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---Why I Bought This---
I am not a movie buff but this film has always held a special place in my heart.
It is a bit of a tear-jerker really, possibly not so much for the story itself but for the wonderful musical score written by John Barry.
When I first saw the film on TV I thought it was great, this was way back in the 80s. I thought the music then was mesmerising, and I always made a point of watching it if it was on TV.
Move on a few years and having a DVD player I decided to buy myself a copy of the film (I had already bought a CD of the music).
I have often watched this movie, and it always brings tears to my eyes.
PG DVD, 99 minutes running time and produced by Anchor Bay Entertainment UK Ltd.
This film is based on the 1970s book 'Bid Time Return' by Richard Matheson.
Richard Matheson also wrote the screenplay.
The story centres around an attractive playwright Richard Collier (played by the dashing Christopher Reeve), who is visited by an old lady at the start of the film who presents him with an old watch and the entreaty to 'come back to me'.
A few years later Richard decides to have a vacation and on the spur of the moment turns into a hotel (actually the Grand Hotel Mackinac Island, Michigan) - while waiting for the restaurant to open he browses the hotel's small museum and is mesmerised by a large photograph of a very beautiful woman.
Richard discovers that the image is of a famous actress, Elise McKenna (Jane Seymour), who was at the hotel in 1912.
To cut the story short Richard finds out that the old lady at the start of the movie was actually Elise Mc Kenna. Richard managed to time travel back to 1912 by self hypnosis.
There he meets up with Elise, they spend a day and night together, but Richard is hurtled back to the present day by finding a present day coin in his waistcoat pocket.
All efforts on his part fails to send him back to 1912 ad he stays in his hotel room and fades away - finaly dying - only to be reunited with the lovely Elise.
For me the movie would be nothing without the marvellous musical score composed by the famous John Barry. Rachmaninoff's Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini also plays throughout the movie.
The CD has he following tunes form the movie:
1. Somewhere In Time John Barry
2. The Old Woman John Barry
3. The Journey Back In Time John Barry
4. A Day Together John Barry
5. Rhapsody On A Theme Of Paganini
6. Is He The One John Barry
7. The Man Of My Dreams John Barry
8. Return To The Present John Barry
9. Theme From Somewhere In Time
£2.99 at both Play and Amazon at present.
I enjoy time travel stories - but it is not that which endears me to this film. I believe the choice of the two main characters, Reeve and Seymour, helped the film no end as they are both attractive individuals.
If you just read a synopsis of the story it would seem rather bland, but that is before you factor in John Barry's music. It is the superb orchestral score that evokes the emotions, also the Rachmaninoff music, which I did not know originally.
Apparently the film did not receive very good reviews when released in 1980 due to a strike that prevented the actors form promoting it. Like many other movies this one should have then died a death, but something in it must have touched people as it has endured the test of time and still has a fan club website and they have reunions at The Grand Hotel, which featured large in the film.
Even today the music can make me feel emotional. John Barry was a master composer, and it was only later that I learnt that he also wrote the theme to The Persuaders, another of my favourites. John Barry also wrote music for the Bond films and also Dances with Wolves, another one I really like.
One evocative part is when Elise is on stage and Richard is in the audience, she ad-libs a speech direct to him:
'The man of my dreams has almost faded now
The one I have created in my mind
The sort of man each woman dreams of in the deepest and most secret reaches of her heart.
I can almost see him now before me,
What would I say to him if he were really here?
Forgive me, I've never known this feeling
I've lived without it all my life
Is it any wonder then I failed to recognise you?
You've brought it to me for the first time
Is there any way that I can tell you how my life has changed?
Anyway at all to let you know what sweetness you have given me
There is so much to say, I, I cannot find the words
Except for these 'I love you'.
And such would I say to him, if he were really here'.
The film is a gentle romance, they spend a few snatched hours together and ride off in a horse drawn carriage.
The scene where Richard returns to the present and Elize is left wailing out 'Richard....' is very well done with a sort of telescopic filming.
The ending where Richard Collier dies and his spirit leaves through the window to be reunited with Elise is very moving - again supported by John Barry's music. In fact as you may have gathered I love all the music in this film. and have used snatches of it when doing Youtube movies of local villages.
---Would I Recommend?---
Yes definitely - super music and a great romance.
