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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 a


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.

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.

Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
Universal Studios
Sales rank:

Special Features

Back to Somewhere in Time documentary; Feature commentary with director Jeannot Szwarc; The Somewhere in Time fan club; Theatrical trailer

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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Somewhere in Time 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 41 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I only had to watch this once to become drawn in by its superb plot and stunning filming. Christopher Reeve is wonderful in the role of Richard Collier. On the eve of the premiere of one of his plays, an old lady approaches him, puts a gold watch in his hand, and says ''Come back to me''. He can't recall ever having seen her before. Eight years later, he stops in at the Grand Hotel for a little break, and sees a picture on the wall of Elise McKenna, a brilliant actress who suddenly left the stage in 1912. With the help of Arthur who has been at the hotel since he was a five year old boy in 1912 and the local library, Collier manages to find out more about the beautiful actress. He becomes obsessed with her and determines to go back in time through the removal of all things modern about his room. He acquires a proper haircut and suit for the time to which he is returning, even stocks himself with 1912 coins. Then through the hypnosis recommended by his physics teacher at college, he wakes up on June 27th, 1912. He finds McKenna, but he also has to deal with her peculiarly possessive manager, William Fawcett Robinson. Despite all odds, Collier and McKenna manage to fall in love, and after the company leaves, she runs away from it to come back to him. The next morning, while he displays to her all the lovely little pockets in his suit, he finds a 1979 penny there and he is pulled away from his love by the forces of Time. The movie has a truly sad but very sweet and sentimental ending that always makes me either cry or nearly so. I absolutely adore this movie and would recommend it to nearly anybody.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I LOVE THIS MOVIE!!!! Every time I watch this movie I cry, it's soooo good. Jane Seymour is so beautiful and is definitely the person to pllay a woman in that era. I especially enjoyed Christopher Reeve and actually forgot he played Superman.The hotel was absolutely gorgeous and on my list of places to go before I die and the music, well what can I say? So haunting yet beautiful. I wish we had more movies like this.
lem_3 More than 1 year ago
This story is haunting though I realize it is fantasy. I so loved the movie and the sound track that I have a CD I very often play in my car and have locked up 2 copies in my strongbox. I've asked my children to hook me up with this soundtrack as I am dying. I want the last sounds I hear when I die to be this amazing music. It touches my soul as no other music has.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a classic love story. The scenery is fantastic. I bought the DVD after a few friends went to the Hotel in Michigan where this movie was filmed; they try to keep it just the way it was in this movie!! AMAZING! The music is captivating. I especially enjoyed the options at the end of the DVD... I watched "Back to Somewhere in Time" and heard first hand from the main actors their recollections of the movie and how it was made. Definitely a GREAT rainy Saturday night favorite!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Though I haven't yet seen this movie, the synopsis sounds quite reminiscent of "Portrait of Jennie" the best-known of Robert Nathan's books. A recurrent theme of Nathan is love being eternal and crossing all sorts of time barriers. "Jennie" isn't the only book of this genre that Nathan wrote. A movie was made from "Jennie" also. Book and movie each end differently, but both are GOOD. Good option if you like this type of story line.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great acting, location was beautiful, the possibility of time travel is an interesting concept. The location meant more as I have visited the area previously
Shana426 More than 1 year ago
What a wonderful movie! I love the plot it is somewhat 80ish, but the romance was wonderful! Worth watching over and over!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This movie is very powerful. I cry every time I see it. It will make you believe that love really isn't confinded to the here and now.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I loved this movie so much! Christopher Reeves did an outstanding job!(was even very cute too!) Jane Seymour is a vision of beauty. One of my most favorite movies I have ever seen, and for people my age we don't like movies like this, but I peg to differ.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is the best movie I have ever seen! In fact, I lent my copy to someone and they never returned it, so I'm glad to see I can get another copy. When I hear the music from the music box in stores or restaurants I can't help but cry.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I cried like a baby. This is one of the best movies, that I have ever seen. The story is magic and the performance brilliant. I truly recommend this movie. It has been over a week since I've seen it and I am still thinking about it. It made me call my exgirlfriend, and we got together again. Life is all about love.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This movie has been an inspiration in my life. I gave a my male friend a pocketwatch, because I was in love with him and he didnt know it, but to me by giving him that watch he was my true fate. Well 2 years later we were married at The Grand Hotel, on Mackinac Island in Michagan. And I became Mrs. RICHARD. Not only is the most beautiful love story ever created. The island is the most beautiful place I have ever been. Jane Seymour and Christopher Reeve light up the screen in this movie.
