Rupert Pupkin Speaks: My Favorite Time Travel Films ""

Thursday, March 10, 2011

My Favorite Time Travel Films

Haven't done a proper list like this in a while, but my friend Brian has inspired me. Time Travel movies are just fantastic really. Even the weaker ones are a lot of fun for me. Just for the record, I left off several sequels as to not clutter the list too much. My love for BACK TO THE FUTURE II made it impossible for me not to include it. I also have a large list of films below I have yet to see that would probably be on my list. Please forgive me for putting TIME BANDITS so low, but I'm honestly just not that big of a fan of that film.

1. BACK TO THE FUTURE(1985; Robert Zemeckis)
2. THE TERMINATOR(1984; James Cameron)
3. PLANET OF THE APES(1968; Franklin J. Schaffner)
4. PRIMER(2004; Shane Carruth)
5. TIME AFTER TIME(1979; Nicholas Meyer)
6. 12 MONKEYS(1995; Terry Gilliam)
7. DONNIE DARKO(2001; Richard Kelly)
8. TIMECRIMES(2007; Nacho Vigalando)

9. BACK TO THE FUTURE PART II(1989; Robert Zemeckis)
10. GROUNDHOG DAY(1993; Harold Ramis)

11. STAR TREK IV: THE VOYAGE HOME(1986; Leonard Nimoy)

12.GRAND TOUR: A DISASTER IN TIME(1992; David Twohy)

13. 12:01(1993; Jack Sholder)


15. THE TIME TRAVELERS(1964; Ib Melchior)

16. THE TIME MACHINE(1960; George Pal)

17. SLAUGHTERHOUSE FIVE(1972; George Roy Hill)
18. ARMY OF DARKNESS(1992; Sam Raimi)
19. BUTTERFLY EFFECT(2004; Eric Bress)

20. TIME TRAVELERS(1976; Alexander Singer)


22. TRIANGLE(2009; Christopher Smith)
23. BILL & TED'S EXCELLENT ADVENTURE(1989; Stepen Herek)
24. IDIOCRACY(2006; Mike Judge)

25. SOMEWHERE IN TIME(1980; Jeannot Szwarc)

26. HAPPY ACCIDENTS(2004; Brad Anderson)

27. TIMECOP(1994; Peter Hyams)
28. TRANCERS(1985; Charles Band)

29. THE FINAL COUNTDOWN(1980; Don Taylor)
30. RETROACTIVE(1997; Louis Mourneau)

31. THE PHILADELPHIA EXPERIMENT(1984; Stewart Raffill)

32. HOT TUB TIME MACHINE(2010; Steve Pink)

33. DEJA VU(2006; Tony Scott)

34. FLIGHT OF THE NAVIGATOR(1986; Randall Kleiser)
35. TIMESTALKERS(1987; Michal Schultz)

36. FREEJACK(1992; Geoff Murphy)

37. MY SCIENCE PROJECT(1985; Jonathan R. Betuel)


39. TIMELINE(2003; Richard Donner)

40. PEGGY SUE GOT MARRIED(1986; Francis Ford Coppola)

41. TIME BANDITS(1981; Terry Gilliam)

42. WARLOCK(1989; Steve Miner)

43. ELIMINATORS(1986; Peter Manoogian)

44. TIME TRACKERS(1989; Howard R. Cohen)

Haven't seen yet, but might make the list I think:

JE T'AIME, JE T'AIME(1968; Alain Resnais)

IDAHO TRANSFER(1973; Peter Fonda)



TURN BACK THE CLOCK(1933; Edgar Selwyn)

THE AMAZING MR. BLUNDEN(1972; Lionel Jeffries)

THE COLD ROOM(1984; James Dearden)

THE TIME SHIFTERS(1999; Mario Azzopardi)

THE SPIRIT OF '76(1990; Lucas Reiner)

OUT OF TIME(1988; Robert Butler)

BRIDGE ACROSS TIME(1985; E.W. Swackhamer)

SKY PIRATES(1986; Colin Eggleston)

TIME RUNNER(1993; Michael Mazo)



Drew McIntosh said...

Nice! Definitely one of my favorite subgenres here. There's just something so inherently cinematic about the concepts involved with time travel, and I value movies that are able to put their own unique visual/logical spin on the subject.

I absolutely love Primer, I'm glad to see it high on your list. It's just so perfectly labyrinthine and enigmatic and haunting. I'm happy that it's picked up steam and built a reputation through the years, I first saw it way back in the day when it was originally making its rounds and was just another no-budget blip barely on the radar, and it blew my mind. And as far as other recent movies go, like you I am also a big fan of Timecrimes. It gets a little too caught up in its processes at times, and almost seems to forget that it's dealing with human beings, but Vigalando takes his logics of time travel to some pretty fascinating extremes, and it's utterly original. I remember hearing murmurs about Cronenberg doing an American remake at some point, which I always thought would be very interesting, but I don't think anything has developed on that front.

