Thursday, February 23, 2012

The Yesterday Machine

At the beginning of the 1963 film, "The Yesterday Machine" that I saw last night on YouTube, a young college man is trying to fix his car at the side of a road in the middle of somewhere Texas, while his coed girlfriend dances by herself to music coming from the car's radio. College boy can't get the car to go, so he and the coed go looking for help.

They set off through deserted-seeming scrub-covered land and come across two men dressed in very old-fashioned army uniforms, and who are brandishing equally old-fashioned rifles. Seeing that the two men appear hostile and are about to shoot, college boy and the coed run off as the two men fire away.

College boy is hit and falls to the ground. He gets up again and continues running, and is again hit and again falls to the ground. This happens a few more times. Eventually college boy reaches his car, but he can't see his coed girlfriend. Next, he's in a hospital bed, being questioned by detectives.

While the detectives find of interest what happened to college boy, and that his coed girlfriend still can't be found, they are more intrigued by the findings of bullet-experts, that the bullets removed from college-boy's body had been made in 1853 - 110 years ago (the film came out in 1963, don't forget).

This case also attracts the interest of a keen reporter at the local newspaper. Among those he talks to is the missing coed's sister, who is a nightclub singer. She can't enlighten him much. He tells her he's about to drive to the scene of the shooting to try to find out more. She insists on going with him, and does.

When there, they find the coed's scarf lying on the ground, but no coed. They walk back to the reporter's car to return home, but there's no car. What's more, the tarmac road is now a dirt-track, and the telegraph poles they'd seen, aren't there any more.

They begin walking along the dirt track, and see approaching a young yokel on a horse. He's dressed very old-fashioned-like - like he's from the 18th or 19th century. When he comes close to the reporter and the coed's sister, he stops, looks at them strangely, and gallops off in the direction from which he'd come.

Then the reporter and the coed's sister feel themselves falling through space. When they come to, they are in what seems a laboratory. It has lights that flash on and off, and a large metal chair. An old man is there. He introduces himself as Professor Von Hauser. He explains that he used to be one of Hitler's top scientists. The wonder weapons he'd invented when working for Hitler, would have ensured Hitler's victory if only he'd been given more time to perfect them.

But the Americans arrived too early, and the Professor had to escape. Now, here in his Texas laboratory, he's in the end stages of perfecting a time machine that will go into the past, and send Hitler and all his Nazis from before 1945, into the present time. Under the Nazi regime as it was before 1945, Professor Von Hauser will now have the time to put the finishing touches to the wonder weapons which will win the war for Hitler.

When the reporter asks how someone could be sent from the past into the present, Professor Von Hauser says in part, "If ze shpeed of time ist increased from vot it now ist, it vill go beck to ze past. Mein machine increases ze shpeed of time, so zat I vill send it beck to 1945, and it vill send Hitler forvard to today."

That's, admittedly, a rather imperfect transcription of just some of what Professor Von Hauser said. But it should cause you who are reading this, to at least think, and is why you should watch "The Yesterday Machine." Hence I won't reveal how everything turned out.

Watching "The Yesterday Machine" will also enable you to see how men and women were in 1963, the year "The Yesterday Machine" was released. The reporter and the coed's sister are quite typical. For instance, when they go to the scene of the shooting, and have to walk though the hot scrubby terrain to look for clues, he has on a suit-and-tie, and she has on a hip-hugging knee-length skirt and is wearing high-heeled shoes. The better to protect her, he holds her hand as he walks with her though the scrub. He gives the orders, and she obeys. That's how it was then.

If today, while hiking along a country trail, you saw coming towards you a man in a suit-and-tie holding the hand of a woman wearing a hip-hugging knee-length skirt and high-heeled shoes, would you not be as startled as was the 18th or 19th yokel in the film, when he saw such an apparition on the dirt road he was riding his horse along?

If you wish to watch "The Yesterday Machine" (and you should), *click here*.

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