The Time Machine (2002) - full transcript

Based on the classic sci-fi novel by H.G. Wells, scientist and inventor, Alexander Hartdegen, is determined to prove that time travel is possible. His determination is turned to desperation by a personal tragedy that now drives him to want to change the past. Testing his theories with a time machine of his own invention, Hartdegen is hurtled 800,000 years into the future, where he discovers that mankind has divided into the hunter - and the hunted.

- But Professor
- No. The answers are all there in the test.

Aren't you forgetting something?

I know. It's something to do with
the third differential coefficient.

- Not that. Tonight.
- What?


- What time is it?
- Almost 5:00

Oh, God.

My proposal for utilizing
solarpower, rejected.

My concepts for harnessing
micro-energy waves, rejected.

The dean suggests that I focus on something that
might actually help mankind.

Like his study on the benefits
of tobacco consumption.

Alex, the problem is
your ideas are a bit too... radical.

The problem is with
the faculty. They're dinosaurs.

They're already extinct,
they just don't know it.

They'll be discovered by some future archaeologist,
and he won't know what to make of them.

Their dim little eyes,
de void of any curiosity...

Alex, it's your first year
as associate professor.

You might want to play things
a little more conservatively.

You sound just like my father.

Look at them, Philby. All alike.
All in identical bowler hats.

Do you want your students
to turn out like that?

I want my students prepared for the realities
of the world they're about to greet.

Well, I don't. I want them to run along this
street and knock off every bowler they see.

Mrs Watchit!

Oh, huzzah, the master's home.

- Did you get it?
- Hello, Mr Philby.

Hello, Mrs Watchit.
You're looking in the pink.

Must be all the exercise I get scampering up
and down these stairs like a wee lad.

- Don't torture me. Did you get it?
- I got it.

- Good. Let me see.
- But don'tyou think for one moment...

I'm going to let you go out
in that filthy jacket.

Now, go in there and change.

And you've got another letter
from that annoying little man.

Well, go ahead.
Switch it on.

- It'll help people keep
their teeth well into their 40s.

- You might think about having that cleaned.
- Oh, who has the time?

- How did you know with Molly?
- Know what?

- You were meant to be together.
- She made the best shepherd's pie I ever tasted.

Don't you have a single
romantic bone in your body?

No. I'm all bowler hat.

Why do you waste your time
on that crackpot?

Because he has some
very interesting ideas.

A professor at Columbia should not be
corresponding with a crazy German bookkeeper.

He's a patent clerk,
not a bookkeeper.

I think Mr Einstein deserves
all the support I can give him.

I wonder if we'll ever go too far?

- With what?
- With this.

With all of this.

No such thing.

All right. How do I look?

Practically decent. Really, Alex.
Good luck tonight.

She's a fine girl. She's done
wonderful things for you.

Don't worry. You still have that
alluring smell of chalk.

Oh, gotta hurry.

Now, that's more like it.
You look a proper gentleman for once.

Well, you better hope so. If Emma
turns me down, you'll be next.

-Oh, I'm already swooning.

All right. Wish me luck.

Thank you.

Fresh flowers. Fresh flowers.

- Have some flowers, sir.
- Not tonight, thanks.

No. I promised her flowers.


Spectacular waste of money.
Damn thing's always breaking down.

Do you need a lift?
- Yes, yes.

- How do you keep the water temperature stable?
- There's a cantilevered gasket...

- on the fuel regulator...

Oh, God. Uh

Much obliged.
I'm always forgetting the damn brake.

Hop in. I'll give you a perambulation
before it breaks down again.

Oh, uh, I'm afraid
I have a prior engagement.

Well, another time then.
We perambulate here most every night.


-Get a horse!



-Oh! Whoa.

- You're late, Professor.
- I got here as soon as I could.

Well, they say it's all the rage
in Paris. But I just picked it up...

- Five dollars at Macy's. Silly, isn't it?
- Very silly. I like it.

Well, where are they?

- What?
- The flowers.

