DIRECTOR: JEANNOT SZWARC | SCREENPLAY: RICHARD MATHESON | STARRING: CHRISTOPHER REEVE, JANE SEYMOUR, CHRISTOPHER PLUMMER | RELEASE DATE: APRIL 8TH
It is June 27, 1912. You are lying in your bed in the Grand Hotel and it is 6pm on the evening of June 27, 1912. Your mind accepts this absolutely. 6pm on June 27, 1912. Elise McKenna is in this hotel at this very moment…
While these words may not sound like the most romantic recital in cinematic history, they absolutely are. Spoken by 1980s playwright Richard Collier (Reeve) in an attempt to send himself back in time, the mantra is filled with more angst, love and pain than most actors are able to imbue in a full 90 minute performance. His words not only transport him, but also us as an audience with him, almost 70 years into the past to a time where promising actress, Elise McKenna (Seymore) is getting ready to perform, completely unaware that she’s about to meet a man out of time that will change her life forever.
In so many ways, Somewhere in Time is the epitome of a cinematic love story. It is literally saturated in romance, from John Barry’s timeless and lip-quivering score, through the intoxicating performances from Reeve and Seymore and the heart-wrenching story from the king of fantasy storytelling, Richard Matheson. Funny, smart, touching and, did we mention romantic? Somewhere in Time is a masterclass in acting, writing and emotive cinema. Required viewing.
It’s lovely to see the film finally get a Blu-ray release – the sharp, if a little grainy transfer is a step up from the DVD copies we’ve had until now – and nice to see some new material available. ‘Timing it Right – Cutting Together Somewhere in Time’ hosts a conversation with Film Editor, Jeff Gourson on his time working on the project, while ‘A Place in Time’ allows everyone’s favourite kookie film critic Kim Newman to expound on the film’s background and influences. No more a learned film historian could you hope for to provide insight into this, tracing the story’s inception all the way back beyond Mattheson’s book Bid Time Return. Finally, ‘A Romantic Rendezvous’ fills us in on any details the more learned inclusions may have missed.
While it’s great to see new material, it’s undoubtedly a missed opportunity not to include the previously released Director’s Commentary (remember them?) with director Jeannot Szwarc as well as the DVD Collector’s Edition documentary ‘Back to Somewhere in Time’. A film that is so beloved, and with such a rich history is definitely deserving of a release that truly covers every aspect its production and the following that it’s had afterwards. Even the film’s Fan Club got a feature on the last release. Sadly not here.