Beyond the Time Barrier (1960)

75 or 80 mins | Science fiction | August 1960

Director:

Edgar G. Ulmer

Producer:

Robert Clarke

Cinematographer:

Meredith M. Nicholson

Editor:

Jack Ruggiero

Production Designer:

Ernst Fegte

Production Company:

Miller Consolidated Pictures
Full page view
HISTORY

The film’s working title was The Last Barrier . An onscreen credit reads "Photographed by special arrangement at the state fairgrounds, Dallas, Texas." Although the onscreen credits read “Introducing Darlene Tompkins,” she appeared in Twentieth Century-Fox’s production of Wake Me When It's Over (see below), which was filmed after Beyond the Time Barrier but released first in Apr 1960. Copyright information indicates the film was produced by John Miller and Robert L. Madden’s company, Miller-Consolidated Pictures, but the SAB lists Pacific International as the production company.
       According to a modern source, the film was structured with a framing story that begins when test pilot “Maj. William Allison” returns to the air base mysteriously altered, after which the main story is revealed in flashback. The print viewed included the depiction of Allison heavily aged upon his return from the future, but these events were only at the end of the film, which was in chronological order. The same modern source indicates that some stock footage from Journey to the Lost City (see below) was used in Beyond the Time Barrier . Modern sources indicate that The Amazing Transparent Man (see above) was filmed back-to-back with Beyond the Time Barrier and upon the bankruptcy of Miller-Consolidated Pictures, the film was picked up for distribution by American ... More Less

The film’s working title was The Last Barrier . An onscreen credit reads "Photographed by special arrangement at the state fairgrounds, Dallas, Texas." Although the onscreen credits read “Introducing Darlene Tompkins,” she appeared in Twentieth Century-Fox’s production of Wake Me When It's Over (see below), which was filmed after Beyond the Time Barrier but released first in Apr 1960. Copyright information indicates the film was produced by John Miller and Robert L. Madden’s company, Miller-Consolidated Pictures, but the SAB lists Pacific International as the production company.
       According to a modern source, the film was structured with a framing story that begins when test pilot “Maj. William Allison” returns to the air base mysteriously altered, after which the main story is revealed in flashback. The print viewed included the depiction of Allison heavily aged upon his return from the future, but these events were only at the end of the film, which was in chronological order. The same modern source indicates that some stock footage from Journey to the Lost City (see below) was used in Beyond the Time Barrier . Modern sources indicate that The Amazing Transparent Man (see above) was filmed back-to-back with Beyond the Time Barrier and upon the bankruptcy of Miller-Consolidated Pictures, the film was picked up for distribution by American International. More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
5 Sep 1960.
---
Daily Variety
17 Apr 1959
p. 8.
Daily Variety
6 Sep 60
p. 3.
Film Daily
8 Sep 60
p. 6.
Filmfacts
1960
p. 216.
Hollywood Reporter
6 Sep 60
p. 3.
Motion Picture Herald Product Digest
27 Aug 60
p. 821.
Variety
14 Sep 60
p. 18.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCERS
Exec prod
Exec prod
WRITER
Orig story and scr
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Cam op
Chief elec
Head grip
ART DIRECTOR
Prod des
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
SET DECORATOR
Props
COSTUMES
MUSIC
Mus comp and cond
Mus ed
SOUND
Sd ed
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff
MAKEUP
Makeup created by
Hairdresser
PRODUCTION MISC
Prod supv
Loc coord
Scr supv
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
The Last Barrier
Release Date:
August 1960
Production Date:
8--18 April 1959 at United National Studios, Dallas, TX
Copyright Claimant:
Miller-Consolidated Pictures
Copyright Date:
3 August 1959
Copyright Number:
LP19354
Physical Properties:
Sound
Western Electric Recording
Black and White
Duration(in mins):
75 or 80
Length(in feet):
6,733
Length(in reels):
8
Country:
United States
Language:
English
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

