This weekend, a movie that is destined for greatness hits theaters: “Hot Tub Time Machine.” Yes, I really am that excited. While “HTTM” is the first movie to combine time travel with a dirty Jacuzzi, it’s far from the first flick to send characters back or forward in time.
To many moviegoers, the genre began with “Back to the Future,” that timeless flick (bad pun intended) from 1985 in which a teenager played by Michael J. Fox travels back to 1955 and runs into the teenage version of his parents. I’d argue that BTTF is the most famous example, but the genre started a long time earlier.
Near as I can tell, the first major movie to feature time travel came in 1931, when Will Rogers starred in “A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court.” Of course, that was an adaptation of Mark Twain’s classic novel, and not an original story. Twain’s novel, more comedy than science fiction, was published in 1889. “The Time Machine,” by HG Wells, was published several years later. Bartleby writes that “The Time Machine” “launched the time-travel genre.”
In the years since those books (and later movies) brought the idea of time travel to the main stream, there have been dozens of films that take audiences either back or forward in time. “Planet of the Apes” whipped Charlton Heston thousands of years forward to an era when primates rule the Earth and speak with English accents. “Peggy Sue Got Married” took the opposite approach, sending its protagonist back to her own high school with the knowledge that her future husband wasn’t all he was cracked up to be.
There has been considerable debate among people who are much smarter than me on whether or not time travel is really possible. Some say that no matter how much you trick your silver DeLorean or hot tub, time travel is a scientific impossibility. Others, including Albert Einstein, have argued that “time is simply what a clock reads.”
So, two questions for you guys. First, what’s the all time greatest time travel movie? And second, do you honestly believe we’ll ever time travel? Leave a comment below, and I’ll see you in the future (well, next week).
Thanks for reading,
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