You promised me flowers tonight.
Don't you even remember?

Oh, I'm sorry.
Well, I was distracted.

Well, there's something new.

-Uh, Emma, I need to talk to you.

- Oh, uh, shall we walk through the park?
- Yes.

Professor, you're shivering. I hope
you're not coming down with something.

Well, I'm afraid I am.

I'm not sleeping very well, and even
when I'm awake, I'm not much use.

I can't eat or think
or do much of anything anymore.

And the worst part is,
I don't know that I'll ever be well.

I think there's only one remedy,
and that's for you to marry me...

- and spend the rest of your life with me.

Oh, Emma, I know it's right.
I know we're meant to be together.

It's the only thing in my entire life
I've never had to think about.

Oh, Alex.

Uh-Uh, wait.
I have something for you.

You know, the moment is rather dying here.

I know.
Hold on. Oh.

- I know it's not a diamond.
- A moonstone.

Well, it's your birthstone.
I thought...

You thought right.

I just might cry.

I couldn't help but overhear.

Two fine young people starting out
on the road oflife.

-I wish you the very best.

- Well, thank you.
- And as much as I hate to do this

moved as I am by your...
protestations of love

I'll be needing your money now.

- Sir?
- And your jewelry too.

I guess we could call this your first little
bump on the road to marital bliss.

- I don't understand
- Don't make a scene.There's no cause for that.

- Just give me your wallet, will you?
- Hmm?

Did you hear me, lad?

Uh, all right, all right.
Here. That's everything.

And your watch.

And the gloves.

- And the ring.
- No.

I'm afraid so, darling.

- And maybe he'll buy you a diamond now.
- Please, please. Not that.


Why did you do that?
It's only a ring.




- What?

Oh. Oh, sir,
Mr Philby's here.

- Here?
- Yes, sir. He insisted on coming

- Tell him to go away. I'm busy.
- I won't go away, Alex.

My God.
What's happened to you?

I've been I've been working.

You remember that?
You used to care about your work.

I care more about my life.
And yours.

I came by the house every day
after the funeral...

and every week
and every other month.

Then I stopped coming.
Did you even notice?

- It hurt me, Alex... very much.
- Then why are you here now?

- There are some things I have to say you
may not like hearing. I know. I know.

You're concerned. I know.
I hear it from Mrs Watchit every day.

But really...
I need you to go.

- I won't leave. Not with you hiding down here.
- I'm not hiding.

You know that's what it is. Mrs Watchit
says you're in here all hours, day and night.

Alex, will you please
stand still and look at me!

It wasn't your fault.

No. It wasn't my fault.

Maybe we should blame Mrs Watchit for
picking up the ring from the jeweler.

Or the jeweler for making it.

Or the poor bastard who tore
the stone from the earth.

Maybe I should blame you for introducing
me to Emma in the first place. Yes.

Alexander, nothing will ever
change what happened.

No, you're wrong,
because I will change it.

David, I appreciate
your concern. I do.

But I ask you to have faith in me.

Well, I want to have
faith in you, Alex, but

Wha ... what are you doing here?

I'll tell you what. Why don't you come by
for dinner in a week, and I'll show you?

- Why don't you come home with me now? Molly
- Did you not hear me, David?

I can't leave when I'm so close.

All right. We'll continue
this conversation in a week.

In a week, we'll never even
have had this conversation.

Ah. Thank you, my good man.

You're early.
That's a first.

I wanted to see you.

Well, where are they?

- What?
- The flowers.

You promised me flowers tonight.
Don't you even remember?

You never cease to surprise me.

Emma, I need to talk to you.

- Shall we walk through the park?
- No!


No. Let's go into the city.

- Alex, what is it?
- Nothing. Let'sjust hurry.

Running along is all very well for you.
You're not wearing a corset.

-Bleecker Street, and be quick about it.

Now you're all gallant.

Professor, you're shivering. I hope
you're not coming down with something.

No, no. I'm fine.

I'm wonderful. I'm walking down
the street with you again.