In 1960, Air Force test pilot Maj. William Allison pilots the X80 jet, which is capable of speeds up to 5,000 miles an hour and reaching heights of more than 100 miles above the Earth. The flight initially goes smoothly and both Allison and his commanding officer, Col. Martin, are pleased when the X80 reaches 6,000 miles an hour. Upon nearly reaching outer space, Allison is unaware that the X80’s tremendous velocity has propelled him through a time barrier. Although he has lost communication with the air base, Allison returns and lands normally, only to find the area deserted and in shambles. Confused, Allison explores the empty, ruined buildings and is stunned to see the nearby downtown area destroyed and, nearby, a strange, luminescent obelisk centered in unfamiliar structures. Suddenly, Allison is struck unconscious by a beam of light and revives some time later inside a glass tube in an underground citadel. Finding two men and a woman watching him, Allison demands his release and information on his whereabouts. In response, Allison is escorted by the captain through the citadel to an older man known as the Supreme. The Supreme introduces Allison to his granddaughter Trirene and explains that she, like all of their people except him and the captain, are deaf-mutes. Because of Trirene's deafness, she has a highly developed extrasensory perception and can read minds. The captain grills Allison on his identity but, refusing to believe his explanation of being an American air force test pilot, takes him to a pit where several strange mutant figures dwell. The captain reports to the Supreme his suspicion that ... +


