The story begins in May 1863, at the Lidenbrock house in Hamburg, Germany. Professor Otto Lidenbrock dashes home to peruse his latest antiquarian purchase, an original manuscript of an Icelandic saga written by Snorre Sturluson, "Heimskringla", a chronicle of the Norwegian kings who ruled over Iceland. While leafing through the book, Lidenbrock and his nephew Axel find a coded note written in runic script along with the name of a 16th-century Icelandic alchemist, Arne Saknussemm. (This novel was Verne's first to showcase his love of cryptography; coded, cryptic, or incomplete messages would appear as plot devices in many of his works, and Verne would take pains to explain not only the code itself but also the mechanisms for retrieving the original text.) Lidenbrock and Axel transliterate the runic characters into Latin letters, revealing a message written in a seemingly bizarre code. Lidenbrock deduces that the message is a transposition cipher, but achieves results no more meaningful than the baffling original.

Professor Lidenbrock locks everyone in the house and forces himself and Axel to go without food until he cracks the code. Axel discovers the answer when fanning himself with the deciphered text: Lidenbrock's deciphering was correct but simply needed to be read backward in order to reveal a paragraph written in rough Latin. Axel tries to hide his discovery from Lidenbrock, afraid of the professor's maniacal reactions, but after two days without food, he knuckles under and reveals the secret to his uncle. Lidenbrock translates the paragraph, a 16th-century note written by Saknussemm, who claims to have discovered a passage to the center of the earth via the crater of Snæfellsjökull in Iceland. In what Axel calls bastardized Latin, the deciphered message reads:

The Runic cryptogram

In Sneffels Yokulis craterem kem delibat umbra Scartaris Julii intra calendas descende, audas viator, et terrestre centrum attinges. Kod feci. Arne Saknussemm.

which, when translated into English, reads:

Go down into the crater of Snaefells Jökull, which Scartaris's shadow caresses just before the calends of July, O daring traveler, and you'll make it to the center of the earth. I've done so. Arne Saknussemm


A man of astonishing impatience, Lidenbrock departs for Iceland immediately, taking the reluctant Axel with him. The latter repeatedly tries to reason with his uncle, describing the dangers of descending into a volcano that could very possibly reactivate, then putting forward several accepted scientific theories as to why the journey is flatly impossible. The professor ignores Axel's arguments, and after a swift trip via Kiel and Copenhagen, they arrive in Reykjavík. There they hire as their guide Icelander Hans Bjelke, a Danish-speaking eiderduck hunter, then travel overland to the base of Snæfellsjökull.

In late June they reach the volcano, which has three craters. According to Saknussemm's message, the route to the earth's center is via the crater that's touched by the noontime shadow of a nearby mountain peak, Scartaris, just before the end of June. But at that point the weather proves too cloudy for any shadows, and Axel hopes this will force his uncle to abandon the project and go home. Alas for Axel, the sun finally comes out, and Scartaris's shadow indicates the correct crater.

Reaching the bottom of the crater, the three travelers set off into the bowels of the earth, encountering many dangers and strange phenomena. After taking a wrong turn, they run short of water and Axel nearly perishes, but Hans saves them all by tapping into a subterranean river, which shoots out a stream of water that Lidenbrock and Axel name the "Hansbach" in the guide's honor. Later on, Axel becomes separated from his companions and gets lost deep in the earth. Luckily an odd acoustic phenomenon allows him to communicate with the others from a distance, and they are soon reunited.

Édouard Riou's illustration of an ichthyosaurus battling a plesiosaurus.

Following the course of the Hansbach, the explorers descend many miles and reach a cavern of colossal size. It's a genuine underground world that's lit by electrically charged gas near its ceiling, is filled by a deep subterranean ocean, and surrounded by a rocky coastline that's covered with petrified tree trunks, the fossils of prehistoric mammals, and gigantic living mushrooms. The travelers build a raft out of semipetrified wood and set sail. The professor names the ocean the "Lidenbrock Sea" and their takeoff point "Port Gräuben", after his goddaughter back home (whom Axel will marry at the novel's end). While at sea they encounter the prehistoric fish Pterichthys from the Devonian Period and giant marine reptiles from the age of dinosaurs, including a large Ichthyosaurus, which battles and defeats a turtle shelled Plesiosaurus. After the conflict between these monsters, the party reaches an islet with a huge geyser, which Lidenbrock names "Axel Island".

A lightning storm threatens to destroy the raft and its passengers, but instead surprises them by apparently throwing them back onto the very coastline they'd previously left. But this section of coast, Axel discovers, is the site of an enormous fossil graveyard, including bones from the pterodactyl, Megatherium, and mastodon, plus the preserved body of a man. Nephew and uncle then venture into a forest featuring primitive vegetation from the Tertiary Period; in its depths they are stunned to find a prehistoric humanoid more than twelve feet in height and watching over a herd of mastodons. Axel isn't sure he has actually seen the creature or not, and he argues with Lidenbrock over whether it's a manlike ape or an apelike man. In any case, fearing it may be hostile, they quickly leave the forest.

Continuing to explore the coastline, the travelers find a passageway marked by Saknussemm as the way ahead, but unfortunately it has been blocked by a recent cave-in. The adventurers lay plans to blow the rock open with gun cotton, meanwhile paddling their raft out to sea to avoid the blast. On executing this scheme, however, they find a seemingly bottomless pit beyond the impeding rock and are swept into it as the sea rushes down the huge open gap. After spending hours descending at breakneck speed, their raft reverses direction and rises inside a volcanic chimney that ultimately spews them into the open air. When they regain consciousness, they learn that they've been ejected from Stromboli, a volcanic island located off Sicily.

The trio returns to Germany, where Axel and Lidenbrock deduce that the electric storm at sea had reversed the poles of their compass — in actuality they hadn't been driven backward but forward to a new shore notable for containing gigantic hominids. At home in Hamburg again, they enjoy great acclaim; Professor Lidenbrock is hailed as one of the great scientists of the day, Axel marries his sweetheart Gräuben, and Hans returns to his peaceful, eiderdown-hunting life in Iceland.

Cast and characters
  • James Mason as Sir Oliver Lindenbrook

  • Pat Boone as Alec McEwan

  • Diane Baker as Jenny Lindenbrook

  • Arlene Dahl as Carla Göteborg

  • Peter Ronson as Hans Bjelke

  • Thayer David as Count Saknussemm

  • Bob Adler as Groom (Credited as Robert Adler)

  • Alan Napier as Dean

  • Ivan Triesault as Professor Göteborg

  • Alex Finlayson as Professor Boyle


The Light at the Edge of the World (1971).