But we took a walk three days ago.

Well, not like this.
Never like this.

- Heavens, look at that car.
- Oh, I've seen it.

Now I know you're ill. You're passing up
the chance to explore some new gadget.

- It's only a machine.
- Alexander, tell me what's going on.

- Is something wrong?
- No.

Emma, listen to me.

I need to leave you now, but I want you
to go straight home and stay there.

I promise you I'll come by sometime later tonight,
and I won't make any sense.

I'll be all upset that you didn't meet
me in the park, butyou must trust me.

Everything will be all right.

Just know how much I love you,
how much I'll always love you.

All right.

But first, where are my flowers?

-Flowers it is.

Wait right there.
Don't move.

- Oh, can I help you, sir?
- Yes, a dozen roses. White.

- No, no. Red.
- Look out!

- Easy. Easy.

I'm looking for Professor Hartdegen.

Alex, I'm...
I'm so sorry.

- This was not supposed to happen.
- Of course not.

- I know there's nothing I can say.
- We were out of the park, Philby.

We were safe.

Why can't I change it?

I could come back a thousand times.

See her die a thousand ways.

I don't...
I don't understand.

I can't find the answer here.

Not here.

Not now.

The future is now.

Certain restrictions apply.Blackout
periods on availability subject to change.

Our engineers are currently preparing
for the first 20-megaton detonation...

to create the subterranean living
chambers for Lunar Leisure Living.

Imagine fishing in our fully-stocked
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golfing on our championship course,
home of the Neil Armstrong Open.

Fifteen-hundred-yard drives?
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At one-sixth Earth's gravity, you're guaranteed
to get back on the dance floor.

So contact Lunar Leisure Living today to
reserve your own little piece of heaven,

because the future is now.

Certain restrictions apply. Blackout periods
o navailability subject to change.

- Hey.
- Hello.

Nice suit.

Very retro.

Thank you.

Bet that makes a hell of a cappuccino.

That thing.

I'll see you.

Hi, friends. The latest update
from Lunar Leisure Living.

Our engineers are currently preparing
for the first 20-megaton detonation...

to create the subterranean living
chambers for Lunar Leisure Living.

- Alright.
Attention, everyone.

Class 23, could we gather, please?
Our next stop is Antiquities.

Please make sure that your microscans
are charged for download.

- Two by two. Let's look lively. Two by two.
- Stop! Quit!

Tommy, if you do that again, I will resequence
your D.N.A., so help me! Now, march.

March, march.
Two by two, please. Looklively.

Welcome to Vox System.
How may I help you?

I didn't see you there.

I always seem to have that effect.
How may I help you, sir?

- What is that thing?
- That is my photonic memory core,

or P.M.C., as we say in the trade.

Over here, sir.

What are you?

I'm the Fifth Avenue Public Library
information unit, Vox registration NY-114.

How may I help you?

- A stereopticon of some sort.
- Stereopticon? Oh, no, sir.

I am a third-generation,
fusion-powered photonic,

with verbal and visual link capabilities
connected to every database...

on the planet.


A compendium of all human knowledge.

- Oh.
- Area of inquiry?

- Do you know anything about physics?
- Ah, accessing physics.

Mechanical engineering.

Dimensional optics.

Temporal causality,
temporal paradox.

- Time travel?
- Yes.

Accessing science fiction.

No, no. Practical application.
My question is why can't one change the past?

Because one cannot travel
into the past.

- Wh-What if one could?
- One cannot.

Excuse me, this is something
you should trust me on.

Accessing the writings
of Isaac Asimov, H.G. Wells,

Harlan Ellison,
Alexander Hartdegen...

- Tell me about him.
- Alexander Hartdegen, 1869 to 1903.

American scientist
given to eccentric postulation.

Found writings include treatise
on the creation of a time machine.

- Tell me about the time machine.
- Time Machine was written by H.G. Wells in 1894.

It was a motion picture by George Pal and
a stage musical by Andrew Lloyd Webber...