I take it as simply an oversight that you didn't include Chris Marker's La Jetee? It's one the best and most influential time travel movies ever, inspiring among many others Gilliam's 12 Monkeys. One other I would personally add to the list would be The Jacket with Adrien Brody. It's not entirely successful, but is much better than its fairly dismal reputation suggests, and has some really interesting notions about the process and psychology of time travel. And though I haven't seen it, the 70's Czech movie Tomorrow I'll Wake Up and Scald Myself With Tea has built up something of a sturdy reputation through the years as being a ton of fun.

Thanks for doing a round up of all these, Rupert! Among the many deserved classics you list there are also quite a few I haven't seen, and I'm looking forward to filling in those gaps!

Unknown said...

I would also second the recommendation of THE JACKET. I wasn't too crazy about it the first time I watched it but I've revisted it a few times since and have enjoyed it more and more. Adrien Brody is excellent in it and alto I'm not a huge fan of Keira Knightley's by any stretch, she is quite good in this film as well, holding her own with Brody. Definitely worth checking out. Very underrated.

Rupert Pupkin said...

DREW-Thanks for your comments! I totally agree regarding the cinematic nature of time travel, always captivated me. I too have been very pleased to see PRIMER's rep grow over the years. I saw it when it 1st came out on DVD and liked it a lot, but I think I had only scratched the surface of it's brilliance (and labyrinthine nature as you said) which I've come to understand with several more viewings since then. Too bad no dice with the Cronenberg TIMECRIMES remake, though I have heard a remake is absolutely in the works. Please forgive me for this, but I aw LA JETEE years ago right after 12 MONKEYS came out and honestly it didn't do much for me at that time. Clearly I need to revisit at some point, but that's why I didn't include it. I have seen THE JACKET as well and do remember liking it a fair bit, but don't remember it too specifically. Really need to revisit that film soon. I just couldn't remember it well enough to include here. Never heard of TOMORROW I'LL WAKE UP AND SCALD MYSELF, but I do like Czech films and this one sounds fascinating, thanks for the rec!

JD-I was very close to including it. I've only seen it the once, and I have similar issues with Kiera Knightley(not a fan) so I don't often rush to revisit her films. This one clearly needs to be watched again though, thanks sir!

zombivish said...

numbers 21(Harry Potter) and 42 (Warlock) both make me happy- both for very different reasons. And Worlock is one of those still in deed of a decent OAR DVD (let alone a blu).
-Have you seen The Navigator: A Mediaeval Odyssey -or was it one that just didn't speak to you.
I loved the oddness of the conceit as wella s the atmosphere of the film (admitting it's been a while since my last viewing).
I think you'd dig it though.

Rupert Pupkin said...

Vish-glad you dug those 2 films on the list. I totally agree, re: WARLOCK, true bummer it doesn't have an OAR DVD at least! Haven't even heard of The Navigator: A Mediaeval Odyssey, but it sounds very cool and I am adding to the post right now!

Unknown said...

Superb list!

I'm very happy to see Lyle Swan get some love. That's on my list of flicks to cover on our show. Also glad you thought of Final Countdown and Philadelphia Experiment - two semi-forgotten movies that are very entertaining. Don Taylor (of Final Countdown) had time travel experience workign on Escape From POTA.

Thomas Duke said...

It gets a lot of flack it seems, but I quite like Idaho Transfer. It's sort of a hippie counter culture sci-fi movie, and it's quite claustrophobic and creepy. The best way I would describe it would be as a hippie version of Phase IV (the killer ant movie). I think it may still be public domain, so it shouldn't be hard to track down.

Jack L said...

Excellent list, I can't think iof any that you might of forgotten, you've included all the best Time Travel films.
I'm glad to see Twelve Monkey's up there, I would highly recommend Chris Marker's short film La Jetee which inspired Twelve Monkeys.

Glad to see Army of Darkness there as well, I love that film!

Deja Vu was a very odd film, it was pretty good but the whole time travel aspect just felt out of place.

Joe Baker said...

I recently saw Nobuhiko Obayashi ("House" fame) 1980's time travel movie "The Little Girl Who Conquered Time" and I'd rank that pretty high on any list. It's sweet and pretty moving. I also love "The Idaho Transfer". He's hardly mentioned, but Peter Fonda directed three great films in the 70's.

Cinema Du Meep said...


I am going to seek out FAQ now. Anything with Anna Faris...

A.D. said...

I know I'm in a very small minority when I say this, but BUTTERFLY EFFECT 3: REVELATIONS is actually worth checking out. The ending is dumb as shit, but the time travel stuff is pretty cool and there's a slasher element to the film, which surprised me.

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Rupert Pupkin said...

Scott-Thanks! I was very happy to see PHILADELPHIA EXPERIMENT on our Netflix instant.

Thomas-I like your description of IDAHO TRANSFER. I am excited to see the film. I do like Fonda as a filmmaker quite a bit.

JackL-Glad you dug the list! I've seen LA JETEE, but not in a while.

Joseph B-I NEED to see that film like now!

CDM-very curious what you think of FAQ, let me know when you see it!

AD-you have convinced me to see it sir!

Turkaor-Thanks, glad you like the blog. I will be watching yours from here on out! also, thanks re: MEGAFORCE!

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And on this one:

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