Home Movies by Decade Movies - 1960s Yesterday Machine, The (1963)

Yesterday Machine, The (1963)

Young college student Howie Ellison (Jay Ramsey) is trying to fix his broken-down car in the middle of nowhere while the radio blares rock ‘n’ roll and his girl, Margie (Linda Jenkins) practices her baton twirling in her short cheerleader outfit.

Margie is bored (“This is like lostville”) and they’re going to be late for a football game so they set off to a farmhouse they passed a few miles back, taking a shortcut through the woods – ignoring the sign which reads “Warning! Keep Out. Trespassing Forbidden”

The credits roll, Howie and Margie find a campfire in the woods, two (unseen) men confront them, they run, Howie gets shot, more credits . . . but where’s Margie?

Cut to the Daily Sentinel where star reporter/playboy/hero Jim Crandal (James Britton) is ready for his first vacation in three years. But his boss wants him to go to the hospital to see young Howie who relates (in flashback) how they were shot at by Civil War soldiers(!) and his girlfriend disappeared.

The convoluted, but fascinating, science fiction plot turns out to be about Professor Ernst Von Hauser (Jack Herman) and his time machine.

Herman gives an amazing performance, providing a (very) long scientific explanation of time travel and a ranting pro-Hitler speech (Von Hauser started his experiments during WWII when he was one of Hitler’s friends and top physicists). His underground laboratory is guarded by two Nazi goons (Manfred and Wolf), the time machine has a Nazi flag behind it, and Professor Von Hauser intends to bring back Hitler.

Jim Crandal teams up with the missing cheerleader’s older sister, Sandy De Mar (Ann Pellegrino), who sings in a nightclub, and they find themselves briefly transported back to 1789.

Von Hauser’s beautiful black Nubian slave, Didiyama (Olga Powell) – who the Prof has brought back from the court of Rameses II – helps save the day (although she pays the ultimate price) as the professor attempts to send Margie into the future.

Tim Holt, once a famous cowboy star, plays homicide detective Lieutenant Fred Partane.

Filmed in Dallas, Texas, with largely local actors and very little budget, this film has to be seen to be believed.

Lt. Fred Partane
Tim Holt
Jim Crandal
James Britton
Sandra “Sandy” De Mar
Ann Pellegrino
Margaret “Margie” De Mar
Linda Jenkins
Howie Ellison
Jay Ramsey
Detective Lasky
Robert Kelly
Dr Wilson D. Blake
Charles Young
Carol Gilley
Police Detective
Bill Thurman
Olga Powell
Charles McLine
Ramon Lence Legar
Prof. Ernst Von Hauser
Jack Herman

Russ Marker