Movies - The Time Machine (1960) - What Three Books Would You Take?
"The Time Machine" original poster artwork.
R.I.P. ROD TAYLOR 1930-2015
YOU ARE FOREVER NOW TRAVELLING THROUGH TIME......
The Time Machine (1960) - What Three Books?
At the end of the George Pal 1960 movie, H.G.WELLS’ THE TIME MACHINE, Filby best friend of George. the Time Traveller who has just vanished into the future, says to the housekeeper, Mrs Watchett, that it’s not like George to go and not take something with him. Did he take something with him, he asks of the house keeper?
At first she indicates, nothing different, then looking at a book shelf, says, except three books.
Filby asks of her, what three books?
She replies, she doesn’t know..
Filby says, it doesn’t matter but then asks a question, that has made a big impression on me all through my life, “what three books would you take?”!
The film ends with a lyrical finish, as all us kids wished we had gone on that marvelous time machine into the future.
Indeed, what three books would we have taken?
While you ponder that, here's some info on Rod Taylor.
Rod Taylor with Cinema Owners
Rod Taylor, the Aussie Actor.
Rod Taylor, was raised in Lidcombe, New South Wales, Australia, not far from where I grew up at Revesby, south of Bankstown with Lidcombe just to the north of Bankstown which is south of Sydney Olympic Park... and if you can follow that, you can follow a pirate map to treasure or even construct a time machine....!
Below is a a fan site for Rod Taylor featuring biography, film info photos and much much more.
Rod Taylor Fan Site
- The Complete Rod Taylor Site: Home Page
Check out this site for the latest info on Rod. Real or myth? Did he really say to Alfred Hitchcock on the set of "The Birds" about the prop fridge, "when you open the door, the light should come on"...!! Check the map below, Lidcombe, in centre.
Lidcombe, New South Wales, Australia
A Side Story "Long John Silver"
I now even have a restored version of the CinemaScope version of "Long John Silver" (1954) where Rod plays the mad blind hermit, Israel Hands.
Much of this film was shot locally to where I live at Stanwell Tops, just south of Sydney. Beach scenes in the Illawarra, and an interesting aside is the fact that the tall, mean guy with almost lizard like features used to be my offsider in the printing industry when I was an apprentice back in the late 1960s! Vladislaus Leonidis was his name and he told me about the "Long John Silver" film. I didn't believe him at first but he convinced me.
After finally seeing the film, I'm glad I did. He was pretty menacing in the movie!!
It's fun to watch the movie, as Rod as the hermit chases the Jim Hawkins character (Kit Taylor) through bush that reminds me an awful lot of the nearby Royal National Park where i believe it was filmed!
Long John Silver
- Long John Silver (1954) Rod Taylor Full Action Adventure Film - YouTube
After the Treasure Island adventure, Long John Silver turns up on a British Caribbean island, where he hears that rival pirate Mendoza has taken the ship car...
The Mean Looking Pirate Guy
Rod as the Blind Hermit
Back to the Future!
However now we know all that, let's get back to the point at hand!!
The Challenge of What Three Books would we take to a future civilisation that knows nothing but play and eat... and be eaten...!
The Gathering of Witnesses
The Three Books Idea
In the original short story, a mere 94 pages in the 1965 Pan paperback edition that I bought back then as a mid teenager, and still have, there is no mention of the books, but he did take a small camera and a knapsack… so what was in the knapsack?
Food? Film? Books? H. G. doesn’t really say.
So I guess this gave rise to Film Producer, George Pal and the scriptwriter, David Duncan an intriguing opportunity to bring in ideas of what was in the knapsack.
However, we don’t know if there was a knapsack in the film as we never saw the departure of the Time Traveller.
But he must’ve had one to carry the books in! He didn’t make his lunch; off too quick!
The Time Machine (1960) Trailer
We could all guess, that one book would be, the Bible. But here was a man who was not happy in his time, who hated wars and thought future man would be ideal and surpass his violent self. Possibly like Welles, himself.
But is this wrong? To some the Bible is full of murder, wars, savagery, retribution and redemption. To others it is full of something else, running in other directions.
So would the Time Traveller take a book that has the first murder? Would the Elio ask where did Cain’s wife came from?
So perhaps our Time Traveller may not take the Bible. Intriguing thought.
But for argument’s sake, let’s say it is book one.
So what would be the other two?
The Time Traveller On His Journey
Perhaps Book 2 would be… hmmm…. what about a Dictionary?
Even from the end of the 19th century it would have a lot of knowledgeable, modern enough, words in it ( but what’s to stop him shopping around on his way???… but let’s not get too carried away… that’d be like asking where does outer space end!!!!)
Yes, a dictionary could be a safe bet.
Into the Fantastic Future
Now let’s think about this…. maybe a medical book… 19th Century medical cures…. maybe not.
What about a farming book? It has agricultural methods; when and what to plant; all about the various seeds… hah, now exactly where would they get the seeds from?
Would they apply to future plant species? Perhaps.
The Sphinx of the Morlocks
Items of Choice
Pity iPads weren’t around or Tablets… he could take ALL the books….!!
But let’s stick to 19th Century items, though it’s interesting in the book he takes a small camera, which is not in the film.
But yes, most likely a knapsack.
So obviously he intended coming back, but in the book never did. Nor really in the film.
In the Final Moments
My Three Books
Well, What Three Books Would You Take?
So in the end, I have suggested what 3 books our Time Traveller friend may have taken, but I ask you, the reader…
What three books would you take?
Send me your choices via the comments!!!!
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