An American physicist, Peter Standish, lives in London in an inherited flat on Berkeley Square, unchanged from its 18th century appearance. He's researched his ancestors and the flat, and he believes somehow he will travel through time, if only briefly, to 1784. A lightning strike transports him, and he finds things disturbingly different than he expected: disease and social conditions appall him, and, in this Age of Reason, his speech, manners, and knowledge frighten rather than interest all except one young woman, Helen, the sister of the woman he's to marry. He sets up a laboratory in the hopes of hastening progress, and he tells her his secret. Does love or Bedlam await? Written by
Well-Acted; a Film of Great and Disturbing Power; B/W Classic
This is a powerful and disturbing film. Its fantasy-for-the-sake-of-idea storyline sends a man back in time to the days of Samuel Johnson, Boswell, and the England of the bygone era. The time traveling scientist is played most ably by Tyrone Power. He falls in love back in time, runs afoul of those who wonder how he can know the future, and is compelled to return to his own era. This film was adapted from John Balderston's eerie play "Berkeley Square" by Ranald Macdougall. The director of this beautiful; B/W dramatic gem was Roy Baker. In the cast along with Power were Ann Blyth, Michael Rennie, Kathleen Byron, Beatrice Capmbell, Irene Browne, Raymond Huntley, Felix Aylmer, Ronald Adam, Robert Atkins, Alex McCrindle, Ronald Simpson and many more. Whenever the time traveler makes an error in tenses, the 18th Century denizens grow afraid of him, wondering if he is a witch or a madman. But he is able to see and converse with Sir Joshua Reynolds, Samuel Johnson, Boswell and others; and the time traveler returns home to an even stranger ending than he had imagined--or that the viewers could have guessed. The film boasts very fine music by William Alwyn, wonderful costumes by Margaret Furse and art direction by C.P. Norman that is a delight to behold. This is a powerful production, unforgettable, and a bit unusual until one gets used to it. The B/W sets look densely photographed and very convincing; for some reason, the feature hard-to-find in this country but not to be missed if you get the opportunity. Also known as "The House On the Square".
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