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The Time Machine CD Soundtrack Review (1 Viewer)

Neil Middlemiss

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Neil Middlemiss
  • Release Company: Arnold Leibovit Entertainment
  • Catalog ID: B09XJ7BRFL
  • Film Year: 2022
  • Running Time: 54:37
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Edition: Limited CD
  • Composer(s): Russell Garcia
  • Release Date: 02/01/2022
TheTimeMachine CD Art Display.png

The Time Machine Soundtrack Review

The Score: 5/5


H. George Wells (Rod Taylor) arrives late to his own dinner party with a fantastical tale about his travels to the far distant future. Wells had displayed his discovery of time travel to his close friends before, in the form of a miniature device that fit on a small table, but the tale of his travels would only be possible if there were a full-sizer version. Wells recalls in fine details his impossible tale of traveling to points in the future, where mankind’s dangerous ways would not abate even as the decades and centuries wore on. He told of travelling eons into the earth’s future where the grotesque subterranean Morlocks prey upon the Eloi, the simple humans who live on the surface. Wells finds love but the grotesqueness of the Morlocks and what they are doing to the Eloi disturb and disappoint the man who’d hoped that the future would offer him a chance of our species finding eternal peace. But all hope is not lost. Could his fantastic tale possible be true?

The Time Machine, written by H. G. Wells, was adapted into a screenplay by David Duncan, and directed by George Pal. It is a timelessly entertaining film, and the cast simply splendid. Taylor’s Wells is a modest hero and a man in search of meaning in humanity’s journey, and his chance at exploring that journey, into the future during the turn of the 19th century, offers a remarkably potent role. As Wells’ best friend, Filby, Alan Young is superbly cast. Young gets to play a few characters in the Filby line and makes a likeable, warm mark in each turn. Yvette Mimieux as Weena, the young Elio woman that captures Wells’ heart, is memorable. Underage at the time of filming, she reportedly matured as an actor so much during the shoot that some of her earlier scenes were reshot to capture her improved performance.

TheTimeMachine CD Cover.png

Russell Garcia was a gifted, innovating composer. Before leaving the world of film composing behind in the late 1960s, he left a legacy of great scores for film and television, including George Pal’s Atlantis: The Lost Continent, and The Untouchables and Perry Mason TV series. It was Garcia’s score for another George Pal film, The Time Machine, for which Garcia would be best remembered.

The score for The Time Machine is thematically rich, with a magnificently mournful and memorable theme for the character of Filby, which also serves as a thematic anchor to London at the end of the 19th century. A brilliant blend of brass and strings lay the foundation for this theme, with wind instruments layering in a sweetness and softly delighting as the theme progresses. It is, in my estimation, the most important theme on the album (“London 1900 (Filby’s Theme”)).

The important “Main Title” is an understated heroic theme filled with rich orchestral expressions and punctuated with mysterious lines and motifs indicating danger, before launching into the wonderful string line carrying the theme’s central idea. The score is bookended by this theme, whereas the opening theme carries the tension and mystery as part of its makeup, the “End Title” is a more reflective, soulful interpretation.

The love theme for the film is given to the Weena character (“Weena (Love Theme)”) and is again driven by sweet strings that play with an underline of melancholy. It’s a short theme, softly played, and evokes the main theme a little as well, though that could just be Garcia’s signature voice I am noticing.

For the music of the Morlocks (“Morlocks”), Garcia creates a simmering theme of menace, threatening-sounding strings pounce in as an eerie line (that sounds a little like Cliff Eidelman’s theme from Star Trek: The Undiscovered Country if I am honest), and creates a real sense of menace and madness.

The score for The Time Machine is a magnificent piece of film scoring. Over the past few years, I’ve been purposeful about increasing the number of scores for older, classic films to add to my collection of nearly 3,000 film and television score. Early works from Jerry Goldsmith (including La-La Land Record’s brilliant Goldsmith at 20th volumes), plus more works from Elmer Bernstein, Ennio Morricone, Miklós Rózsa (Intrada’s Spellbound re-recording in particular has been a delight). I’ve also worked to support Intrada’s Kickstarter campaigns to re-record classic scores like The Black Patch/The Man and recently On Dangerous Ground/The Man Who Knew Too Much. And, as I continue this journey, I didn’t realize just how incomplete my collection was without Garcia’s The Time Machine. A score I am pleased to have now.