The year is 1865. Will Denton (Kirk Douglas) is a jaded American miner escaping a troubled past. Seeking isolation for two reasons – to mend his broken heart after a failed romance during the California Gold Rush, and also to escape punishment after he murdered a man in a gunfight – Denton tends a lonely and isolated lighthouse with a minimal crew of three men, himself included.

The lighthouse sits on a fictional rocky island adorned with many caves carved by the crashing waves of the Atlantic Ocean; it is however set in the geographic location of the Tierra del Fuego archipelago at the southern tip of South America. Before the building of the Panama Canal, the waters off Cape Horn were perhaps the busiest and richest shipping lanes in the world (all shipping between Europe and the western coast of The United States had to go around the Cape) and therefore very lucrative.

Denton is contented to retreat from the world and be away from the problems of civilization, and quickly adjusts to his new supervisor, old Argentine sea dog Captain Moriz (Fernando Rey) and his youthful and innocent assistant Felipe.

A shipload of utterly malicious and sadistic pirates show up, murder Moriz and Felipe, and extinguish the light. They are wreckers, brigands who mislead ships into the rocks to loot the cargo and prey upon the victims. Their leader Captain Jonathan Kongre (Yul Brynner) is a diabolical fiend with a seductive and charismatic facade.

Denton hides out in the caves and amongst the rocks, hiding from the pirates. He saves Italian wreck survivor Montefiore from the pirates' massacre, and together they wage a war of guerrilla tactics against Kongre and his cutthroats.

Kongre breaks his own rule by keeping one captive alive – a beautiful Englishwoman named Arabella (Samantha Eggar).

Montefiore is captured while creating a diversion for an attempt by Denton to rescue Arabella, who however opts for remaining with Kongre. On the next day, Kongre has Montefiori flayed alive on his ship, trying to draw Denton out of hiding, but Denton shoots Montefiori from afar. Angered, Kongre gives Arabella to his men and withdraws to the lighthouse. Denton uses the pirates' cannon to sink their ship, along with all the pirates except for Kongre.

The finale of the film is a showdown between the only two survivors left on the island, Denton and Kongre. During the fight an explosion occurs. Kongre is set on fire and falls from the lighthouse.

Cast and characters
  • Kirk Douglas as Will Denton

  • Yul Brynner as Jonathan Kongre

  • Samantha Eggar as Arabella

  • Jean-Claude Drouot as Virgilio

  • Fernando Rey as Captain Moriz

  • Renato Salvatori as Montefiore

  • Massimo Ranieri as Felipe

  • Aldo Sambrell as Tarcante

  • Tito García as Emilio

  • Víctor Israel as Das Mortes


Mysterious Island (1961)

In 1865, during the American Civil War, a massive storm sweeps through Libby Military Prison in Richmond, Virginia. Union soldiers Cyrus Harding, Herbert Brown and Neb, along with Union war correspondent Gideon Spillet plan an escape via a gas balloon tethered next to the compound. After escaping their cell, they take one of the Confederate guards named Pencroft aboard the balloon after he explains that he knows how to pilot the airship.

The balloon carries them westwards across the United States, and over the Pacific Ocean. A storm arises, tearing open the balloon and forcing the men to land near the shore of an unknown island. The following morning the men explore the strange island. They discover that the island has lush tropical jungles, harsh plains, and many volcanoes which frequently erupt.

When they reach the other side of the island, they encounter a giant crab. After Neb is nearly killed, the castaways are able to push it into a boiling geyser and have crab meat for dinner. Afterwards, the men continue exploring and find a herd of wild goats which they try to catch. Then they find two unconscious English ladies, Lady Mary Fairchild and her niece Elena, who were shipwrecked here by the same storm. Working together, the castaways find cover and protection in a cave which they call "Granite House", formerly inhabited by a now deceased castaway named Tom Ayrton. A treasure chest later washes ashore, and in it the men find a variety of useful items, including rifles, nautical charts, and books such as Robinson Crusoe. Markings upon one of the rifles found in the chest indicate that it came from the Nautilus, upon which Spillet gives Lady Fairchild (who is unfamiliar with the tale) a brief summation of the Nautilus, its creator Captain Nemo, and its supposed destruction off the coast of Mexico some eight years earlier. Spillet expresses a sense of respect and admiration for Nemo's genius and principles against war, while Harding derides him for being a madman and a murderer, condemning him for the deaths of numerous sailors during his crusade. Making use of the charts, the castaways are able to determine their location and proceed with the construction of a boat on which they can escape the island.

While Mary and Elena are one day tending to the goats, Spillet encounters a giant flightless bird (a prehistoric species called a Phorusrhacos) while fishing. Spillet and the women retreat into the goat pen, but the bird simply jumps over the fence and assails them. As it tries to eat Elena, Herbert arrives and attacks the creature, knifing it until he apparently kills it. Later, as they consume the bird, they discover it was actually killed by a bullet none of them had fired.

A few weeks later, Herbert and Elena are sunning outside when they notice a rivulet of honey. Atop a rocky bluff, they come across an enormous hive inhabited by giant bees, which attack them. As Herbert and Elena escape from the hive into a large flooded cave, they spot the submarine Nautilus inside. They enter the vessel, but knowing that it belongs to someone else, retreat, swimming out of the cave. Meanwhile, Harding, Spillet, Neb, Mary and Pencroft spot an approaching pirate ship. They try to hide, but are discovered, and a fight with the pirates ensues. The castaways prevail only after an explosion mysteriously sinks the pirate ship with all hands aboard.

Once outside, the castaways reunite and meet Captain Nemo, who is living aboard his disabled submarine. Nemo has been watching the castaways and secretly assisting them by sending the chest, shooting the giant bird, and sinking the pirate ship. He invites them to dinner aboard the Nautilus, where he tells them that the giant creatures are results of his genetic experiments to enlarge the world's food resources, thereby eliminating hunger and economic competition which he sees as prime causes for the wars he was striving to end all his life. Due to their fortitude, he has selected them to assist him in his efforts to make his achievements known to the world, especially since the Nautilus is incapacitated beyond repair and the volcano will soon erupt, destroying the island.

When time runs out, the castaways discover that Nemo has invented an air-filled raising system which can refloat the pirate ship, the only readily seaworthy vessel on this island. Nemo teaches them to breathe underwater using his special "shell" air tanks, and they work to raise the ship, despite interference by a giant cephalopod. With the pirate ship raised and seaworthy, the castaways set sail. The volcano erupts and Nemo is killed as the Nautilus is buried, but the rest escape and begin the journey home, vowing to continue Nemo's dream of achieving lasting peace throughout the world.

