Young writer Richard Collier is met on the opening night of his first play by an old lady who begs him to "Come back to me". Mystified, he tries to find out about her, and learns that she is a famous stage actress from the early 1900s, Elise McKenna. Becoming more and more obsessed with her, he manages, by self hypnosis, to travel back in time where he meets her. They fall in love, a matching that is not appreciated by her manager. Can their love outlast the immense problems caused by their "time" difference? And can Richard remain in a time that is not his? Written by
The film got made because the Universal Pictures studio owed director Jeannot Szwarc a favor because Jaws 2 (1978) had been the studio's biggest box-office performer of 1978. Somewhere in Time (1980)'s budget was originally set at US $8 million but the studio cut it in half to US $4 million and would only green-light the film with such a reduction due to a belief and resistance by studio executives that the film had limited appeal - the time-travel aspect of the film had no visual effects or time-machine, the picture being made in the genesis of the post Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977) special and visual effects boom era. See more »
(at around 8 mins) Richard checks into the The Grand Hotel in 1972. The receptionist checks him in without glasses. In the next shot the receptionist is wearing glasses and hands Richard his room key. Seconds later, in the next shot the receptionist is again without glasses. See more »
[various snippets in crowd chatter]
I got some news. There was an agent in the house tonight, and he said he thinks this play might be good enough for Broadway.
[cheers from crowd]
Fingers crossed, who knows? Come on, let's all have some cake.
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Being one who always seems to enjoy time-travel stories, it's no wonder I like this movie so much, but it isn't the interesting "time" angle that draws me in: it's also the fact that this is one of the most touching love stories I've ever seen. I'm not usually a big fan of romance stories, but this one has always moved me, maybe because, as another reviewer points out, it's from the man's point of view.
The film is a wonderful old-fashioned type of story with a really nice feel for the period (1912) and is simply a pleasant, leisurely-paced story I found comfortable. Would kids of today like this? No. Too slow for them. Too bad, because I found the movie moved pretty well. The 100 minutes went by quickly.
Christopher Reeve is the star of the film but personally I found Jane Seymour and Christopher Plummer far more entertaining. The theme song, "Somewhere In Time," is one of the prettiest songs ever and that adds to the sad and frustrating romance angle of the story. The language also is quite tame. Yes, it's a bit "sappy" at times, but for sentimental people, this is a nice film to keep.
My only real complaint is I've never seen a sharp transfer put on a DVD yet. There have been two DVDs out and both have that grainy look to them. That's disappointing because this would really look nice with a clear picture. The film deserves better treatment.
NOTE: A Blu-Ray of this film was released in March of 2014 and finally does this great film justice!
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