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's something so unabashedly gushy and e... more »ntertaining 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 weeper that anyone can enjoy as a guilty pleasure or a beloved favorite, 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're in a tearjerker mood. --Jeff Shannon« less
Brent R. (owls86) from HILLSBORO, OR Reviewed on 9/19/2011...
One of my favorite all time films. Very bittersweet and beautiful. A love story for the ages. :)
1 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.
Excess Within Control...
P. Connors | United States | 05/09/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I remember seeing this movie 20 years ago this summer when I was living in Los Angeles and being so taken by it that I sat through it three more times that night. The soundtrack haunted me and like Richard Collier in the movie after he discovers Elise McKenna's picture in the Hall of History, I could not sleep. Before the movie left circulation, I'll bet I saw it 30 times. Everything about this small film grabbed and held me. There was the unforgettable story of a love so strong that it transcended time and place, there was the beautiful setting and there was the evocative and haunting score by John Barry. Finally, there was my favorite piece of classical music; Variation 18 of Sergei Rachmaninoff's Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, which is probably one of the most romantic pieces of piano music written in modern times. This is a magical movie and one that was maligned by critics at the time of its release. Because it was fantasy and because the requirement to suspend disbelief was so demanding, it was dismissed as a four hankie tearjerker. It wasn't for me and I was a 26 year old single guy hoping that I would experience a love so complete and so fulfilling. This movie proved beyond a doubt that such love is possible and that everyone should seek it and hopefully, find it. This movie was made on a small budget and yet, it was produced and directed in the grand tradition of the old Hollywood. Quality was paramount and they included great costumes and a wonderful locale to enhance the mood of the film. Lighting, music, soft shading all were used to give the viewer the sense that this was something to be remembered. Very few people saw this movie in 1980; it was discovered and developed its following on cable and on video. I consider myself very fortunate to have seen it when new on the large screen. Every penny I paid for admission and all of the hours I sat hunkered in my seat marveling at Jane Seymour's beauty were aspects of the movie that only make me love it more. There are so many treats to this movie that one doesn't know where to begin. Of all the movies ever made though, it is one of only two that has a fan club dedicated to its preservation and enjoyment. The fan club, which is known as INSITE (for International Network of Somewhere In Time Enthusiasts) publishes an extremely high quality quarterly journal and holds several events during the year to commemorate the members' love for the movie and its cast. The editor of the journal, Jo Addie, even appeared as an extra in the movie and has written eloquently and lovingly of her time as a member of the cast family. Through her articles, other members have come to know more about Jane and Christopher and Elise and Richard and her words have added immeasurably more to our enjoyment. This is a very special movie and others have said that. It is not a perfect movie, but then, none are. I am not here to discuss its flaws because whatever they might be, I choose to overlook them. This movie grabbed me like few others ever have. I doubt many to come ever will again. Somewhere In Time is a timeless story because men and women will continue to fall in love long after all of us here now are gone. In 500 years, if someone opens a vault and finds a DVD copy of this movie, they will surely know what it was like to find a love so all encompassing, so true that one would willingly give up life in the present to find love in the past. Some would say that Richard Collier became obsessed with a portrait and perhaps they would be right. But that doesn't explain the obsession of thousands of fans here and around the world who have adopted this movie and given it a special place in their hearts. It is a credit to the writer Richard Matheson, who adapted his novel BID TIME RETURN so well that 20 years later, members of INSITE would launch a campaign to re-release Somewhere In Time. It is a credit to Reeve and Seymour that they made their characters so alive that INSITE members portray them at the annual Somewhere In Time weekend held at the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island each Fall. Some have called this the ultimate Chick Flick. Well, I'm here to say it's not. This is the kind of movie that a man, if he is unafraid to admit it, could sit down alone with and understand that a relationship, even of short duration could be so all consuming as to replace the need for anything else. All throughout this movie, whenever Reeve and Seymour look at each other, there is a chemistry and magic that we don't see in the movies made today. That magic grows stronger with every viewing for me and I'll bet for all lovers of this film and its poignant story. Lest you think it's nothing more than romance, this movie also has some very humorous scenes that creep up on the viewer. There are very cute scenes where Richard Collier (Reeve) practices what he will say when he meets Elise McKenna. There is the scene by the lake where Richard and Elise first meet and they are both somewhat taken aback before she says, "Is it you...?" Then, there is the scene where Elise McKenna changes the lines she is to say in the play being shown at the hotel's theater. She stares dreamily off into the audience and says, "the man of my dreams has almost faded now..." Her soliloquy is probably one of the most well written speeches ever delivered by a cinematic character. It is another reason so many fans love this movie because it is Elise McKenna's confession, her public soul-baring that she has found the man of her dreams and finally recognized him. From the moment Elise finishes her monologue, the viewer knows that Richard and Elise were meant to be together and nothing will ever keep them apart. Not distance, not place, not time. They will be together, always. There is magic and music and a simple wonder to this movie and its timeless story. But you know what, don't take my word for it. Rent it or buy it and find out why it is one of Universal's best sellers in video. It was made 20 years ago and yet, new fans continue to find it. See it, open your heart to it and discover yourself why so many people around the world call it their favorite movie of all time."
