Somewhere in Time
Somewhere in Time is a 1980 film about Richard Collier, a playwright who falls in love with a photograph of a young woman at the Grand Hotel. Through self-hypnosis, he travels back in time to the year 1912 to find love with Elise McKenna, an actress who awaits him there.
- Directed by Jeannot Szwarc. Written by Richard Matheson, based on his novel Bid Time Return. Starring Christopher Reeve and Jane Seymour.
- [To Finney] I have a question for you, sir. Is time travel possible?'
- [Reading about Elise] One of the most revered actresses of the American stage, for many years, she was the theater's greatest box-office draw. Under the guidance of her manager William Fawcett Robinson, Elise McKenna was the first American actress to create a mystique in the public's eye. Never seen in public in her later years. Apparently without an offstage life, the absolute quintessence of seclusion.
- [Cryptically to Richard, as an old woman on the night of her death, prompting him to wonder who she was, and to eventually discover a photograph of her as a young woman.] Come back to me.
- 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 have never known this feeling. I have lived without it all my life. Is it any wonder, then, I failed to recognize you? You, who brought it to me for the first time. Is there any way I can tell you how my life have changed? Any way at all to let you know what sweetness you have given me? There is so much to say... I cannot find the words. Except for these: I love you." Such would I say to him if he were really here.
- [To Richard as he walks up to her by the lake] Is it you?
William Fawcett Robinson
- [To Elise] Now, tomorrow night's performance. Remember, stay ahead of them. Keep the mystery, always mystery. Excess within control.
- [To Richard] Do you actually believe that I have nurtured her, cared for her, molded, taught, developed her for all these years merely to groom a wife?! A star. Only someone with the limit awareness of your age could possibly conceive that my entire passion for this woman is no more than physical! Are you incapable of understanding that she has it within herself to be one of the greatest, if not the greatest actress of her generation?
- Laura Roberts: [seeing Elise return home] How is the play? Did you enjoy it? Are you all right?
- Arthur Biehl: [seeing Richard dying] Such a fine man. What a shame. I wonder what happened to him.
- Richard: Arthur, you know in the Hall of History, there's a photograph, a young woman. There's no nameplate.
- Arthur: Yes, that's Elise McKenna. She was a famous actress in her day. Starred in a play in the hotel theater.
- Richard: I-I'm sorry. Did you say there was a theater here?
- Arthur: Yes. Down by the lake.
- Richard: Really? When was this play done?
- Arthur: 1912.
- Richard: This is not for a play, Miss Roberts. This is something very personal. [shows her the pocket watch]
- Laura: Where did you get that?
- Richard: Well, she gave it to me, ma'am. At the opening night of a play that I wrote at Millfield College about eight years ago.
- Laura: That watch was very precious to her. She never, never left it out of her possession. It disappeared the night she died.
- Richard: She died that night?
- Laura: [about Elise] When I knew her, she was kind and thoughtful. But she was just too much within herself. She seemed empty somehow.
- Richard: She wasn't always that way, was she?
- Laura: Oh, no, not at all. People who knew her 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.
- Richard: What made her change?
- Laura: I don't know. But the change seemed to have taken place about 1912, after she performed in a play at the Grand Hotel.
- Elise: [seeing Richard for the first time] Is it you? Is it?
- Richard: Yes. Are you all right?
- Elise: Yes, yes, I'm quite all right.
- Richard: I'm sorry if I startled you.
- Elise: No, you didn't startle me.
- Richard: I think I did.
- Robinson: [to Elise] I'll take you into dinner now.
- Richard: May I speak to you please?
- [Elise leaves the lake]
- Robinson: Are you a guest here, sir?
- Richard: You're Robinson.
- Robinson: Are you a guest at the hotel?
- Richard: Yes, yes I am.
- Robinson: [sternly] Then I must ask you to stop annoying Miss McKenna any further. If you do not, I shall see that you're put out. [walks back to Elise]
- Elise: What did you say to him?
- Robinson: Oh, what I've always said to men of his sort. [points Elise to the hotel]
- Elise: Have you been waiting all this time for our return?
- Robinson: This is hardly the time to discuss, McKenna.
- Elise: Have you?
- Robinson: Yes. Does that surprise you?
- Elise: Our relationship is strictly business.
- Robinson: Strictly business?
- Elise: I'm involved with you as an actress, Mr. Robinson, not a doormat. Do not attempt to wipe your boots on me. Richard, I shall leave a ticket for you at the theater door.
- [Richard leaves Elise's room]
- Arthur: If there's anything I can do for you, just let me know. My name is Arthur and I live in the bungalow behind the hotel.
- Richard: All right, thanks a lot. See you around, Arthur.
- Arthur: Have we ever met before?
- Richard: Have we ever met? No, no, I don't think so.
- Arthur: No, no, I'm sure we haven't. Have a nice stay here, Mr. Collier. [leaves Richard's room]
- Richard: I owe you an apology. I understand you now. You have nothing but the best motives in mind for her, but so do I. Of course, she'll continue to act, she will continue to grow, and she will become everything you want her to be.
- Robinson: With you at her side?
- Richard: Yes, with me at her side.
- Robinson: Never.
- Richard: My God. You really think you own her, don't you?
- Robinson: Collier, I know who you are. Ever since you came here, I've known from the start. You came to destroy her.
- Richard: God, you're out of your mind.
- Robinson: [about Richard] I must admit. He was somewhat more charming than other that we've encountered in the past, you and I. A trifle more sincere, perhaps.
- Elise: Then he wasn't the one that you spoke of?
- Robinson: No, he's not.
- Elise: Then you were wrong about him, weren't you? You're wrong. I love him, and he's going to make me very happy. Do you understand that, William? I love him.
- Robinson: What difference... can that make now? He's gone.
- Elise: [coldly] I'll find him, William. Don't you dare try to stop me. Now, if you will excuse me while I change.
- Robinson: Of course. May I remind you... that we leave within the hour? [leaves Elise's dressing room]
- He sacrificed life in the present... to find love in the past.
- Beyond fantasy. Beyond obsession. Beyond time itself... he will find her.
- Someday in the past, he will find her...
- Christopher Reeve - Richard Collier
- Jane Seymour - Elise McKenna
- Christopher Plummer - William Fawcett Robinson
- Teresa Wright - Laura Roberts
- Bill Erwin - Arthur Biehl
- Susan French - Older Elise
- George Voskovec - Dr. Gerard Finney
- William H. Macy - Critic (as W. H. Macy)
- George Wendt - Student