Sihaya More than 1 year ago
This may be a film that a lot of viewers will not be able to sit through if they expect movies to equal non-stop action and deliberate emotional stimulation throughout. A lot of the story is intellectual and concerns one question: what does success matter if one does not have love? The twist for this story is that the lovers are separated by a couple of generations and Richard Collier (hero) has to figure out how to get back in time to be with his ladylove, played by Jane Seymour. The script was nicely written and the story follows a somewhat predictable line from first meeting to the hero's tragic death due to a broken heart. Sets and costumes are well-done. A stylish piece, probably most appealing to women. Just as an aside there is quite a large fan base for this film; some fo the groups hold large events and there are web sites.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I'm not really into romance, but love sci-fi stuff, esp. time travel. I loved this movie, even the romance. I truly believed this could happen the first time I saw the movie.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have always been a huge fan of time travel books and movies, but add a beautiful romance and a perfect cast to the mix, and you have superb cinema. I have watched this movie countless times and the when I hear the music, I always think of Richard and Elise. The breathtaking hotel and its location, the costumes and gorgeous lead actors - everything is perfect for a truly great love story. It is the same caliber as Gone With the Wind, which is a favorite love story of many. Although the end seems somewhat sad, it is really happy -two lovers who finally reunite for all time - what could be more romantic!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Best V-Day gift in 20 years!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I rate this movie right up there with Gone With the Wind for breathtaking romance. Seymour has never been lovelier and Chris is a knockout as her Beau. I cry EACH time I see it! I have known the kind of Love Chris has for Jane and it is OUT of this World!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This has always been my favorite movie. It is such a beautiful story. I have seen the movie so many times, yet everytime I see it, is like seeing it for the first time. It is truly the greatest love story.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have seen this movie probably somewhere in the neighborhood of 500 times since it first came out in 1980 - I have cried every time! My husband and I saw it just before we were getting divorced and even though the divorce went thru, we loved each other and remained friends until he passed from this life to the next 3 yrs. ago. I still love him and know I will see him again one day. I know it sounds crazy, but the movie is extremely uplifting to me - everyone should see it, they will never forget it - Christopher Reeve and Jane Seymour were beautiful and incredible - I went to the island and stayed at the Grand Hotel - I was transported back in time!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is my all time favorite movie. I saw it in the theater (actually because the other show was full) and fell in love with it. I have read the book, Bid Time Return, and own it and the book, Somewhere In Time. I have the VHS and the DVD and the soundtrack. My five children could all can recognize the music for years. A wonderful romance and just a nice movie to get away from the everyday.
Lady4Yeshua More than 1 year ago
and this one certainly fills the bill. Although Christopher Reeves could do a bit better, Jane Seymour and Christopher Plummer are excellent. This is one of those movies that makes you realise that perhaps time is just a circle, and if it is, could we keep going backwards, but never forwards? If you like a good tear jerker, this is it. I bought it to replace my video tape, which is worn out. Great sound track also.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is my wife's and mine favorite place and favorite movie of all time. We have been many places with my employment with a major airline but Mackinaw Island because of this movie is our favorite place.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Truly one of the best movies I've seen. Jane is breathtaking and Chris is a perfect combination of good looks, humor and sensitivity. With this couple the intriguing story comes alive and completely engages the viewer.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Saw it on TV first, then bought it in VHS, now have to have it in DVD. Many reviews didn't say much good about this one but I think it is modern thinking and a good movie to fantasize about.