Cast and characters
  • Michael Craig as Captain Cyrus Harding

  • Joan Greenwood as Lady Mary Fairchild

  • Michael Callan as Herbert Brown

  • Gary Merrill as Gideon Spilitt

  • Herbert Lom as Captain Nemo

  • Beth Rogan as Elena Fairchild

  • Percy Herbert as Sergeant Pencroft

  • Dan Jackson as Corporal Neb Nugent


In Search of the Castaways (1962)

Young Mary Grant (Hayley Mills) and her brother (Keith Hamshere) travel to Scotland with their friend Professor Paganel (Maurice Chevalier) to attempt to convince Lord Glenarvan (Wilfrid Hyde White) to help locate Mary's missing father, Captain Grant (Jack Gwillim). As Grant was working for him, Glenarvan agrees, and the group sails to South America and then Australia in search of him. They eventually meet the treacherous Thomas Ayerton (George Sanders), who may know the captain's location.

Cast and characters
  • Maurice Chevalier as Jacques Paganel

  • Hayley Mills as Mary Grant

  • George Sanders as Thomas Ayerton

  • Wilfrid Hyde-White as Lord Glenarvan

  • Michael Anderson as John Glenarvan

  • Keith Hamshere as Robert Grant

  • Antonio Cifariello as Thalcave, the Indian Chief

  • Wilfrid Brambell as Bill Gaye

  • Jack Gwillim as Captain Grant

  • Inia Te Wiata as Maori Chief


20,000 Leagues Under The Sea (1954)

In 1868, rumors spread of a sea monster which attacks ships in the Pacific Ocean, disrupting shipping lanes. Professor Aronnax and his assistant, Conseil, board a U.S. Navy frigate dispatched on an expedition to investigate the reports. They board the warship and are joined by cocky master-harpooner Ned Land.

After months of patrolling, a nearby steamship is seen to explode; when the frigate arrives, the "monster" is spotted. The frigate's guncrew open fire with their heavy Dahlgren cannon, and the "monster" turns and rams the warship. Ned, Conseil, and Aronnax are thrown overboard. The crippled frigate drifts away, not responding to their cries for help. Clinging to floating wreckage, Aronnax and Conseil come upon a metal vessel and realize the "monster" is a man-made "submerging boat" that appears deserted. Going aboard, Aronnax finds a large viewport and witnesses an underwater funeral, while Ned Land arrives on an overturned longboat from their ship. Aronnax resists leaving just long enough to be spotted by the funeral's divers.

Ned, Aronnax, and Conseil attempt to leave in the righted longboat, but the crewman divers surface and stop them. The captain introduces himself as Nemo, master of the Nautilus. He returns Ned and Conseil to the deck while offering Aronnax, whom he recognizes, the chance to stay. After Aronnax proves willing to die with his companions, Nemo allows Ned and Conseil to remain aboard.

Nemo takes them to the penal colony island of Rura Penthe, where the prisoners are loading a munitions ship. Nemo was a prisoner there, as were many of his crew. Nautilus rams the steamer, destroying it, and killing the crew. Nemo tells Aronnax that he has saved thousands from death in war, and that this "hated nation" tortured his wife and son to death while attempting to force him to reveal his discoveries. In Nemo's cabin, Ned and Conseil discover the coordinates of Nemo's secret island base, Vulcania, and Ned releases messages in bottles overboard.

Off the coast of New Guinea, Nautilus becomes stranded on a reef. Nemo allows Ned to go ashore with Conseil, ostensibly to collect specimens, while admonishing them to stay on the beach. Ned instead goes exploring for avenues of escape, and finds human skulls posted on stakes. Ned quickly rejoins Conseil, and they row away, pursued by cannibals. Aboard Nautilus, the cannibals are repelled by an electrical charge sent through its hull. Nemo confines Ned to the brig for disobeying orders.

A warship later fires upon Nautilus, which descends into the depths, attracting a giant squid. After an electric charge fails to repel the creature, Nemo and his men surface during a violent storm to dislodge it. Nemo is caught in one of its long tentacles, and Ned, having escaped from captivity, fatally harpoons the giant, saving Nemo. Having had a change of heart, Nemo wants to make peace with the world.

As Nautilus nears Vulcania, Nemo finds it surrounded by warships, with marines climbing up its steep slopes. On deck, Ned tries to identify himself to the warships as the messages sender. Aronnax, now furious, knows that Nemo will destroy all evidence of his discoveries. Nemo submerges Nautilus, enters his base from underwater, and surfaces. He rushes ashore to activate a prearranged time bomb, but is mortally wounded in the back by a bullet. Navigating the submarine away to a safe distance from Vulcania, Nemo announces that he will be "taking the Nautilus down for the last time". His crew declare that they will accompany their captain in death.

Aronnax, Conseil, and Ned are confined to their cabins, while Nautilus's crew retreat to their cabins at Nemo's instructions. Ned escapes and manages to surface the submarine, striking a reef in the process, causing Nautilus to flood. In the salon, Nemo dies while viewing his beloved undersea domain.

Aronnax tries retrieving his journal, but the urgency of their escape obliges Ned to knock him unconscious and carry him out. Aboard Nautilus's skiff, the three companions, along with Nemo's pet sea lion, Esmeralda, witness Vulcania explode. A billowing mushroom cloud rises above the island's complete destruction. Ned apologizes to Aronnax for striking him, but Aronnax concedes that the loss of his journal might have been for the best. As Nautilus sinks, Nemo's last words to Aronnax echo: "There is hope for the future. And when the world is ready for a new and better life, all this will someday come to God's good time."

Cast and characters

  • Kirk Douglas as Ned Land

  • James Mason as Captain Nemo

  • Paul Lukas as Professor Pierre Aronnax

  • Peter Lorre as Conseil

  • Robert J. Wilke as Nautilus's First Mate

  • Ted de Corsia as Captain Farragut

  • Carleton Young as John Howard

  • J. M. Kerrigan as Billy

  • Percy Helton as Coach driver

  • Ted Cooper as Abraham Lincoln's First Mate

  • Fred Graham as Casey

  • Laurie Mitchell as Hooker


Around the World in 80 Days (1956)

Broadcast journalist Edward R. Murrow presents an onscreen prologue, featuring footage from A Trip to the Moon (1902) by Georges Méliès, explaining that it is based loosely on the book From the Earth to the Moon by Jules Verne. Also included is the launching of an unmanned rocket and footage of the earth receding.

