Tuesday, November 30, 2010

"Somewhere in Time": 30 years in the past

Not to be outdone with the all-encompassing "Back to the Future" month we just finished, I want to give equal love to another of my favorite time travel movies, "Somewhere in Time".

I first saw "SIT" during it's initial theater run in 1980 and was immediately mesmerized. Christopher Reeve's present day writer meeting a 1912 budding actress played by Jane Seymour was only made more emotional by John Barry's incredibly passionate score. The movie was directed by Jeannot Szwarc who brought a TV sensibility to the project, and the film certainly has that sort of non-theatrical look. But it's the performances of Reeve (fresh from his huge success in "Superman, The Movie"), Seymour, and Christopher Plummer as the overbearing manager, who rise this movie above being a one-off that everyone might have forgotten.

Aspects of James Cameron's "Titanic" would unwittingly and unintentionally mirror certain shots and situations from "Somewhere in Time". For example, Billy Zane's rich controlling socialite would echo Plummer's manner, and the epilogueal moment where Rose is reunited with Jack, in what could be taken as a dream or the hereafter, points to Elise waiting for and reuniting with Richard beyond their own lives.

And of course for the past two decades annual gatherings to commemorate the movie have continued at the Grand Hotel where the story takes place and was shot. The amazing thing about this location: it looks exactly like it did at the time of the filming and as it appears in the movie...just beautiful. Both Christopher Reeve (before his accident) and Jane Seymour have attended over the years. I was there in 1992, returning in 2005 for the 25th anniversary. It was really great to discover a whole community of fans who shared my love for this film. For those of you who haven't yet, check out photos of my trip from '05.

I really wanted to go this year being that it's the 30th, but at the point where hotel reservations needed to be made I was still coming off of the financial hell that was 2009. My hope is to return there in 2011, finances and schedule allowing of course.


At November 30, 2010 at 2:58 PM, Anonymous Allen Pinney said...

Okay, stop interrupting me with Facebook so I can read this!

I do remember this movie, just can't remember where I saw it! I liked it well enough the first time and still enjoy the occasional TV showing. But somehow it has never made it onto my favorites list.

Jane Seymour was (and still is) gorgeous and I always liked her; from Bond girl to Dr. Quinn!

Ya know I don't think Christopher Reeve was given enough credit as an actor. His portrayal of Superman was so iconic he couldn't escape the cape. I remember seeing him in "Deathtrap" with Michael Caine and thought, 'Huh, he can do more than fly around in tights!'.

Hope you make it back to The Grand soon!

At November 30, 2010 at 3:04 PM, Blogger LA Filmcutter said...

I agree about Chris Reeve not given the credit he was due as an actor. Right after "Superman" was released in 1978 he was offered a whole series of action/adventure roles. However all he wanted was good, diverse roles. That's one of the reasons he chose "Somewhere in Time".

"Deathtrap" was a good movie and certainly showed his range more than people realized he could.

Yes, must get back to The Grand!


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