In 1960, Air Force test pilot Maj. William Allison pilots the X80 jet, which is capable of speeds up to 5,000 miles an hour and reaching heights of more than 100 miles above the Earth. The flight initially goes smoothly and both Allison and his commanding officer, Col. Martin, are pleased when the X80 reaches 6,000 miles an hour. Upon nearly reaching outer space, Allison is unaware that the X80’s tremendous velocity has propelled him through a time barrier. Although he has lost communication with the air base, Allison returns and lands normally, only to find the area deserted and in shambles. Confused, Allison explores the empty, ruined buildings and is stunned to see the nearby downtown area destroyed and, nearby, a strange, luminescent obelisk centered in unfamiliar structures. Suddenly, Allison is struck unconscious by a beam of light and revives some time later inside a glass tube in an underground citadel. Finding two men and a woman watching him, Allison demands his release and information on his whereabouts. In response, Allison is escorted by the captain through the citadel to an older man known as the Supreme. The Supreme introduces Allison to his granddaughter Trirene and explains that she, like all of their people except him and the captain, are deaf-mutes. Because of Trirene's deafness, she has a highly developed extrasensory perception and can read minds. The captain grills Allison on his identity but, refusing to believe his explanation of being an American air force test pilot, takes him to a pit where several strange mutant figures dwell. The captain reports to the Supreme his suspicion that Allison is a spy, but Trirene indicates that Allison has been truthful. The Supreme then releases Allison from the pit and offers him comfortable quarters and food. Later, upon exploring the citadel, Allison finds Trirene and asks her if she can help him understand what has happened. Trirene shows Allison a number of pictures and clippings of the world aboveground and manages to convey to the pilot that a great plague forced the inhabitants underground. After examining the pictures and newspaper clippings, Allison asks Trirene if he can meet a scientist named Karl Kruse. Trirene agrees and takes Allison to a large laboratory where he finds Kruse and fellow scientists Dr. Bourman and Maj. Markova, a beautiful woman. Kruse is excited to discover that Allison’s flight occurred in 1960, but Allison remains perplexed. After Markova notes that Trirene appears to be personally interested in Allison, the girl leaves in embarrassment. Kruse and Bourman warn Allison that the captain is ruthless and, after temporarily blocking a surveillance device, explain that Allison is on Earth in the year 2024. Kruse describes a plague that struck in 1971, brought about by cosmic rays striking the earth’s atmosphere. When Allison inquires if the cause was an atomic war, Bourman explains that the effects of nuclear testing done around the world over several years severely weakened the Earth’s stratosphere, allowing forces in the universe to infect the entire planet with a incurable plague. Bourne continues describing that after mastering space travel, the healthy people on the planet were evacuated to other planets in 1973 and those stricken by the plague moved underground. Those who refused to dwell underground were abandoned outside, becoming mutants, like those Allison encountered in the pit. Although the survivors underground have slowed the plague’s effects, all of them, except Trirene, are sterile and will eventually die. Kruse indicates that each of the scientists came from the past and broke through at different intervals, while testing interplanetary flight. When Allison details his own experience, the scientists are excited to learn his craft remains at the old air base, which is beyond the plague’s sphere. The group is interrupted by the captain, who demands to know what the scientists have told Allison. The others evade the captain’s questions and Markova coyly tells the captain to treat Allison well as it appears Trirene has selected him. The captain admits that the people in the citadel are all ill, but pleads with him not to harm Trirene, who is their only hope for a future. Uncertain, Allison seeks out Trirene and admits his attraction to her. Upon returning to his quarters, Allison runs into Markova, who tells him he must return to his own time in order to stop the plague from occurring. Back at the lab, the scientists discuss time travel, hoping to find a way that Allison could reproduce the effect that broke the time barrier. Kruse reveals that a series of tunnels from the citadel lead to the air field but only the Supreme and Trirene have access to the maps. Trirene readily provides Allison with the information, but is despondent that he intends to leave. Meanwhile, the captain reports to the Supreme that the scientists are plotting Allison’s escape and wonders if they can convince him to stay with Trirene. Later, the captain brings Allison to the Supreme and accuses him of scheming to destroy them, but the Supreme pleads with the pilot to stay with Trirene. Unknown to everyone, Markova kills a guard and sets frees the mutants in the pit, then uses the ensuing mayhem to spirit away Allison to prepare for his return flight. When Allison insists upon taking Trirene on the journey with him, Markova says it is impossible, but then reveals her own plans to go with him and return to 1973, in which her knowledge of events will place her in power. Allison is stunned by the revelation, but moments later Kruse and Bourman arrive and, having overheard Markova’s plan, Kruse shoots her. Kruse and Bourman escort Allison through the citadel, but as they reach Trirene, Bourman knocks out Kruse and explains that the scientist meant to take Allison’s place. Trirene indicates Bourman is lying and Allison attacks him. In their scuffle, a bullet strikes Trirene, killing her. Grief-stricken, Allison carries Trirene’s body to the Supreme and vows to return to his time to save them. The Supreme gives Allison Trirene’s ring as a sign of his confidence and guides him to the tunnel. Allison boards the X80 and, using the scientists’ calculations, repeats his travel through the time barrier and returns to the air base in 1960. Col. Martin and the others are shocked to find Allison has greatly aged and listen to his story with interest. Upon discovering that Kruse, Bourman and Markova are all currently students in the fields that Allison described, Martin gathers several government representatives who admit they have great decisions to make for the future. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

TOP SEARCHES

CASABLANCA

During World War II, Casablanca, Morocco is a waiting point for throngs of desperate refugees fleeing Nazi-occupied Europe. Exit visas, which are necessary to leave the country, are at ... >>

CITIZEN KANE

Seventy-year-old newspaper tycoon Charles Foster Kane dies in his palatial Florida home, Xanadu, after uttering the single word “Rosebud.” While watching a newsreel summarizing the years during which Kane ... >>

REAR WINDOW

Laid up with a broken leg during the height of summer, renowned New York magazine photographer L. B. “Jeff” Jeffries enters his last week of home confinement, bored and ... >>

RAGING BULL

In 1941, at a boxing match in Cleveland, Ohio, pandemonium breaks out when Jake La Motta, an up-and-coming young boxer, loses a decision to Jimmy Reeves, suffering his first ... >>

CITY LIGHTS

At an outdoor dedication ceremony, a tramp is discovered sleeping in the arms of a statue as it is being unveiled before a crowd. He is chased into ... >>

The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.