Somewhere in Time

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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.
He sacrificed life in the present... to find love in the past. Taglines

Richard Collier

  • 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.

Elise McKenna

  • [seeing Richard fade from 1912] Richard! Richard!
  • 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.

William Fawcett Robinson

  • Now, tomorrow night's performance. Remember, stay ahead of them. Keep the mystery, always the mystery. Excess within control. Sleep well, McKenna.
  • 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?


  • Older Elise: Come back to me.
  • 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.


Elise McKenna: [seeing Richard for the first time] Is it you? Is it?
Richard Collier: Yes. Are you all right?
Elise McKenna: Yes, yes, I'm quite all right.
Richard Collier: I'm sorry if I startled you.
Elise McKenna: No, you didn't startle me.
Richard Collier: I think I did.
William Fawcett Robinson: [to Elise] I'll take you into dinner now.
Richard Collier: May I speak to you please?
[Elise leaves the lake]

Willlam Fawcett Robinson: Are you a guest here, sir?
Richard Collier: You're Robinson.
William Fawcett Robinson: Are you a guest at the hotel?
Richard Collier: Yes, yes I am.
William Fawcett 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 McKenna: What did you say to him?
William Fawcett Robinson: Oh, what I've always said to men of his sort. [points her to the hotel]

Elise McKenna: Have you been waiting all this time for our return?
William Fawcett Robinson: This is hardly the time to discuss, McKenna.
Elise McKenna: Have you?
William Fawcett Robinson: Yes. Does that surprise you?
Elise McKenna: Our relationship is strictly business.
William Fawcett Robinson: Strictly business?
Elise McKenna: 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 her room]

Arthur Biehl: 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 Collier: All right, thanks a lot. [repeated line] See you around, Arthur.
Arthur Biehl: Have we ever met before?
Richard Collier: Have we ever met? No, no, I don't think so.
Arthur Biehl: No, no, I'm sure we haven't. Have a nice stay here, Mr. Collier. [leaves Richard's room]

Richard Collier: 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.
William Fawcett Robinson: With you at her side?
Richard Collier: Yes, with me at her side.
William Fawcett Robinson: Never.
Richard Collier: My God. You really think you own her, don't you?
William Fawcett Robinson: Collier, I know who you are. Ever since you came here, I've known from the start. You came to destroy her.
Richard Collier: God, you're out of your mind.

William Fawcett 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 McKenna: Then he wasn't the one that you spoke of?
William Fawcett Robinson: No, he's not.
Elise McKenna: 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.
William Fawcett Robinson: What difference... can that make now? He's gone.
Elise McKenna: [coldly] I'll find him, William. Don't you dare try to stop me. Now, if you will excuse me while I change.
William Fawcett Robinson: Of course. May I remind you... that we leave within the hour? [leaves her dressing room]

Richard Collier: Arthur, you know in the Hall of History, there's a photograph, a young woman. There's no nameplate.
Arthur Biehl: Yes, that's Elise McKenna. She was a famous actress in her day. Starred in a play in the hotel theater.
Richard Collier: I-I'm sorry. Did you say there was a theater here?
Arthur Biehl: Yes. Down by the lake.
Richard Collier: Really? When was this play done?
Arthur Biehl: That was in 1912.

Richard Collier: This is not for a play, Miss Roberts. This is something very personal. [shows her the pocket watch]
Laura Roberts: Where did you get that?
Richard Collier: 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 Roberts: That watch was very precious to her. She never, never left it out of her possession. It disappeared the night she died.
Richard Collier: She died that night?

Laura Roberts: [about Elise] When I knew her, she was kind and thoughtful. But she was just too much within herself. She seemed empty somehow.
Richard Collier: She wasn't always that way, was she?
Laura Roberts: 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 Collier: What made her change?
Laura Roberts: I don't know. But the change seemed to have taken place about 1912, after she performed in a play at the Grand Hotel.


  • 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...


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