Time Machine (1960/Limited Edition CD Soundtrack)
Sound: B Music:
Films about time travel have become very common and many
of the recent ones have been really poor.
One of the reasons is because they forget the basics and go nowhere in
so many ways as to be a joke. One of
the earliest, best and best known films on the subject is easily George Pal’s
film of H.G. Wells’ The Time Machine in 1960. Despite all the advances in visual effects 45 years later, the
film holds up very well and a recent remake was a catastrophe beyond words,
including its score. One of the reasons
it endures is because of its score by Russell Garcia.
We will look at the classic down the line in its next DVD
(and/or HD) release, but now we have an opportunity to listen to the music and
with a fidelity never heard before.
This is the very first time in any format that the original recording of
the score has been issued as a soundtrack.
That is unbelievable!
Furthermore, this is from the FSM label of Film Score Monthly Magazine,
which means it is a limited edition with only 3,000 copies being produced. You can read more about ordering this and
other exclusive CDs and listen to sound samples by going to their website at www.filmscoremonthly.com when you
finish this review.
Another great thing is how creative Garcia became with the
sound effects because at the time and all the way up to the 1970s, music scores
often also included sound effects by the composer that were not the main sound
effects. You can hear this in the
music-as-sound effects for the videogame in Soylent Green (also an FSM
CD exclusive and a DVD-Video, both reviewed elsewhere on this site). Garcia has to imagine music of the far
future, the near future of 1966, the Victorian past the film takes place in and
the avenue of time travel. The only
thing that dates the music itself is that it was so ripped off in all these
years since. Otherwise, it holds up so
well and the more you realize what an original it is, the more you realize what
a classic it is. Collectors will want
to strongly consider getting this one before it runs out.
The PCM 2.0 16Bit/44.1kHz sound is mostly stereo and shows
just how stereophonic this film’s music really was. Some simple stereo VHS versions have been issued, while the DVD
offers a 5.1 mix we will look forward to comparing to this CD soon. The music is from the 3-track stereo scoring
master, preserved on two-inch analog tape as part of the Turner Entertainment
preservation efforts from the 1990s.
The sound effects only survived monophonically and are here in that form
when they surface. Also included is
another great booklet with excellent text, terrific stills and some promotional
- Nicholas Sheffo