A consistently intelligent (or at least bright), coherently constructed comedy that is on occasion a rather pointed critique of the American education system in the…
Each person who tries to see beyond his own time must face questions for which there are no absolute answers.
So speaks Claire Bloom, in the voice of the narrator, at the end of "The Illustrated Man." And true enough. But the lack of answers is no excuse for not facing the questions. Jack Smight's confused, wandering film never does quite come to terms with what it wants to be.
When I was in high school, I was a science fiction fan of incurable proportions; I must have read nearly every s-f magazine and paperback published over a period of three or four years. And I faithfully followed the s-f fan magazines, wherein raged heated philosophical battles over the difference between science fiction and fantasy.
My side contended that science fiction was fantasy, but that fantasy was not science fiction (are you following this?). The crucial difference was that s-f pretended to realism, while in fantasy literally anything could happen and you never knew when a door knob might open a blue eye and wink at you. Of course, anything could happen in s-f, too, but you had to explain how.