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Category:    Home > Reviews > Science Fiction > Action > Soundtrack > The Time Machine (1960/Limited CD)

The Time Machine (1960/Limited Edition CD Soundtrack)


Sound: B     Music: B



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 materials.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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