Fan club site - www.somewhereintime.tv/
Anchor Bay website - www.anchorbay.co.uk
What is there about this film that makes me watch it over and over again? If you will stay with me I will try to share some of my reasons. Let me tell you about the first time I saw it, many years ago having recorded it in the early hours one Christmas. I have to confess that I do rather like Christopher Reeve and having seen him in best Superman mode I wanted to see if he could act when his pants were worn inside his trousers! I should also confess that I am a sucker for a romance and this one is certainly different after all the two main characters are about 50 years apart! So a few days after the chaos of Christmas had died down I found time to relax and set the video to play, I became an instant fan! I enjoyed the story, which has an ending about as happy as they could make it under the circumstances and the music is just beautiful! Our heroes are Richard (Christopher Reeve) a young playwright and Elise (Jane Seymour) an actress born some 50 years before him. She visits him briefly as an old lady (the night she dies infact) and implores him to “Come back to me”. He has no idea who she is but some while later sees the photo of her as a young actress and begins to fall for her. He discovers her identity and becomes obsessed with trying to travel back in time to be with her. (Are you still with me?) Now you and I may know that this is not possible but remember we are dealing with Superman! I don’t think I will surprise you when I say that he does indeed travel back to her, but of course all does not go smoothly at first in part due to the interference of her manager (Christopher Plummer). Inspite of the obstacles they do share one night of passion (sensitively put don’t you think?), but all too soon things go wrong and he is whisked back to the present day without her again. Okay now put yourself in his place if you can, he falls in love with someone who lived many years ago and his only chance of happine
ss is time travel. He makes it just learns that she really was all he had hoped for and zap he’s out of there! What would you do in his place? Try to get back again, okay he does try but that’s too much even for a superhero so he basically gives up and dies. Not much of an ending, but hang on who is that waiting for him on root to heaven? You’ve guessed I think, yes it is Elise, the young version not the way she was when she died! The story may not sound a piece of literary genius but it works and the actors where made for the parts. The say Reeve and Seymour are the stars is true but equal to them for me is the music which is beautiful. My knowledge of classical music is very similar to that of wine, in both cases I know what I like! This film really introduced me to Rachmaninov and I am hooked especially Rhapsody on a theme of Paganini, which runs through the movie. As part of my half-century consolation pack I received the DVD of Somewhere in time and it is great. Still the same fantastic story, the same brilliant music and stars but now with subtitles and the opportunity to watch it with the director give his commentary. Oh and please don’t let me forget to tell you the DVD also provides you with details of how to join the fan club, does life just get better daily, I think so!!!! If you have never seen this film I would certainly recomend it, when you feel like staying in and curling up on the sofa with a cup of hot chocolate this is the one to choose. Stars: Christopher Reeeve and Jane Seymour Based on the book:Bid time return by Richard Matheson Produced/directed by:Jeannot Szwarc Fan club'Insite' www.somewhereintime.pair.com
It's a shame, today there aren't as many Romantic films that really are romantic. Often as shown by Bridget Jones romantic films today revolve round sex and vulgar jokes to get a laugh whilst annoyingly being very funny in places leaving you wondering whether it's a disgrace or a excellent film. The message today is sex first then relationship. Some of the olden goldies romantic films would have extolled the reverse and the sex only after marriage, even then you wouldn't get a voyeuristic view of what goes on in the bedroom. . Somewhere in time is somewhere between the two different generations of romantic film, leaning more towards a family orientated production rather than the lager louts anonymous type of trash that comes out today all too frequently. It has its faults though. Richard Collier (Christopher Reeve) is a playwright who is handed a gold watch by an elderly women who says to him "come back to me " and then disappears. This disturbing event is forgotten until eight years later when Richard stumbles across a photograph of an actress called Elise McKenna (Jayne Seymour who is made for the part.) in the lobby of a famous hotel that he is staying at. He is drawn to the picture and is so mesmerised he tries to find out about this mysterious actress. He ends up finding things that are related to the old women who gave him the watch and becomes intent on going back in time to meet this women who he feels he belongs with. He eventually meets his desire only to find she is watched closely by a svengali like character William Roberts (Christopher Plummer) who is Elise's manager. There are a few mysteries that unravel along the way for example how the manager knew Richard would be coming and Elise's expectations of him to turn up in her life. Will true love blossom? The film was made in 1980 and it was nice to see a young Christopher Reeve in it. He plays his part really well. There are some funny moments when h
e first meets Elise, he furtively inches closer towards her weaving in and out some trees with a look that can only be described as what the big bad wolf would have had on spying Red Riding Hood. It made me laugh because normally if someone came up to you looking like that you'd run like a rocket not before saying "get away you fiend". Elise enigmatically says...."is that you?" There's some nice camera shots and effects here. When the two lovers are enjoying their time together there is a point where the camera goes soft focus or what you may know as misty. It works well since the film is really centred about Richard Collier more than anyone else and what comes across in soft focus is how Richard is enchanted by Elise and in a kind of heaven of their own making. There's another nice shot where Richard leaves the hotel and looks towards the lake where he is told Elise might be, and behind him the blinds of one window are pulled down and as Richard walks towards the lake the camera pans to the window where we see the reflection of Elise in the corner and Richard walking over to her. There was a lot of gentle humour which evolved around Christopher Reeve. His character was a really good one. He does become a little bit selfish in his desire to get to Elise when he puts on the old bell boy Arthur. Dragging him out of bed in the middle of the night for example. This is forgiveable though. Everything works quite well. Richard attempts to go back in time are quite interesting and when I first saw this film I was ten years old and tried it myself. I wanted to go back to be at the 1966 world cup final. It didn't work - I only had a dream where I was running on the pitch and a policeman ran after me shouting its not over yet get off! It left me exhausted mind and I found a pair of false teeth in my pockets. Where the film shows its age is when after falling in love or I should say realising thei
r love for real there is a shot where theyre in bed and the candle is put out. This is probably the best way to do a sex scene if you're going to have one. I dont approve of them but atleast you can tell the kids they're having a midnight feast under the covers like kids do. Older films would not have had a scene like this bar the odd exception. so for me its another sign that things in the 80's were threatening to get worse. By todays standards this is a tame romance. I fear for some it might be even boring. Certainly the film seems slow in the middle but only for a few minutes and it soon moves along. The most annoying thing about the film is the matter of the watch given to Richard at the start of the film because when he goes back in time he gives it back to Elise. This leaves the problem of where did the watch originate from. It's such a big flaw and an unecessary addition to the film that I have to wonder why it was put in the script. All I can think is that the watch is just a symbol for time itself that it has no beginning or end. This would fit in with the idea of real love in that it is eternal and not something derived from lust or destiny but something that exists already in us. Its just a case of realising it and letting it out. The end of the film is bitter sweet. Don't get me wrong here it isn't awful it's actually really good so hang in there. At one point though I felt awful as I could somehow relate to what Richard was going through. They say money is the root of all evil.(clue) Still, true love conquers all. If you look hard you might be able to pick this film up on budget. For me it deserves to considered a classic. It has that something about it that makes it special.
