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The Top 10…Time Travel Films

With “The Hot Tub Time Machine” hitting theaters on Friday, now seems as good a time as any to highlight the greatest time travel films of all time. In order to qualify for this list, films had to include, within their plots, evidence of a character traveling from one time period to another time period without losing the ability to control/alter his or her behavior in either, as opposed to:

• travel from one time period to an alternate-reality set in an unspecified time period, as is the case with “The Wizard of Oz” (1939)
• travel from one time period to an alternate-reality set in the same time period, as is the case with “It’s a Wonderful Life” (1946)
• experiencing multiple time periods without the ability to control/alter behavior in any of them, as is the case with “Scrooge” (1951)
• experiencing the same time period in a different form, as is the case with “Big” (1988)
• experiencing the same time period repeatedly, as is the case with “Groundhog Day” (1993)

10. “Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure” (1989)

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Rufus (George Carlin), a man from the year 2688, travels back to 1988 in a specially-equipped phone booth to try to prevent the separation of ne’er-do-well Valley kids Bill (Alex Winter) and Ted (Keanu Reeves), whose band ‘Wyld Stallyns’ will—he insists—go on to make music that will be cherished in the future if they don’t flunk their upcoming high school history exam. (Ted will be sent away to a military academy if he fails, breaking up the duo.) Rufus introduces himself to the boys, explains the situation, and offers the use of his time machine, whereupon they decide to travel back in time to kidnap historical figures and use their insights for their exam. Shenanigans ensue.

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  • March 24, 2010 | Permalink |

    I love time travel films. I loved reading your remarks on the films. Very good list

  • March 24, 2010 | Permalink |

    Yes, thanks for a great read. I will definitely go check out some of these films. Very excited that Terminator made the list 🙂

  • March 29, 2010 | Permalink |

    i’m realy impresed on your work

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