Much more than a movie....
P. Connors | 03/24/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I've thought about what I could say in this review to convey my true feelings for this film but it's very hard to put into words. This movie touched me when I saw it for the first time during a very difficult time in my life. For those with sensitive hearts, we all have something in life that we hold dear to us as a reminder of hope and love... whether it be a picture, a piece of jewelry, etc. For me, I carry the spirit of this movie with me, that's how powerful it has been in my life. Can I explain it? Probably not. Will some think I'm fanatical or a little crazy in the head? Perhaps, but believe me I'm a very rational person. I love this movie.To those who have not yet seen this movie, please don't try to critique the acting performances or the storyline if you watch it. This is not a movie for detailed criticism. Why? Because it's already been criticized enough. We've heard it all before. If you don't like it because it's too romantic or far fetched then that's understandable... this movie isn't for you. This movie was made for a different kind of audience, and audience that doesn't care about Hollywood stars, special effects, or big budget hype. It's a love story, pure and simple, told in a very beautiful way. Let your guard down and let this movie take a hold of you. You might be surprised where you go.Oh, and if that's not enough, the musical score to the film is STUNNINGLY gorgeous. John Barry is a master or bringing emotion to every scene and touching us where we are softest. Skeptical? Just think about how much an open mind can reveal.Fans of the film will certainly appreciate the 1 hour documentary on the making of the movie which is very extensive and informative."
A Love throughout Time
David B. Jaromnak | West Lawn, PA USA | 04/22/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Somewhere in Time is an excellent film that combines Time Travel with romance, using an interesting and unique idea involving hypnotizing your mind to believe you are actually in that moment in history. If you can avoid analyzing the rationality of time travel and suspend your disbelief, this film will be very enjoyable for you. The idea of travelling back through time to find your soulmate is something both men and women can believe in. It is to the credit of the performances of the leads, Christopher Reeve and Jane Seymour, that the viewer believes that such a thing is possible. Reeve and Seymour also look well together and have obvious chemistry, making their love affair entirely believable. Especially with their first kiss, there is a deep and passionate love that seems entirely real. The third element is the acting of Christopher Plummer, who is always excellent and quite effective here as the overprotective manager of Seymour's character. But, there are two more elements that contributes greatly to the atmposhere of the film - the moving music composed by John Barry, and the Grand Hotel where most of the movie is set. The handsome and expressive Reeve, the calm beauty of Seymour, the brooding and calculating Plummer, the romantic and moving music and the timeless presence of the Grand Hotel combine into a magical film for the hopeless romantic. DVD Comments: Compared to reference DVDs the video and audio quality are average, with slight graininess at times. However, this can be forgiven because of the excellent quality of the film. Those who have only seen Pan Scan versions on Cable and VHS will enjoy the widescreen presentation. The extras include a Behind the Scenes Special, Trailer, Fan Club Information, Bios and Production Photos. All are excellent and welcome additons. Of note, I found the Behind the Scenes Special added to the film experience. You will learn interesting tidbits about the making of the movie, with comments by the director, Reeve, Seymour and other players. It becomes readily apparent that the actors and crew loved making this film and hold it in a special place in their hearts. To see Reeve, who suffered a horseback-riding accident that left him paralyzed years after making the film, lends to the heartbreaking experience of seeing the film again. His comments about the final scenes of the film are very interesting and insightful to his own tragic life experience. The production photos are excellent, especially the stills of Seymour with her incredibly beautiful face and long, flowing hair. It is easy to relate and believe that Reeve's character would fall so hopelessly in love with her picture alone. The events that occur in the film, the time travel and events that happen at the end of the film are believable because of Seymour's beauty and acting ability. All of the actors, the setting, and the music are important aspects of the film, but Seymour makes the movie. Therefore, if you are a hopeless romantic, or a fan of Reeve or Seymour, I highly recommend this DVD to you."
