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Somewhere in Time (1980)

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ON DISC
A Chicago playwright uses self-hypnosis to travel back in time and meet the actress whose vintage portrait hangs in a grand hotel.

Director:

Jeannot Szwarc

Writers:

Richard Matheson (screenplay), Richard Matheson (novel)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 7 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Christopher Reeve ... Richard Collier
Jane Seymour ... Elise McKenna
Christopher Plummer ... William Fawcett Robinson
Teresa Wright ... Laura Roberts
Bill Erwin ... Arthur Biehl
George Voskovec ... Dr. Gerald Finney
Susan French ... Older Elise
John Alvin ... Arthur's Father
Eddra Gale ... Genevieve
Audrey Bennett Audrey Bennett ... Richard's Date
William H. Macy ... Critic (as W.H. Macy)
Laurence Coven Laurence Coven ... Critic
Susan Bugg Susan Bugg ... Penelope
Christy Michaels Christy Michaels ... Beverly
Ali Marie Matheson Ali Marie Matheson ... Student (as Ali Matheson)
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Storyline

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 Rhino <rhino@blueyonder.co.uk>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

He sacrificed life in the present... to find love in the past. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Fantasy | Romance

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

3 October 1980 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Bid Time Return See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$5,100,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$9,709,597
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Rastar Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The professor in the movie is named "Finney". The book's author Richard Matheson gave this character the name in tribute to Jack Finney, the science fiction writer. It is (controversially) said that Matheson stole or borrowed his idea for "Bid Time Return" - the book's title, published in 1975 - from Finney's book "Time and Again", published in 1970. See more »

Goofs

When Richard is about to cross the street carrying the box of clothing, the camera wobbles just at the end of the tracking movement, suggesting the operator hit the end of the track just slightly too hard. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
[various snippets in crowd chatter]
Richard Collier: 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]
Richard Collier: Fingers crossed, who knows? Come on, let's all have some cake.
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Alternate Versions

Video version has some parts of the soundtrack changed, due to copyright problems: the original "Theme from Somewhere In Time," performed by pianist Roger Williams over the end titles, is replaced by other music in the videocassette and DVD versions. It's intact in the laserdisc release. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Confessions of a Superhero (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

Somewhere In Time (End Title Theme)
Music by John Barry (uncredited)
Performed by Roger Williams
See more »

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User Reviews

 
The film affirms that love is an undeniable force which goes beyond us...
26 December 2003 | by Nazi_Fighter_DavidSee all my reviews

Christopher Reeve takes on the role of (Richard Collier) a successful Chicago playwright who is approached (in May 1972) by a very old woman (Susan French) who will alter the course of his life eternally...

The thoughtful old lady presses a classic pocket watch, from a past existence, into his right hand and intensely whispers four haunting words 'Come back to me,' which will affect him forever...

Eight years have passed and Richard is seeing his work incredibly sterile, gently afflicted with a case of lesser inspiration... So he packs his luggage and heads out to an island of enchanting beauty, to the Grand Hotel on the Straits of Mackinac waterfront...

While waiting for the huge dining hall to open, he tours the grand old building's museum, and sees a portrait of a lovely woman... He becomes obsessed about finding the truth behind the old photograph and begins questioning the people that knew her past... What emerges is a wonderful woman who is the first American stage actress in 1912 to create a mystique in the public's eye... She is the same lady who visited him that night at the premier of one of his plays...

Richard finds himself intrigued... There is so much to hear... People who knew Elise McKenna when she was young said that she was quick and bright and full of fun... Strong, willful, not at all the way she was later...

Seeking help from an old philosophy teacher who had written a book about 'Travels through time,' Richard attempts to disassociate himself entirely from the present, move everything out of sight that could possibly remind him of it, hypnotize his mind, and transport himself backward into the past, into June 27, 1912, into the life of the stunningly beautiful and talented Elise McKenna (Jane Seymour).

Nominated for Best Costume Design, the motion picture is a romantic fantasy that avoids any use of machinery in action... The time travel theory is completely non-scientific... The film captures the idea of a fine young man moving back among other time periods, and affirms that love is an undeniable force which goes beyond us, a force with no limit to the spiritual power, with no end to the potential of spiritual expansion...


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