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DVD review: 'Somewhere in Time' (1980)

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By Andrew W. Griffin
Red Dirt Report, editor
Posted: May 20, 2008

On the final day of my short-story fiction writing class, my professor and a film student were talking about one of their favorite films, 'Somewhere in Time' starring Christopher Reeve and Jane Seymour.

Sure, I'd heard of the movie but not really any specifics other than it had been filmed on Mackinac Island in Michigan and that it was overly romantic.
Well, romantic it is. I mean, this was a wonderful movie, directed by Jeannot Szwarc and it's theme is that love can transcend time and space.

Released in 1980 and the first film Reeve did after 1978's "Superman," it has him playing a Chicago-based playwright named Richard Collier who is approached by an elderly woman at a party and is given a pocketwatch. She then utters, 'Come back to me' and leaves. Confused, Collier keeps the watch and time passes.

Driving past the Grand Hotel in Michigan eight years later, Collier feels drawn to the hotel and discovers a portrait of a beautiful woman named Elise McKenna (Seymour). The old bellman tells Collier that she had been a famous actress and had performed in a play at the hotel in 1912. Collier feels he knows the woman and after some obsessive research into McKenna's life, he realizes HE had been at the hotel himself in 1912. How is this possible? It's not clear. But, when love is involved, time and space doesn't really matter, right?

Anyway, Collier goes back to his alma mater and finds a professor who wrote a book on time travel and confides with Collier that he had briefly traveled back in time to 1571 simply by mind manipulation and sheer will. Collier realizes this is the only way he can go back to 1912 and be with his true love. So, he goes to the Grand Hotel and wearing period clothing and ridding himself of circa 1979 modern items, Collier finally succeeds and finds himself in the Grand Hotel in 1912.

Sure, it sounds hokey, but the love story is what is important. Collier finds Ms. McKenna, who, at first asks, "Is it you?" But then she keeps her distance, not sure what to do. Of course, her attack dog manager, Mr. Robinson (an intimidating Christopher Plummer), does his best to keep Collier out of her life.

But this love was meant to be, and Collier does everything he can to make sure he and Elise McKenna are together forever.

Szwarc's directing is superb and the scenes on beautiful Mackinac Island are lovely. I've been there and it really captures just how 'grand' the Grand Hotel really is.Oh, and the swelling notes of Rachmaninoff's Rhapsody only enhances the romantic nature of "Somewhere in Time."

In closing, I highly recommend "Somewhere in Time" to all you film buffs. And you don't have to be a sucker for romance movies to enjoy this film. Check it out, it's intense and worth a viewing.

Copyright 2008 West Marie Media

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Andrew W. Griffin

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Andrew W. Griffin received his Bachelor of Science in Journalism from...

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Red Dirt Report was launched July 4, 2007 as an independent news website covering all manner of news, culture, entertainment and lifestyle stories that affect and interest Oklahoma readers and readers outside of our state. Our mission is to educate, promote civic engagement and discourse on public policy, government and politics. Our experienced journalists provided balanced in-depth coverage of news stories that affect Oklahomans. Our opinion/editorial stories come from a wide range of political view points. We carry out our mission by reporting, writing, and posting news and information. read more

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