My Favorite Movie Of All Time
drleathers | 05/08/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I remember sitting in a theatre in 1980 crying my heart out watching this movie. For days afterward, my romantic little teenage heart would live and relive the love and magic between Richard and Elise. I wondered if I would have the same reaction years later when I bought the video and I'd grown a bit more cynical with age. If it was possible, I cried even harder! This movie is a lovely, lovely one. The love scenes are tender and wonderful. Jane Seymour and Christopher Reeve act this movie beautifully. They convey more passion and love with their eyes and brief kisses and words and looks than any other film I've seen. I promised myself that unless I could love someone like Elise loved Richard, that love was not worth it. This story will haunt you for years to come, and you will find yourself "coming back to it" time after time. True romantics, this is your movie. I highly recommend the soundtrack as well, for those romantic moments with the love of your life."
A closet fan comes out....
Hideki Yamada | St. Paul, MN USA | 10/01/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Back in 1979, when I was living in Michigan, I had been aware that a movie with Christopher Reeve was being shot on Mackinac Island. Many in the state of Michigan eagerly anticipated the release of the movie, "Somewhere in Time." When the movie came to the market, however, it was pounded by some of the most vicious, virulent critical attacks I have ever seen. "Somewhere in Time" was quickly withdrawn. Later I also heard that the same thing had happened to the film in my native land of Japan. I never had a chance to view it.Some five years later I came across "Somewhere in Time" on a cable channel and sat down and watched it, by myself. When the end credit came rolling up, I sat there first in disbelief, and was then overwhelmed by self-doubt. Is this the same movie those critics tore apart five years back? Is this the same film that was withdrawn faster than I could say Jack Robinson, so that there was no time to even go to the theater? What is this? "Somewhere in Time" has captured me completely, and I'm now shaking and crying! But right away I started feeling that there had to be something wrong with me for liking this movie when all those experts clearly loathed it. I must keep secret the fact that I found the film gentle, honest, evocative, classically romantic in every sense, with an engrossing chemistry between Chris Reeve and Jane Seymour. I cannot let people know that I like it! They will all laugh, and I will lose all credibility as a movie lover. So I went into a closet.Soon after I was in Japan, working. I noticed that there had to be more than one closet fan of "Somewhere in Time" in the area, as its video was frequently out for rental. Later, I read an article in a Japanese film magazine that "Somewhere in Time," after the hideous first release there, went into secondary theaters and art houses, where it became one of the greatest hits the Japanese movie market had seen, earning a nickname of "Masterpiece of the Mirage."Folks, I have come out. Wimpy as this may appear, I no longer feel any shame in proclaiming, as a man, that this "chick flick of all chick flicks" is one of my favorite movies of all time. No, technically the movie is not perfect. But it is a movie that speaks from the heart, and reaches into the heart, presented with an exquisitely delicate touch. It surely touched my heart deeply. And I now know I am but one of millions who were so touched by the film that the critics so mercilessly had torn to pieces."