This release also includes a triumphant suite from Garcia’s score for Pal’s Atlantis: The Lost Continent and is a delightful bonus track.


Track Listing:
  1. MAIN TITLE / CREDITS* 2:07
  2. LONDON 1900 (FILBY’S THEME) 2:52
  3. TIME MACHINE MODEL:49
  4. THE TIME MACHINE* 2:19
  5. QUICK TRIP INTO THE FUTURE 2:49
  6. ALL THE TIME IN THE WORLD:36
  7. BEAUTIFUL FOREST / THE GREAT HALL 2:14
  8. FEAR 1:53
  9. WEENA (LOVE THEME) 1:54
  10. RESCUE 2:22
  11. REMINISCING 2:23
  12. MORLOCKS 2:31
  13. END TITLE (REPRISE) 1:21
  14. FIGHT WITH THE MORLOCKS* 5l10
  15. TIME TRAVELER 2:36
  16. ESCAPE 3:52
  17. PRAYER / OFF AGAIN 2:00
  18. TRAPPED IN THE FUTURE 2:28
  19. LOVE AND TIME RETURN 3:01
  20. END TITLE* 2:37
  21. SUITE FROM ATLANTIS, THE LOST CONTINENT 6:52
*Previously unreleased | Total Running Time: 54:37


Audio Rating: 5/5

In 1987, composer Russell Garcia headed to Munich, Germany, and the 60-piece Graunke Symphony Orchestra to personally conduct and re-record his fill score for Pal’s The Time Machine. The re-recording of older scores, particularly those lost to the ether or of poor surviving quality, are gifts to film score lovers. Release on vinyl and CD at that time, we are now able to hear this exceptional re-recording with upgraded stereo remastering (from the original digital stereo elements) and inclusive of previously unreleased tracks omitted from the original release.

Produced by Arnold Leibovit, a man dedicated to the celebration of director George Pal’s works (check out his award-winning biopic ‘The Fantasy Worlds of George Pal,) this is a must-have release. The jewel-case CD contains a 20-page color booklet offering reversable cover (the original artwork version is my favorite – but the entire artwork by the legend that is Jim Titus is wonderful), plus photos, details on the film’s production, and a 1999 interview Leibovit conducted with Russell Garcia.

TheTimeMachine CD Inside.png

The music on this release sounds magnificent, superbly crisp and clear, with wonderful depth and expression, and the music itself is captivating. A rich stereo experience especially played a little loud, and it breathes with romance and understated adventure. The brooding mystery washes into the experience and cedes to the sweeping themes in waves. Tracks like “Fear” offer creative exploration of menace and tension that’s gripping at times (furiously frenzied as it culminates, too). The entire score is a deep pleasure to enjoy from start to finish.


Overall Rating: 5/5

This releasee of The Time Machine is a limited collector's edition. Made possible in part by the cooperation of the Garcia family, it is a labor of love for Arnold Leibovit, and we are the beneficiaries. This release comes highly recommended.

Order from Amazon here, or directly from Puppetoon Productions here.
 

Nelson Au

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Mar 16, 1999
Messages
18,100
Hi Neil, I was surprised to see your review today. It’s been a while since this release has been out. I guess you had a backlog of titles to review. :)

Thanks for doing the review as it reminded me that I have this disc and it got lost in the shuffle of life. It’s still wrapped in the shrink wrap. I’ll try to find time to tear it open and give it a listen!

I can appreciate your desire to collect and add these older classic score to your library. I was on such a quest the last few years myself. But I tend to be the all or nothing type, I prefer the original recordings over the re-recording. But since there are no options sometimes, I’ll get the re-recording. I completely agree the re-recording of the score for Spellbound is great!

Back to the Time Machine, I had collected this re-recording several years ago and then learned the original recording became available and picked that up too. So I mainly listen to that version. I like the timing and to hear the actual instruments as I remember them from the film.

But I’ll give this remastering of the re-recording a listen. I can appreciate the improved dynamics and recording quality of a modern recording verses an older recording. Thanks!
 

Nelson Au

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Mar 16, 1999
Messages
18,100
I thought I’d mention that I’d been listening to this re-recording quite a lot last week in the car and via the HomePod in my home office. Initially I missed the sound effects that is part of the score in the original recording, but for listening to the music itself, it’s been fun! And the recording quality is great, I’ll listen on the main hi-fi system shortly.

And this is a good prelude as I plan to do my yearly viewing of The Time Machine later this week. :)
 

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