- That's not what I mean.
- Would you like to hear selections from the score?

- No.
- There's a place called tomorrow

A place of joy not of sorrow

Can't you see
it's a place for you and...

Thank you.
That's quite enough.

Will there be anything else?

Uh, no. No, I think I'll have better
luck in a few hundred years.

Live long and prosper.

Sir, where is your
designated evacuation center?

Sir, you are subject
to arrest under martial law...

Please putyour hands out,
palms together.

You will be held in detention until your
evacuation center clears you for transport.

- Wait, wait!
- Just take it easy.

- Hey, we got to get out of here!
- Wait. How did this happen?

The moon. Come on.
Move it.

- That's impossible. What happened?
- You been living under a rock?

Yes, I've been living under a rock.
Now, tell me.

The demolitions for the lunar colonies
screwed up the orbit, okay?

The moon's breaking up.
All right? Come on.

- Hey! Forget him! Come on!





- Don't be afraid.

Oh, wait.
Don't... Don't go.

Wait. I just want to talk to you.

- Hello.

Oh, I'm sorry.
I don't understand you.

- Do you know my words?
- Yes.

The lex.
The stone language.

The stone language? But do you
understand me? Do you understand me?

We all learn it when we're young.

They tor'jen.
Forget. They forget it.

- But I teach.

- What is he saying? They're trying to decide
if we should throw you in the river.

Tell me quickly, and tell me the truth.
Where do you come from?

Well, actually, I'm from here.
Uh, just not from now.

You see, I built a machine that allows
me to travel through time.

I'm from the past.


I told them you hit your head...

and you are a wandering idiot.

- What are you doing?
- Getting ready for the mor.

- The night.
- Oh. I'll come with you.

- Eloi?
- What are your people named?

Well, I-I guess
you'd call us New Yorkers.

New Yorkers.
Are they friendly?

Until you talk to them.

- Tell me about your village.
- It's a very busy place.

Everyone seems to be in a hurry.
And they all wear identical bowler hats.

Little black round things
on their heads.

- What do you do there?
- Well, I was a teacher like Mara.

- And I make things.
- Me also.

I made a sess'quin'tan with my father.
We still use it.

A sess'quin'tan?

Mara, der'enjen'wenlen?

Steps of rope.

Oh, a rope ladder.

We can make one.
I will teach you.

Will you tell me more lon'el
on the next day?

Yes, I will.

Why don't you take care
of this for me tonight?

-Thank you.

- Good night.
- Good night.

Kalen will tire you if you let him.
He's always been questioning.

Our parents were firm,
but it is his way.

- Where are your parents?
- They've gone from this place.

Oh, I'm sorry.

You were right, Philby. I did go too far.

Sit with me.

Mara, why do you
pull the boats up at night?

Afraid they'll be stolen?

I do not know that word.

Well, are you afraid that
someone will take them?

- It is just more safe this way.
- Oh.

- You must do things to be safe where
you come from? Of course.

Or when you come from.

Ah, so I'm not just a wandering idiot.


Maybe we could find some tomorrow.


Alexander. Alexander.

Ah! Morlock!

- Is he all right?
- He had a dream.

Oh. So did I.

I was moving through a jungle...

And you saw a shape a head of you.

Well, a face that...
called my name.

We all have that dream.

- All of you?
- Yes. Now go back asleep.

You're still not well.

What does that mean, "Morlock"?

A child's dream.
No more.

Go back asleep.

We keep these stones in many places.

This is the room where my parents
taught me for the first time.

Why do you learn this language
if you don't use it?

It's a tradition we hand down.

It meant something once.
Must be here for a reason.

"One generation passeth away,
and another cometh.

But the earth abideth forever."

Why have you come here?

Why have you traveled
through time?

To have a question answered.


Yes. Why can't I change the past?

Why would you want to?

You've lost someone.

Someone you loved very much.

- Mara, why are there no older people here?
- What do you mean?

Older people, your parents' age
or grandparents' age.

