Somewhere in Time

Somewhere in Time

4.7 41
Director: Jeannot Szwarc

Cast: Christopher Reeve, Jane Seymour, Christopher Plummer


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Christopher Reeve got away from Superman and related costume roles in this dramatic fantasy film, adapted from Richard Matheson's 1960s vintage novel Bid Time Return. A young playwright, Richard Collier (Reeve), is approached by an elderly woman on the occasion of his first triumph in 1972 -- all she says to him is "Come back to me" and leaves him with aSee more details below


Christopher Reeve got away from Superman and related costume roles in this dramatic fantasy film, adapted from Richard Matheson's 1960s vintage novel Bid Time Return. A young playwright, Richard Collier (Reeve), is approached by an elderly woman on the occasion of his first triumph in 1972 -- all she says to him is "Come back to me" and leaves him with a watch that contains a picture of a ravishing young woman. Eight years later, he visits the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island and comes upon a photograph of the same woman, whom he discovers was an actress who made an appearance at the hotel in 1912. He becomes obsessed with the image and what the woman -- who died the night she approached him in 1972 -- meant by what she said. In a manner somewhat reminiscent of the film Laura, he falls in love with her and her image as he learns more about her life and career. Then he comes upon the suggestion of a professor at his former college that time travel may, in fact, be possible, using an extreme form of self-hypnosis to free the person from the place they occupy in the time-stream. Collier's feelings for the woman are so strong that he succeeds, bringing himself back to the hotel in 1912 on the eve of her triumph. He meets the actress, Elise McKenna (Jane Seymour), and the two fall in love despite the machinations of her obsessive, autocratic manager (Christopher Plummer), who feels threatened by Collier's presence.

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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Ed Hulse
A defiantly old-fashioned romantic drama tinged with fantasy, Somewhere in Time has acquired a cult following in the two decades since its theatrical release, and is among the few non-Superman movies for which Christopher Reeve's work is remembered. Based on a little-known novel by Richard Matheson, this modest film directed by Jeannot Szwarc (Jaws 2) reinforces the dreamy notion that true love transcends time and place. Reeve plays an inexplicably sad Chicago playwright who, upon seeing a 1912 photo of a famous actress (Jane Seymour at her most luminous), believes he's met her before. Transported some seven decades into the past through the power of his will, he encounters the woman and begins a passionate affair with her. Obviously mindful of Hollywood's classic period romances, Szwarc re-creates the early 20th century with painstaking care, capturing the pictorial beauty of Michigan's Mackinac Island with diffused lighting and warm colors. Reeve and Seymour make such a beautiful couple that even the bittersweet conclusion of their relationship won't dampen viewer enthusiasm.
All Movie Guide - Bruce Eder
Somewhere In Time was a labor of love for everyone involved in it, from the producer Stephen Deutsch and director Jeannot Szwarc, who originated the project (under the auspices of Ray Stark's Raystar Productions) to composer John Barry, who took a fraction of his usual fee to score the finished film. Made for barely $4 million, an insignificant budget in Hollywood even in 1980, the movie ran counter to the usual fantasy films of its era, with no reliance on elaborate special effects in telling its tale of time travel. The makers realized that with the resources at hand, the movie could only work if the romance at the center of the plot was credible, and in that regard, Christopher Reeve and Jane Seymour were ideally cast opposite each other. There are flaws, particularly in some aspects of Reeve's performance, which is too callow at times, but they do carry it off with help from Christopher Plummer, Bill Erwin, Susan French, and Teresa Wright. The result was a 1980 movie that had more in common with such 1940s romantic fantasies as Portrait of Jennie, Stairway to Heaven, and Beyond Tomorrow than with any films of its own era. Understandably, the critics savaged Somewhere in Time for its sentimentality. It died at the box office, and that might have been the last that anyone heard of it. Among those people who had seen the movie and loved it, however, was the programming director of a new Los Angeles movie cable service called Z-Channel, which licensed it from Universal (which was only too happy to see any interest in the movie) in the early 1980s, giving hundreds of thousands of viewers their first chance to see Somewhere in Time. From that beginning, Somewhere in Time developed a major cult following that blossomed when it went to home video and continues to grow in the 21st century; there are large clubs of enthusiasts and fans, who have even organized forums in which the makers and cast members meet to celebrate the film; if not on the level of the Trekkies and Star Trek, the phenomenon is still an impressive viewer response to a movie. Somewhere in Time is very much a film for romantics -- those for whom the central story and the characters don't resonate will likely not enjoy it at all; but for others, it is a ravishing, totally enveloping experience. The John Barry score has also found a life of its own in a new CD recording as of the year 2000 -- his music, some of the best of his career, was aided by the presence in the film of the 18th variation of Sergei Rachmaninoff's "Variations on a Theme of Paganini," which had also figured prominently 27 years earlier in MGM's The Story of Three Loves.

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Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
Universal Studios
Region Code:
[Wide Screen]

Special Features

Closed captions; Cast biography; Movie trailer; Production notes

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Christopher Reeve Richard Collier
Jane Seymour Elise McKenna
Christopher Plummer William Fawcett Robinson
Teresa Wright Laura Roberts
Bill Erwin Arthur
Sean Hayden Young Arthur
George Voskovec Dr. Gerald Finney
Susan French Older Elise
John Alvin Arthur's Father
Eddra Gale Genevieve
Richard Matheson Astonished Man
Patrick Billingsley Professor
Paul Cook Doctor
Audrey Bennett Richard's Date
William H. Macy Critic
Laurence Coven Critic
Susan Bugg Penelope
George Wendt Student
Ted Liss Agent
Taylor Williams Maitre D'
Don Franklin Tourist in Hall of History
David Hull Hotel Manager
William P. O'Hagan Rollo
Hal Frank Stage Manager
Val Bettin Director
Bruce Jarchow Bones
Ed Meekin Fisher
Audrie Neenan Maid in Play
Tim Kazurinsky Photographer
Bob Swan Stagehand with Note
Michael Woods Dinner Guest

Technical Credits
Jeannot Szwarc Director
John Barry Score Composer
Mary Ann Biddle Set Decoration/Design
Burt Bluestein Asst. Director
Stephen Deutsch Producer
Jean-Pierre Dorleac Costumes/Costume Designer
Jack Faggard Special Effects
Jeff Gourson Editor
Roger Heman Sound/Sound Designer
Seymour Klate Production Designer
Isidore Mankofsky Cinematographer
Richard Matheson Screenwriter

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Scene Index

1. Opening Credits/Come Back to Me.
2. Grand Hotel.
3. A Face For the Ages.
4. A Haunting Melody.
5. Teaching Time Travel.
6. Historically Hysterical.
7. Ahead to the Past.
8. Desperately Seeking Elise.
9. Meeting Again - For the First Time.
10. The Bodyguard.
11. Making Up For Lost Time.
12. Theater Improv.
13. The Wrath of Robinson.
14. Time For Love.
15. Back to the Future.
16. Heavenly Reunion/End Credits.

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