In 1872, an English gentleman Phileas Fogg claims he can circumnavigate the world in eighty days. Met with scepticism, he makes a £20,000 wager (worth about £1.8 million today) with four fellow members of the Reform Club (each contributing £5,000 to the bet) that he can make the journey and arrive back at the club eighty days from exactly 8:45 pm that evening.

Together with his resourceful French valet, Passepartout, Fogg goes hopscotching around the globe generously spending money to encourage others to help him get to his destinations faster so he can accommodate tight steamship schedules. Reaching Paris, they set out on the onward journey by a gas balloon named La Coquette upon learning that the train tunnel through the Alps is blocked. Blown off-course, the two accidentally end up in Spain, where Passepartout engages in a comic bullfight. Next, he goes to Brindisi in Italy. Meanwhile back in London, suspicion grows that Fogg has stolen £55,000 (around £5 million today) from the Bank of England so Police Inspector Fix is sent out by Scotland Yard to trail him (starting in Suez) but must keep waiting for a warrant to arrive so he can arrest Fogg in the British controlled ports they visit.

In India, Fogg and Passepartout rescue beautiful young widow Aouda from being forced into a funeral pyre with her late husband. The three then travel to Hong Kong, Yokohama, San Francisco, and the Wild West (including the Sioux Nation). Reaching New York, they arrange their passage on a cargo ship sailing to England. After an adventurous crossing of the Atlantic, they arrive in Liverpool, where, still with just enough time left to travel to London and win his wager, Fogg is promptly arrested by the diligent yet misguided Inspector Fix.

Detaining Fogg at the police station, the humiliated Fix discovers that the real culprit has already been apprehended by police in Brighton. Although Fogg is exculpated and free to go, he now has insufficient time to reach London before his deadline, and so has lost everything but the enduring love of the winsome Aouda. Upon returning to London, Fogg asks Passepartout to arrange a church wedding for the next day, Monday. Salvation comes when Passepartout is shocked to be informed that the next day is actually Sunday. Fogg then realizes that by traveling east towards the rising sun and crossing the International Date Line, he has gained a day. Thus, there is still just enough time to reach the Reform Club and win the bet. Fogg rushes to the club, arriving just before the 8:45 pm chime. Passepartout and Aouda then arrive behind him, shocking everyone, as no woman has ever entered the Reform Club before.

Cast and characters
  • David Niven as Phileas Fogg

  • Cantinflas as Passepartout

  • Shirley MacLaine as Princess Aouda

  • Robert Newton as Inspector Fix


H.G.Wells (1866-194)

Herbert George Wells, was an English writer, although he was prolific in

many genres, he is best remembered for his science fiction. He was a forward-

looking social critic who devoted his literary talents to the development of a

progressive vision on a global scale. As a futurist he wrote a number of utopian

works which foresaw the advent of aircraft, spacetravel, nuclear weapons,

sataellite television and something similar to the World Wide Web.

His most notable works include ’The Time Machine’ written in 1895, ‘The Island of

Doctor Moreau’ in 1896, ‘The Invisible Man 1897’, War of the Worlds’ in 1898 and

‘The War in the Air’- 1907. H.G Wells was nominated for a Nobel Prize in 1921, 1932,

1935 and 1946.

Wells died on the 13 August 1946 aged 79 at his home in Hanover Square

overlooking Regent’s Park, London. His epitah was “I told you so” which is thought

to reference the two atomic bombs dropped on Japan during World War 2.

The original covers of H.G.Wells early books.


Movies inspired by H.G.Wells.

A Trip to the Moon (1902)

French: Le Voyage dans la Lune) is a French adventure short film directed by Georges Méliès. Inspired by a wide variety of sources, including Jules Verne's 1865 novel From the Earth to the Moon and its 1870 sequel Around the Moon, the film follows a group of astronomers who travel to the Moon in a cannon-propelled capsule, explore the Moon's surface, escape from an underground group of Selenites (lunar inhabitants), and return to Earth with a captive Selenite. Its ensemble cast of French theatrical performers is led by Méliès himself as main character Professor Barbenfouillis. The film features the overtly theatrical style for which Méliès became famous.

Scholars have commented upon the film's extensive use of pataphysical and anti-imperialist satire, as well as on its wide influence on later film-makers and its artistic significance within the French theatrical féerie tradition. Though the film disappeared into obscurity after Méliès's retirement from the film industry, it was rediscovered around 1930, when Méliès's importance to the history of cinema was beginning to be recognised by film devotees. An original hand-colored print was discovered in 1993 and restored in 2011.

A Trip to the Moon was an internationally popular success on its release, and was extensively pirated by other studios, especially in the United States. Its unusual length, lavish production values, innovative special effects, and emphasis on storytelling were markedly influential on other film-makers and ultimately on the development of narrative film as a whole. It was ranked 84th at the 100 greatest films of the 20th century by The Village Voice. The film remains Méliès' best known, and the moment in which the capsule lands in the Moon's eye remains one of the most iconic and frequently referenced images in the history of cinema. It is widely regarded as the earliest example of the science fiction film genre and, more generally, as one of the most influential films in cinema history.


Cast and characters
  • Georges Méliès as Professor Barbenfouillis. Méliès, a pioneering French film-maker and magician now generally regarded as the first person to recognise the potential of narrative film, had already achieved considerable success with his film versions of Cinderella (1899) and Joan of Arc (1900). His extensive involvement in all of his films as director, producer, writer, designer, technician, publicist, editor, and often actor makes him one of the first cinematic auteurs. Speaking about his work late in life, Méliès commented: "The greatest difficulty in realising my own ideas forced me to sometimes play the leading role in my films ... I was a star without knowing I was one, since the term did not yet exist." All told, Méliès took an acting role in at least 300 of his 520 films.

  • Bleuette Bernon as Phoebe (the woman on the crescent moon). Méliès discovered Bernon in the 1890s, when she was performing as a singer at the cabaret L'Enfer. She also appeared in his 1899 adaption of Cinderella.

  • François Lallement as the officer of the marines. Lallement was one of the salaried camera operators for the Star Film Company.

  • Henri Delannoy as the captain of the rocket.

  • Jules-Eugène Legris as the parade leader. Legris was a magician who performed at Méliès's theatre of stage illusions, the Théâtre Robert-Houdin in Paris.

  • Victor André, Delpierre, Farjaux, Kelm, and Brunnet as the astronomers. André worked at the Théâtre de Cluny; the others were singers in French music halls.

  • Ballet of the Théâtre du Châtelet as stars and as cannon attendants.

  • Acrobats of the Folies Bergère as Selenites.