They've gone from this place.

You mean, they're dead?


All of them?
How is that possible?

There are things
better left not said.

We don't dwell
on the past, Alexander.

- We do something else.
- What?

We remember them...

with these.



- Are you coming to work now? Come with me
- No.

Alexander's not well enough.
We're going to see his machine.

- Now?
- Stay with Toren.

- Go the next day, tomorrow.
- I need to see that it's all right.

-This way.

Will you tell me more about
New York tonight?

I will.

Oh, good.
It seems fine.

We had quite a ride together.

- It's ready?
- Appears so.

Will you use it now?
Go back to your own time?

Well I, I guess I could.


it seems so long ago.

No. You should go.

And I need to ask,
will you take Kalen with you?

- Why? Alexander, take him away,
back to your time. Will you?

- Mara, why?
- Please. You don't know.

-Take him away from here.


Mara, what's going on?

They're early!
We must get Kalen!


Kalen! Kalen!


- Kalen!
- No, stay here.

Stay in the group!




Where did they take them?

- We have to follow them. We have to find them.
- We do not. Col'quin tor.

- Why not?
- This is nem Eloi'tas, our life here.

- How can you just do nothing?
- How can tor'tasal'mor.

- It is the day and the night.
- The day and the night.

-This is the world.

-Why don't you fight back?

Fight back. Why not?

Those who farquil'pax...

are taken first.

- Kalen, do you know where they're taken?
- No.

- Do they ever come back?
- No.

- Has anyone ever followed them?
- I don't know.

- Well, what about the Morlocks? There must be
a leader. We're not supposed to talk.

Kalen, listen to me.

Sometimes we need to accept what's happening
to us even if we don't want to.

And other times we have to fight,
even if we're afraid.

Now, it's difficult
to understand, I know.

Believe me, I know.
Now, they're afraid,

and I'm asking you not to be.

So will you tell me what you know?

We can save her.

When they go,
we're not supposed to talk about it.

- But we all know the place.
- What place?

Where the ghosts are.

Here it is.

Welcome to VOXsystem.
How may I help you?

- It's all right.
- How may I serve you?

What can I get you?
Oh, let's see.

Um, Henry James.
Oh, no. Yes?

No, no, no. Too depressing. Hemingway,
perhaps? No. Too sweaty.

Plato, Proust, Pinter, Poe, Pound?

No. Complete Works of Martha Stewart?

Ah, I have it!
Jules Verne.

- Right up your alley, I would think.
- Photonic, right?

Or what's left of one.
What's left of all of them.

I am the last, and "these fragments
I have shored against my ruins."

T.S. Eliot.

You wouldn't know him yet,
but he is so depressing, yet so divine.

Oh, I'm sorry. The lending library
is temporarily out of service.

Not to worry. I have them all right
here... every page of every volume.

Can you tell me
what's happening here?

Well, my sources are
no longer fully annotated,

and my information is somewhat anecdotal,
but I believe what was once one race...

is now two.

One above and one below.

Two distinct species that have evolved.

- And how do those below survive?
- That is the real question, isn't it?

- I don't believe it.
- Well,

if you don't like the answers,
you should avoid asking the questions.

Look at them.
They have no knowledge of the past,

no ambition for the future.

- So lucky.
- Why would you say something like that?

Can you even imagine what it's like
to remember everything?

I remember a six-year-old girl who asked me
about dinosaurs 800,000 years ago.

I remember the last book I recommended:
Look Homeward, Angel, byThomas Wolfe.

And yes, I even remember you.

Time travel: practical application.

How do you know about the Morlocks
if you can't leave this place?

There was one Eloi who managed
to escape. He told me everything.

We spent years together, just talking.

The conversation's a little spotty now,
but I do remember.

- It's good to have a friend.
- Then you can help us find the Morlocks,

find Mara.

And if the truth is so horrible,
and will haunt your dreams for all time?

Well, I think I'm used to that.

My friend said he came from the east,
from the jungle.

- Will you describe it?
- I don't have to.

