A burglar falls for an heiress as she dies in his arms. When he learns that he has the gift of reincarnation, he sets out to save her.


Akiva Goldsman


Akiva Goldsman (screenplay), Mark Helprin (novel)
4,882 ( 299)
2 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Colin Farrell ... Peter Lake
Matt Bomer ... Young Man
Lucy Griffiths ... Young Woman
Michael Crane Michael Crane ... Ellis Isle Doctor (as Michael Patrick Crane)
Brian Hutchison ... Ellis Isle Official
Kevin Corrigan ... Romeo Tan
Alan Doyle ... Dingy Worthington
Russell Crowe ... Pearly Soames
Jessica Brown Findlay ... Beverly Penn
Jon Patrick Walker ... Optometrist
David O'Brien Hart ... Penn House Butler
William Hurt ... Isaac Penn
Maurice Jones Maurice Jones ... Cecil Mature
Mckayla Twiggs ... Young Willa
Matthew R. Staley ... Oyster Boy


New York City is subsumed in arctic winds, dark nights, and white lights, its life unfolds, for it is an extraordinary hive of the imagination, the greatest house ever built, and nothing exists that can check its vitality. One night in winter, Peter Lake (Colin Farrell), orphan and master-mechanic, attempts to rob a fortress-like mansion on the Upper West Side. Though he thinks the house is empty, the daughter of the house is home. Thus begins the love between Peter, an Irish burglar in his early 20's, and Beverly Penn (Jessica Brown Findlay), a young girl, who is dying. Written by Jack

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


This is not a true story. This is true love.

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for violence and some sensuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


Will Smith (Judge) is not listed in the credits and the only actor who interacted with Smith in the movie was Russell Crowe. The other actors reportedly did not even see Smith during the filming. "It was my [idea]," Goldsman said. "I think the Devil needs to be very charismatic, I know no one more charismatic than Will." Per Yahoo Entertainment. See more »


When Peter Lake is trying to crack the safe and discovers Beverly Penn, the safe's handle switches from horizontal (just turned by Lake to open it) to vertical, then back to horizontal in subsequent shots. See more »


[first lines]
Beverly Penn: [narrating] What if, once upon a time, there were no stars in the sky at all? What if the stars are not what we think? What if the light from afar doesn't come from the rays of distant suns, but from our wings as we turn into angels? Destiny calls to each of us. And there is a world behind the world where we are all connected, all part of a great and moving plan. Magic is everywhere around us. You just have to look. Look. Look closely. For even time and distance are not what they ...
See more »

Crazy Credits

The opening logos for Warner Bros. Pictures, Village Roadshow Pictures, and Weed Road Pictures all end by being placed on old-fashioned paper. See more »


Referenced in Midnight Screenings: The Book of Henry (2017) See more »


Brahms Violin Concerto 3rd movement op 77
Written by Johannes Brahms (uncredited)
Played by Beverly
See more »

User Reviews

wow, is this a hard film to like...
16 January 2015 | by A_Different_DrummerSee all my reviews

Short review: give it a chance, it will eventually enchant you. But it is not an easy process

Longer review: did a lot of reviews for IMDb and cannot easily recall a film that tries so hard, has such a great cast, great cinematography, yet is constantly shooting itself in the foot.

The script is ... problematic. Parts of it seem like they were written by a fifth grader. Lots of "is this really happening?" type dialog, which generally you do not ever hear in a film BECAUSE THE ONLY ONE QUALIFIED TO ASK THAT QUESTION IS THE AUDIENCE, NOT THE SCREENWRITER.


Lots of miscasting. The great Crowe, who could play a phonebook if he had to, is OK as a demon. Will Smith as the devil is another matter entirely. John Hurt has to deliver dialog so weak he must have been wincing inside. Even the beautiful Jennifer Connelly seems to have been lost in the production and is relegated to astonished glances.

Farell, no slouch as an actor, has a gift for getting lost in a role and that really helps him here. He does an OK job.

The two actors who steal their scenes are Jessica Brown Findlay, who is supposed to portray a young woman whose inner beauty lights up every scene she is in .... AND SHE DOES.

And whatever animal they borrowed from the Animal Actors Union to play the magic horse does a great job too. Hopefully they gave him extra carrots as a reward.

You really need to leave critical judgement behind if you are planning on watching this. This is for example a scene at the 1:20 mark where the continuity is so out of sync with the screenplay that Farrell has to break about 75 once sacred "film rules" and deliver a short speech which is 100% backstory, just to make sense of what is happening. Ouch!

And here is a Special Bonus for the lucky IMDb reader who got this far: if you liked this film at all, here are two films that handle the same theme in a slightly different way, and you MUST SEE THEM (no, I don't get a commission if you do). Each rates a perfect "10":

1. The original HERE COMES MR JORDAN with Robert Montgomery

2. The more recent I ORIGINS

15 of 18 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
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Frequently Asked Questions

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Release Date:

14 February 2014 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Winter's Tale See more »

Filming Locations:

New York City, New York, USA See more »


Box Office


$60,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$7,297,694, 16 February 2014

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

SDDS | Datasat | Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

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