The Invisible Man (1933)

Plot-On a snowy night, a stranger, his face swathed in bandages and his eyes obscured by dark goggles, takes a room at The Lion's Head Inn in the English village of Iping in Sussex. The man demands to be left alone. Later, the innkeeper, Mr. Hall, is sent by his wife to evict the stranger after he has made a huge mess in his room while doing research and has fallen behind on his rent. Angered, the stranger throws Mr. Hall down the stairs. Confronted by a policeman and some local civilians, he removes his bandages and goggles, revealing he is invisible. Laughing maniacally, he takes off his clothes, making himself completely undetectable, and drives off his tormentors before fleeing into the countryside.

The stranger is Dr. Jack Griffin, a chemist who discovered the secret of invisibility while conducting a series of tests involving an obscure drug called monocane. Flora Cranley, Griffin's fiancée and the daughter of Griffin's employer, Dr. Cranley, becomes distraught over Griffin's long absence. Cranley and his other assistant, Dr. Kemp, search Griffin's empty laboratory, finding only a single note in a cupboard. Cranley becomes concerned when he reads it. The note has a list of chemicals, including monocane, which Cranley knows is extremely dangerous; an injection of it drove a dog mad in Germany. Griffin, it seems, is unaware of this. Cranley deduces Griffin may have learned about monocane in English books printed before the incident that describe only its bleaching power.

On the evening of his escape from the inn, Griffin turns up at Kemp's home. He forces Kemp to become his visible partner in a plot to dominate the world through a reign of terror, beginning with "a few murders here and there". They drive back to the inn to retrieve his notebooks on the invisibility process. Sneaking inside, Griffin finds a police inquiry underway, conducted by an official who believes it is all a hoax. After securing his books, Griffin angrily attacks and kills the officer.

Back home, Kemp calls Cranley, asking for help, and then the police. Flora persuades her father to let her come along. In her presence, Griffin becomes more placid and calls her "darling". When he realizes Kemp has betrayed him, his first reaction is to get Flora away from danger. After promising Kemp that at 10 o'clock the next night he will murder him, Griffin escapes and goes on a killing spree. He causes the derailmentof a train, resulting in a hundred deaths, and throws two volunteer searchers off a cliff. The police offer a reward for anyone who can think of a way to catch him.

Feeling that Griffin will try to fulfill his promise, the chief detective in charge of the search uses Kemp as bait and devises various clever traps. At Kemp's insistence, the police disguise him in a police uniform and let him drive his car away from his house. Griffin, however, is hiding in the back seat of the car. He overpowers Kemp and ties him up in the front seat. Griffin then sends the car down a steep hill and over a cliff where it explodes on impact, killing Kemp.

A snowstorm forces Griffin to seek shelter in a barn where he falls asleep. Later a farmer enters and spots movement in the hay where Griffin is sleeping. He notifies the police, who rush out to the farm and surround the barn. They set fire to the building, which forces Griffin to come out, leaving visible footprints in the snow. The chief detective opens fire, mortally wounding Griffin. He is taken to the hospital where, hours later, a surgeon informs Dr. Cranley that Griffin is dying and asking to see Flora. On his deathbed, Griffin admits to Flora, "I meddled in things that man must leave alone." As he dies, his body quickly becomes visible again.

Cast and characters
  • Claude Rains as Dr. Jack Griffin

  • Gloria Stuart as Flora Cranley

  • William Harrigan as Dr. Arthur Kemp

  • Henry Travers as Dr. Cranley

  • Una O'Connor as Jenny Hall

  • Forrester Harvey as Herbert Hall

  • Dudley Digges as Chief of Detectives

  • E. E. Clive as Police Constable Jaffers

  • Dwight Frye as Reporter

  • Merle Tottenham as Millie


The Time Machine (1960)

In 1960, the novella was made into a US science fiction film, also known promotionally as H.G. Wells's The Time Machine. The film starred Rod Taylor, Alan Young, and Yvette Mimieux. The film was produced and directed by George Pal, who also filmed a 1953 version of Wells's The War of the Worlds. The film won an Academy Award for time-lapse photographic effects showing the world changing rapidly.

The book's protagonist is a Victorian English scientist and gentleman inventor living in Richmond, Surrey, identified by a narrator simply as the Time Traveller. Similarly, with but one exception (a man named Filby), none of the dinner guests present are ever identified by name, but rather by profession (for example, "the Psychologist") or physical description (for example, "the Very Young Man").

The narrator recounts the Traveller's lecture to his weekly dinner guests that time is simply a fourth dimension and demonstrates a tabletop model machine for travelling through the fourth dimension. He reveals that he has built a machine capable of carrying a person through time, and returns at dinner the following week to recount a remarkable tale, becoming the new narrator.

In the new narrative, the Time Traveller tests his device. At first he thinks nothing has happened but soon finds out he went five hours into the future. He continues forward and sees his house disappear and turn into a lush garden. The Time Traveller stops in A.D. 802,701, where he meets the Eloi, a society of small, elegant, childlike adults. They live in small communities within large and futuristic yet slowly deteriorating buildings, and adhere to a fruit-based diet. His efforts to communicate with them are hampered by their lack of curiosity or discipline. They appear happy and carefree but fear the dark, and particularly moonless nights. Observing them, he finds that they give no response to mysterious nocturnal disappearances, possibly because the thought of it alone frightens them into silence. After exploring the area around the Eloi's residences, the Time Traveller reaches the top of a hill overlooking London. He concludes that the entire planet has become a garden, with little trace of human society or engineering from the hundreds of thousands of years prior, and that communism has at last been achieved.

Returning to the site where he arrived, the Time Traveller is shocked to find his time machine missing and eventually concludes that it has been dragged by some unknown party into a nearby structure with heavy doors, locked from the inside, which resembles a Sphinx. Luckily, he had removed the machine's levers before leaving it (the time machine being unable to travel through time without them). Later in the dark, he is approached menacingly by the Morlocks, ape-like troglodytes who live in darkness underground and surface only at night. Exploring one of many "wells" that lead to the Morlocks' dwellings, he discovers the machinery and industry that makes the above-ground paradise of the Eloi possible. He alters his theory, speculating that the human race has evolved into two species: the leisured classes have become the ineffectual Eloi, and the downtrodden working classes have become the brutal light-fearing Morlocks.

Deducing that the Morlocks have taken his time machine, he explores the Morlock tunnels, learning that due to a lack of any other means of sustenance, they feed on the Eloi. The Time Traveller theorizes that intelligence is the result of and response to danger; with no real challenges facing the Eloi, they have lost the spirit, intelligence, and physical fitness of humanity at its peak.