Even when "Somewhere In Time" was originally made it was old fashioned...and proud of it! The year was 1979 and Richard Matheson, a best selling American author of novels such as "Hell House", "I am Legend" and "The Shrinking Man" had written another fantasy tale,"Bid Time Return". The story was a simple one, a successful writer finds his life empty,He has money to burn,a beautiful apartment and fame,but his life is empty. Running away from the big city,or perhaps himself,Robert Collier drives off into the country in search of...he knows not.What he finds will change his life forever. He nearly drives past a hotel,but something deep within him makes him stop.In the hotel lobby he finds his destiny,or rather the love of his life,but she's dead. Elise McKenna was a famous actress who had performed at the hotel many years before,all that remains now is a faded photograph in a small in-hotel museum. Again and again, Robert returns to stare in awe at the portrait,He simply cannot get this woman out of his mind.He consults books and seeks out people who knew Her,His fascination becoming an obsession. Finally he talks to a scientist who had toyed with time travel by the mind, He believes that under very special circumstances a man could (however imperfectly) will his body and soul back in time. At the hotel once more,Robert discovers that a Robert Collier had in fact stayed at the hotel at the very time Elise McKenna was there. Convinced that He was this man,Robert in growing despair wills his body back through time to find the woman He is now completely in love with, but true love never runs straight........ In adapting his book to the screen Matheson made minor alterations to the story,including altering the period from the 1800's to the early 1900'
s and also making the lead characters younger.Aside from this the film is very faithful to the novel. Directed by Jeanot Swzarc (fresh from "Jaws 2 ") and starring Christopher Reeve and Jane Seymour "Somewhere In Time" comes complete with a wonderful music score by John Barry and requires the comfort of someone you love to be seen at its best. This is one tear-jerker that wont leave many dry eyed.As stated earlier,this is one old fashioned film,it contains no special effects and virtually no action,what you get instead is a character study of a man out of his mind, blinded by love to the point that even the boundries of time are meaningless.Reeve is faultless and even Seymour plays her part with conviction. Also featured is Christopher Plummer as the villian of the story,though villian is perhaps the wrong term as Plummer's character represents another figure in love with McKenna,turning the story into a love triangle. Its a finely crafted tale that made no money upon its release in 1980 but has since gone on to cult status, its a rare thing a love story that drifts from drama to comedy to ultimate tragedy,all wrapped in a science fiction cover,just don't expect robots or lazer beams.Think of Romeo and Juliet lost in time and you'll get a clearer picture of where the films heart really is.
It's silly, it's superficial, it's so desperately earnest about its tale of time-spanning love that you almost wish for a cheap flatulence gag just to break the solemn mood. But there is something so unabashedly gushy and entertaining about Somewhere in Time that you can't begrudge its enduring popularity. The film has become a staple of romantic-movie lovers since its release in 1980, and endless showings on cable TV have turned it into a dubious classic of sorts--a three-hanky weepy that anyone can enjoy as a guilty pleasure or a beloved favourite, with no apologies necessary. In his first film after the star-making success of Superman, Christopher Reeve stars as a contemporary playwright who visits a posh hotel and sees the portrait of an actress (Jane Seymour) who had performed there in 1912. He becomes obsessed with this beautiful woman and learns all he can about her, and then discovers a method of hypnotically transporting himself backward in time to meet her. "Is it ... you?" she says upon seeing the lovestruck playwright, and it's clearly a mutual attraction. But even the slightest reminder of the playwright's modern time can jar him from his seemingly real existence in the past, so his wonderful love affair is constantly just a step from being stolen away. Based on Richard Matheson's novel Bid Time Return, this flaky film may strain one's tolerance for plot holes and corny romance, but it's hard to deny its lasting appeal--and let's face it, guys, it'll make wives and girlfriends swoon if they are in a tearjerker mood. --Jeff Shannon