Movie Review: Beyond the Time Barrier (1960)
Synopsis: In 1960, military test pilot Maj. William Allison inadvertently flies an experimental aircraft into a time warp and is propelled to the year 2024. There, he discovers the world's population has either been mutated or sterilized by a plague. He meets other accidental time travelers who want him to return to his own time and prevent the plague from happening. However, the local ruler wants to keep Allison captive so he can procreate with the ruler's granddaughter, the only other person who isn't sterile.
Review: I came across this movie last night and wound up adding it to my movie library mostly because the "future" world it described was supposed to happen just two years from now. I had some doubts about the movie but wound up enjoying it a bit more than expected.
I think the thing I liked best about this film was it wasn't as predictable as I thought it would be. Having Allison (Clarke) return to 1960 so he could prevent a plague caused by nuclear weapons tests seemed like a sound idea. However, there were a number of people who still were willing to prevent that from happening for a variety of reasons, including a couple that were surprises. Plus, there were some doubts about whether or not it was even possible.
The budding romance between Allison and Princess Trirene (Tompkins) also contributed to the movie's lack of predictability. I wondered if maybe he would choose to stay in the future to be with her or if he would choose to bring her back with him, even though that could potentially cause issues.
I even found I liked the ending, which had quite a few twists and one, last, unexpected surprise that made me question whether his efforts were even worth it. This was important to me because I've seen way too many decent films ruined by a crappy ending.
Probably the only thing about this movie that made me roll my eyes a bit (other than the comment about all the world's governments working together in harmony following the moon landing) was just how long it took Allison to figure out he was in the future. Sure, I could understand some disorientation, but between the mutants and the futuristic clothes and devices, I think it was fairly obvious he wasn't in 1960 anymore.
Final Opinion: I didn't think I would enjoy this movie and mostly just watched it thinking I might get some laughs, but it ended up being an enjoyable film. I'd recommend taking the time to watch it at least once.
My Grade: B