Meanwhile, he saves an Eloi named Weena from drowning as none of the other Eloi take any notice of her plight, and they develop an innocently affectionate relationship over the course of several days. He takes Weena with him on an expedition to a distant structure dubbed "The Palace of Green Porcelain", which turns out to be a derelict museum. Here, the Time Traveller finds a fresh supply of matches and fashions a crude weapon against Morlocks, whom he must fight to get back his machine. He plans to take Weena back to his own time. Because the long and tiring journey back to Weena's home is too much for them, they stop in the forest for the night. They are then overcome by Morlocks in the night, whereby Weena faints. The Traveller escapes when a small fire he had left behind them to distract the Morlocks catches up to them as a forest fire; Weena and the pursuing Morlocks are lost in the fire and the Time Traveller is devastated over his loss.

The Morlocks open the Sphinx and use the time machine as bait to capture the Traveller, not understanding that he will use it to escape. He reattaches the levers before he travels further ahead to roughly 30 million years from his own time. There he sees some of the last living things on a dying Earth: Menacing reddish crab-like creatures slowly wandering the blood-red beaches chasing enormous butterflies, in a world covered in simple lichenous vegetation. He continues to make jumps forward through time, seeing Earth's rotation gradually cease and the sun grow larger, redder, and dimmer, and the world falling silent and freezing as the last degenerate living things die out.

Overwhelmed, he goes back to the machine and returns to his own time, arriving at the laboratory just three hours after he originally left. He arrives late to his own dinner party, whereupon, after eating, the Time Traveller relates his adventures to his disbelieving visitors, producing as evidence two strange white flowers Weena had put in his pocket.

The original narrator then takes over and relates that he returned to the Time Traveller's house the next day, finding him preparing for another journey and promising to return in a short time. However, the narrator reveals that he has waited three years before writing and stating the Time Traveller has not returned from his journey.

In 1960, the novella was made into a US science fiction film, also known promotionally as H.G. Wells's The Time Machine. The film starred Rod Taylor, Alan Young, and Yvette Mimieux. The film was produced and directed by George Pal, who also filmed a 1953 version of Wells's The War of the Worlds. The film won an Academy Award for time-lapse photographic effects showing the world changing rapidly.

Cast and characters
  • Rod Taylor as H. George Wells

  • Alan Young as David Filby/James Filby

  • Yvette Mimieux as Weena

  • Sebastian Cabot as Dr. Philip Hillyer

  • Tom Helmore as Anthony Bridewell

  • Whit Bissell as Walter Kemp

  • Doris Lloyd as Mrs. Watchett

  • Paul Frees as voice of the Rings


Island of the Lost Souls (1932)

Plot-Shipwrecked traveler Edward Parker is rescued by a freighter delivering animals to an isolated South Seas island owned by Dr. Moreau. After Parker fights with the freighter's drunken captain for his mistreating M'ling, a passenger with some bestial features, the captain tosses Parker overboard into Mr. Montgomery's boat, bound for Moreau's island.

When Parker arrives at the island, Moreau welcomes Parker to his home and introduces him to Lota, a young woman whom Moreau claims is of Polynesian origin, and who seems shy and withdrawn. When she and Parker hear screams coming from another room, which Lota calls "the House of Pain," Parker investigates. He sees Moreau and Moreau's assistant, Montgomery, operating on a humanoid creature without anesthetic. Convinced that Moreau is engaged in sadistic vivisection, Parker tries to leave, only to encounter brutish-looking humanoids resembling apes, felines, swine, and other beasts emerging from the jungle. Moreau appears, cracks his whip, and orders them to recite a series of rules ("the Law"). Afterward, the strange "men" disperse.

Back in the main house, the doctor tries to assuage Parker by explaining his scientific work—that he started experimenting in London years ago, accelerating the evolution of plants. He then progressed to animals, trying to transform them into humans through plastic surgery, blood transfusions, gland extracts, and ray baths. When a dog-hybrid escaped from his laboratory it so horrified people that he was forced to leave England.

Moreau confides to Parker that Lota is the sole female on the island, but hides that she was derived from a panther. Later he privately expresses his excitement to Montgomery that Lota is showing human emotions in her attraction to Parker. So he can keep observing this process, Moreau ensures that Parker cannot leave by destroying the only available boat, placing blame for this on his beast-men.

As Parker spends time with Lota, she falls in love with him. Eventually the two kiss, but Parker is then stricken with guilt, since he still loves his fiancée, Ruth Thomas. As Lota hugs him, Parker examines her fingernails, which are reverting to animalistic claws. He storms into the office of Dr. Moreau to confront him for hiding the truth about Lota. Dr. Moreau explains that Lota is his most nearly human creation, and he wanted to see if she was capable of falling in love with a man and bearing humanlike children. Enraged by the deceit, Parker punches Moreau to the ground and demands to leave the island. When Moreau realizes Lota is beginning to revert to her panther origin, he first despairs, believing that he has failed—until he notices Lota weeping, showing human emotion. His hopes are raised and he screams that he will "burn out" the remaining animal in her in the House of Pain.

Meanwhile, the American consul at Apia in Samoa, Parker's original destination, learns about Parker's location from the cowed freighter captain. Fiancée Ruth Thomas persuades Captain Donahue to take her to Moreau's island. She is reunited with Parker, but Moreau persuades them to stay the night. The ape-themed Ouran, one of Moreau's creations, tries to break into Ruth's room. She wakes up and screams for help, and Ouran is driven away. Montgomery confronts Moreau, and implies that Ouran's attempted break-in was arranged by Moreau. Donahue offers to try to reach the ship and fetch his crew. Moreau, seeing him depart, dispatches Ouran to strangle him.

Learning that Moreau has allowed Ouran to break the Law, the other beast-men no longer feel bound by it. They set their huts ablaze and defy Moreau, who tries and fails to regain control. He demands of them, "What is the Law?" Their response is, "Law no more!" The beast-men drag the doctor into his House of Pain, where they bind him, screaming, to the operating table and brutally stab him to death with his own surgical knives.

With help from the disaffected Montgomery, Parker and Ruth make their escape. Park

er insists they take Lota along. When Lota sees Ouran following, she waits in ambush. In the ensuing struggle, both are killed. The others escape by boat as the island goes up in flames, presumably destroying Moreau's work and eradicating the beast-men.