Just follow the breathing.

In the dream, we're moving toward it,
but I think it was meant to keep us away.

- I might just go in by myself.
- No.

Mara would be very cross with me
if you got hurt. Now, I'll find her,

but I need you to go back to the village and
light a fire so we can find our way home.

- All right? Will you do that for me?
- I lost your pocket watch.

They took it from my room.

I'm sorry.

Why would they take it?

Oh. Stupid.





Come a little closer.
I don't bite.

Do I surprise you?

- A little. Yes.
- Hmm.

We weren't always like this.
After the moon fell from the sky,

the Earth could no longer
sustain the species.

Some managed to stay above.

The rest of us escaped underground.

Then centuries later, when we tried to re-emerge
into the sun again, we couldn't.

So we bred ourselves into castes.

Some to be our eyes and ears.

- Some to be our muscles and sinews.
- You mean, your hunters.

Yes. Bred to be predators,
but bred also to be controlled.

You see, my caste concentrated...

on expanding our cerebral abilities.

- You control their thoughts.
- Not just theirs.

The Eloi.

So it's not enough that you hunt
them down like animals.

- That's their role here.
- To be your food?


And for those who are suitable,
to be breeding vessels...

for our other colonies.

You see, I'm just one of many.

I don't understand how you can sit there
and speak so coldly about this.

Have you not considered the human
cost of... of what it is you're doing?

We all pay a price...


Don't worry.You're safe.

I control them.

Without that control,

they would exhaust the food supply...

in a matter of months.

Food supply?
They're human beings!

Who are you...

to question 800,000 years...

of evolution?

- This is... This is a perversion
of every natural law.

And what is time travel but your pathetic
attempt to control the world around you,

- your futile effort to have
a question answered?

Do you think I don't know you,

I can look inside your memories,

your nightmares, your dreams.

You're a man haunted by
those two most terrible words:

What if?

Look at you!


- Who's that? Is it Daddy?
- Daddy!

And we're still having lots of fun.

-Right. Right.

Da-da! Daddy.

You built your time machine
because of Emma's death.

If she had lived,
it would never have existed.

So how could you use your machine
to go back to save her?

You are the inescapable result...

of your tragedy,

just as I...

am the inescapable result...
of you.

You have your answer.
Now go.

I believe you have something
that belongs to me.

-We all have our time machines, don't we?

Those that take us back
are memories...

and those that carry us forward...

are dreams.

- You're forgetting one thing.
- Huh?

-What if?

- What are you doing with it?
- Changing the future.

Come on.

Wait. Wait here.


- Hurry!



I'm sorry you lost your machine.

Oh, it's all right. It was only a machine.

"The congregation rose and stared...

'"while the three dead boys
came marching up thea isle..

"Tom in their lead, Joe next,

"and Huck, a ruin of drooping rags,

"sneaking sheepishly in the rear.

"They had hid in an unused gallery,
listening to their own funeral sermon.

Aunt Polly, Mary and the Harpers
threw themselves upon them..."

This is the place.

So it is.

- But there's nothing here.
- Well, it was different then.

My laboratory was all around here.

The kitchen was up there
where that tree is.

Not that Mrs Watchit
ever let me go in there.

I don't know what to tell you, sir.

He's been gone this whole week.

And you've no idea where he went?

- No, sir.
- This would be my greenhouse.

There was a garden outside.

Gren 'tormar'tas?


- I'm glad.
- Sir?

I'm glad he's gone.

Maybe he's finally found someplace
where he can be happy.

- This was my home.
- His home.

Long ago.

You know, Molly and I were talking
about engaging a housekeeper,

someone to live with us
and help take care of Jamie.

Would you be interested?

- Perhaps just until the master returns.
- Of course.

But there'd be some changes made.
I run a tight house.

Oh, I have no doubt of that. I'll call
by in the morning, and we'll arrange it.

- Good night, Mrs Watchit.
- Good night, Mr Philby.

-Godspeed, my fine lad.