Cast and characters
  • Charles Laughton as Dr. Moreau

  • Richard Arlen as Edward Parker

  • Leila Hyams as Ruth Thomas

  • Bela Lugosi (billed as Bela "Dracula" Lugosi in the trailer) as Sayer of the Law

  • Kathleen Burke as Lota, the Panther Woman

  • Arthur Hohl as Mr. Montgomery

  • Stanley Fields as Captain Davies

  • Paul Hurst as Captain Donahue

  • Hans Steinke as Ouran

  • Tetsu Komai as M'ling, Moreau's loyal house servant

  • George Irving as The Consul


The Passionate Friends (1949)

Plot-The story is told through episodes of memories by the woman (Mary, played by Ann Todd) while on holiday in Switzerland waiting for her banker husband Howard (Claude Rains) to join her from his business. It has been nine years since they have been on holiday, but also nine years since she last talked to the man she is in love with (Steven, played by Trevor Howard), who unknowing to her has been booked into the adjoining room.

The narrative then goes into the past and tells of the love between Mary and Steven. While Mary loves Steven, she refuses to marry him, believing that a marriage of love would be too stifling, while Steven tells her that two people in love should want to 'belong to each other'. Mary insists that she wants only to 'belong to herself' and runs away as Steven tells her that her life would then be 'a failure'. She then marries Howard, who gives her affection, stability and security. When they meet again nine years later on New Year's Eve, Steven is with his-then girlfriend while Mary is with Howard. Howard dryly pretends not to recognise Steven 'So the enemy wouldn't know he was being observed'.

Steven later pursues Mary again and almost persuades her to change her mind and leave Howard. While Howard accepts his wife's socialising with Steven, he notices they have forgotten their tickets for the theatre. They then lie to him when he inquires of their evening. In a dramatic scene Steven tells Howard Mary is in love with him and Howard should step aside, while Mary asks him to leave so she can talk things over with Howard.

Mary sends Steven a letter, but Steven goes to their residence and demands to see Mary. He sees Howard first, who tells him he knows and understands Mary, while Steven, despite being in love, hardly knows Mary at all. Howard understands that their marriage is not one of love, but one of affection and mutual freedom. Howard is confident that a marriage of love, where partners 'belong' to each other, was not what Mary wants, and all that is needed is for Mary and Steven to stay away from each other. Mary later confirms what Howard said and runs away before Steven can dissuade her.

The narrative returns to the holiday in the Swiss Alps as Mary and Steven innocently meet again. Howard is once more absent due to banking work, and with Steven having a half a day before he has to return to London, they go by boat and cable car to picnic on a mountain. They talk of their lives and Steven reveals that he has two children with his wife. Mary asks him if he is happy, and seems happier herself that he is, but mixed expressions tell of regrets, as if she wishes herself in his wife's place.

When they return from the mountain, Howard has arrived early and happens to see them disembarking the boat together. As he goes to the couple's suite, he notices the porter taking Steven's suitcase from the adjoining room and is filled with suspicion. His pride is further hurt when Mary rushes by him to the terrace, not realising he is there, to wave goodbye enthusiastically to Steven. He storms out when Mary turns and sees him, her feelings revealed on her face, and soon files for divorce against her, alleging adultery.

Mary tries to warn Steven about the divorce action, but he is served with process just as Steven's wife goes to see Steven off a train. Steven's family life is plunged into havoc. Mary decides she must save Steven and, meeting him for the last time, pretends that Howard has withdrawn the divorce, so that Steven can go back to his wife and happy life. She goes to Howard, asking him to stop the divorce by telling him nothing happened in the Swiss hotel and she was innocent of the adjoining room to Steven. Howard then tells her the divorce is not about that. He had not expected love from their marriage, but only affection and some loyalty. Instead he was given 'the love you'd give a dog, the kindness you'd show a beggar, and the loyalty of a bad servant'. Yelling for Mary to get out, he loses his temper and breaks a vase. He quickly calms down and retracts what he said in genuine remorse, revealing that he has developed the very type of romantic love for Mary that he has always disdained, but Mary has already left.

Mary runs from the house and walks through a London Underground station in a trance. Standing on a platform with an incoming train heading West London, she dazedly contemplates the tracks. As the train approaches she draws dangerously close to the platform edge, but just as she is about to leap, someone catches her round the waist. It is Howard (her husband), who has come after her. He holds her as she shakes and the couple reconcile on the platform.

Cast and characters
  • Claude Rains – Howard Justin

  • Ann Todd – Mary Justin

  • Trevor Howard – Professor Steven Stratton

  • Isabel Dean – Pat Stratton

  • Betty Ann Davies – Miss Layton


The War of The Worlds (1953)

In southern California, Dr. Clayton Forrester, a well-known atomic scientist, is fishing with colleagues when a large object crashes near the town of Linda Rosa. At the impact site, he meets USC library science instructor Sylvia Van Buren and her uncle, Pastor Matthew Collins. Later that night, a round hatch on the object unscrews and opens. As the three men standing guard at the site attempt to make contact while waving a white flag, a Martian laser gun obliterates them. The United States Marine Corps later surrounds the crash site, as reports pour in of identical cylinders landing all over the world and destroying cities. Three Martian war machines emerge from the cylinder. Pastor Collins attempts to make contact with the aliens, but he is disintegrated. The Marines open fire, but are unable to penetrate the Martians' force field. The aliens counterattack with their heat-ray and skeleton-beam weapons, sending the Marines into full retreat.

Attempting to escape in a military spotter plane, Forrester and Sylvia crash land and hide in an abandoned farmhouse. They begin to develop closer feelings for each other just before the house is buried by yet another crashing cylinder. A long cable with an electronic eye explores the house and eventually spots them, but Forrester cuts it off using an axe. Later, when a Martian enters the house and approaches Sylvia, Forrester injures it with the axe and collects its blood on a cloth. They escape just before the farmhouse is obliterated. Forrester takes the electronic eye and blood sample to his team at Pacific Tech in the hope of finding a way to defeat the invaders. The scientists discover how the Martian eye works and also note that alien blood is extremely anemic.

Many of the major world capitals fall silent, and global Martian victory is estimated to be only six days away. The United States government makes the decision to drop an atomic bomb on the original group of Martian war machines. The atomic blast however is totally ineffective. As the aliens advance on Los Angeles, the city is evacuated. Then the Pacific Tech trucks are stopped by a mob bent on escape, and all the scientific equipment is destroyed. Forrester, Sylvia, and the other scientists become separated in the ensuing chaos.

Forrester searches for Sylvia in the deserted city. Based on a story she had told him earlier, he guesses that she would take refuge in a church. After searching through several, he finds Sylvia among many praying survivors. Just as the aliens attack near the church, their machines suddenly lose power and crash, one after another. Forrester sees one Martian expire while trying to leave its machine. The narrator observes that while the Martians were impervious to humanity's weapons, they had "no resistance to the bacteria in our atmosphere to which we have long since become immune. After all that men could do had failed, they were destroyed and humanity was saved by the littlest things, which God, in His wisdom, had put upon this Earth".

The film was both a critical and box-office success. It accrued $2,000,000 in distributors' domestic (U.S. and Canada) rentals, making it the year's biggest science fiction film hit.

Cast and characters
  • Gene Barry as Dr. Clayton Forrester

  • Ann Robinson as Sylvia van Buren

  • Les Tremayne as Major General Mann

  • Bob Cornthwaite as Dr. Pryor

  • Sandro Giglio as Dr. Bilderbeck

  • Lewis Martin as Pastor Dr. Matthew Collins

  • Housely Stevenson Jr. as General Mann's aide

  • Paul Frees as Radio reporter / Narrator (voice)

  • Bill Phipps as Wash Perry

  • Vernon Rich as Colonel Ralph Heffner

  • Henry Brandon as Cop at crash

  • Jack Kruschen as Salvatore

  • Sir Cedric Hardwicke as Commentator (voice)


Time after Time (1979)

Plot-In 1893 London, popular writer Herbert George Wells displays a time machine to his skeptical dinner guests. After he explains how it works (including a "non-return key" that keeps the machine at the traveler's destination and a "vaporizing equalizer" that keeps the traveler and machine on equal terms), police constables arrive at the house searching for Jack the Ripper. A bag with blood-stained gloves belonging to one of Herbert's friends, a surgeon named John Leslie Stevenson, leads them to conclude that Stevenson might be the infamous killer. Wells races to his laboratory, but the time machine is gone.

Stevenson has escaped to the future, but because he does not have the "non-return" key, the machine automatically returns to 1893. Herbert uses it to pursue Stevenson to November 5, 1979, where the machine has ended up on display at a museum in San Francisco. He is deeply shocked by the future, having expected it to be an enlightened socialist utopia, only to find chaos in the form of airplanes, automobiles and a worldwide history of war, crime and bloodshed.

At an antique shop, Herbert exchanges some British bank notes for present day American money. Growing hungry after a day without food, he enters a McDonald's and is alternately puzzled and pleased with 1979 dining options, noting the similarity between 1890s pommes frites from France and modern French fries. Wells is still ruffled by the idea of dining without tableware.

Reasoning that Stevenson would also need to exchange his British money, Herbert asks about him at various banks. At the Chartered Bank of London, he meets employee Amy Robbins, who says she had directed Stevenson to a local hotel.

Confronted by his one-time friend Herbert, Stevenson confesses that he finds modern society to be pleasingly violent, stating: "Ninety years ago, I was a freak. Today, I'm an amateur."

Herbert demands he return to 1893 to face justice, but Stevenson instead attempts to wrestle the time machine's key from him. Their struggle is interrupted by a maid and Stevenson flees, getting hit by a car during the frantic chase. Herbert follows him to the hospital emergency room and mistakenly gets the impression that Stevenson has died from his injuries.

Herbert meets up with Amy Robbins again and she initiates a romance. Stevenson returns to the bank to exchange more money. Suspecting that it was Amy who had led Herbert to him, he finds out where she lives.

Herbert, hoping to convince her of the truth, takes a highly skeptical Amy three days into the future. Once there, she is aghast to see a newspaper headline revealing her own murder as the Ripper's fifth victim.

Herbert persuades her that they must go back – it is their duty to attempt to prevent the fourth victim's murder, then prevent Amy's. However, they are delayed upon their return to the present and can do no more than phone the police. Stevenson kills again, and Herbert is arrested because of his knowledge of the killing. Amy is left alone, totally defenseless, and at the mercy of the "San Francisco Ripper".

While Herbert unsuccessfully tries to convince the police of Amy's peril, she attempts to hide from Stevenson. When the police finally do investigate her apartment, they find the dismembered body of a woman. Now convinced of Herbert's innocence, the police release a now-heartbroken Wells. However, he is contacted by Stevenson, who had actually killed Amy's coworker (revealed to be the dead body in Amy's apartment) and taken Amy hostage in order to extort the time machine key from Wells.

Stevenson flees with the key – and Amy as insurance – to attempt a permanent escape in the time machine. Using Amy's car, driving the unfamiliar machine erratically, Herbert manages to follow them back to the museum. While Herbert bargains for Amy's life, she is able to escape. As Stevenson starts up the time machine, Herbert removes the "vaporizing equalizer" from it, causing Stevenson to vanish while the machine does not. As Herbert had explained earlier, this causes the machine to remain in place while its passenger is sent traveling endlessly through time with no way to stop; in effect, he is destroyed.

Herbert proclaims that the time has come to return to his own time, in order to destroy a machine that he now knows is too dangerous for primitive mankind. Amy pleads with him to take her along, explaining she has no remaining ties in the 20th century. As they depart to the past, she jokes that she is changing her name to Susan B. Anthony. The film ends with the caption: "H.G. Wells married Amy Catherine Robbins, who died in 1927. As a writer, he anticipated socialism, global war, space travel, and women's liberation. He died in 1946."

Cast and characters
  • Malcolm McDowell as Herbert George Wells

  • David Warner as John Leslie Stevenson/Jack the Ripper

  • Mary Steenburgen as Amy Robbins

  • Charles Cioffi as Police Lt. Mitchell

  • Kent Williams as assistant

  • Patti D'Arbanville as Shirley

  • Joseph Maher as Adams


The Night That Panicked America (1975)

Is an American made-for-television drama film that was originally broadcast on the ABC network on October 31, 1975. The telefilm dramatizes events surrounding Orson Welles' famous - and infamous - War of the Worlds radio broadcast (based on the 1898 novel of the same name by English author H. G. Wells) of October 30, 1938, which had led some Americans to believe that an invasion by Martians was occurring in the area near Grover's Mill in West Windsor, New Jersey.

The Welles broadcast and the reaction to it had been earlier dramatized on television as The Night America Trembled, a live presentation that aired September 9, 1957, on Studio One.

Cast and characters
  • Paul Shenar as Orson Welles

  • Vic Morrow as Hank Muldoon, Ann's husband

  • Eileen Brennan as Ann Muldoon, Hank's wife

  • Cliff DeYoung as Stefan Grubowski

  • Michael Constantine as Jess Wingate, Walter's father

  • John Ritter as Walter Wingate, Jess' son

  • Walter McGinn as Paul Stewart

  • Will Geer as Reverend Davis, Linda's father

  • Meredith Baxter as Linda Davis, the Reverend's daughter

  • Tom Bosley as Norman Smith

  • Casey Kasem as Mercury Theatre player


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