Somewhere in Time Film- Finding Your True Love

Grand Hotel


I know, when you think about time travel movies, you think about sci-fi films, special effects, space, quantum physics and things like this. But, did you see the Somewhere in Time film, the romantic time concept movie from 1980?

Again we talk here about a classic movie, but it is such a sweet romantic film that will totally take you somewhere else, and it can touch everybody.

Actually, it is categorized as a romantic, fantasy, a drama inspired by the book ’Bid Time Return’ by Richard Matheson.

More Details

 The movie was filmed in Michigan on Machinak Island at the Grand Hotel and the Mission Point Fine Arts building and also some scenes were filmed on location in Chicago.

It was released on October 3 /1980 in the USA with a budget of 5.1 million dollars. The movie was directed by Jeannot Szwarc and produced by Stephen Deutsch. The screenplay was written of course by its original writer, Richard Matheson.

The film is known also for its amazing music, composed by John Barry.

Christopher Reeve

Christopher Reeve

The movie was well received by the public making about 9.7 million at the box office, but some critics had other opinions calling it ‘horrible’ and a ‘superficial tear-jerker’.

There were a lot of people who truly believed in this film and they formed a big fan club named ‘International Network of Somewhere in Time Enthusiasts’. This was formed in 1990 and continues to meet every year in November at the Grand Hotel for a Somewhere in Time weekend.

They spend time together, discussing the movie, big screens that are playing the film…I really think in general having a great time.

.Time Travel to Find the Love of your Life- The Story

 A young talented writer, Richard Collier, celebrates the debut of a play he wrote in 1972.

At the celebration party, an old woman comes to him and gives him a pocket watch and tells him to come back to her. Richard doesn’t have the time to ask who she is and the old lady immediately leaves the celebration.

Time passes and Richard becomes a successful play writer. Eight years later Richard is living now in Chicago, broken-hearted from separating with his girlfriend.

He just can’t focus on his writing. Sad and stressed and decides that he needs a small break from everything and takes a short vacation. He travels out of town, to the Grand Hotel.

There, while visiting the hotel’s museum he is charmed by a photograph of a beautiful woman, an actress famous at the beginning of the 20th century, Elise McKenna. Making some research he finds out that she is the old lady that gave him the pocket watch eight years previous.

Trying to find out more things about her, Richard goes to the house of the lady’s housekeeper and friend, Laura Roberts. Looking for some answers he finds a music box in the shape of the Grand Hotel and a book on time travel written by his previous college professor Gerard Finney.

Richard falls in love with Elise and considers the idea to go back to 1912 to see and talk to her. This becomes more and more alive in his mind after reading the book of his professor.

Visiting Professor Finney he learns that he has previously traveled in time but only for a few seconds in 1571 and the method he used was self-hypnosis.

To succeed using this method he should not have any objects around him from the present, so Richard prepares himself, buying a suit from that time, some coins and he is ready to try it even though the professor warns him that it is dangerous.

The first try fails.

Richard digging for further information later finds some clients records from that time in the Attic of the hotel and he sees his signature in a guestbook. Then, he realized that he finally went in 1912 so he tries again, harder, more convinced that he can do it.

The Journey in The Past

After a deep sleep, he awakens on June 27th, 1912 one day before Elise’s theater performance.Richard looks everywhere for Elise and finally finds her near the lake. Her first words are ‘it is you?’ Their conversation is cut short by Elise’s manager, though, William Robinson, who tries everything to send him away.

Finally, he convinces her to have a walk together and they spend a nice afternoon, having a boat ride, walking and getting closer. Richard asks her why she said these words (is it you?) when she first met him and Elise’s answer is that William always told her that a man will come into her life and destroy her.

That evening Richard accepts her invitation to the theater play and there, right in front of so many people, she tells him ‘I love you’ through an improvised monolog.

Grand Hotel

After watching the play he finds her posing for a photograph. When she sees him, a wonderful smile appears on her lips, exactly like the photo in which he first saw her in 1980, in the hotel museum.

A few minutes later, Richard receives a message from William that he needs to meet him.  Robinson tries to force Richard to leave her, explaining to him that he will destroy her career.

Of course, in love, Richard doesn’t accept this and he is attacked, tied up and locked in the stables to keep him away from her until the play is complete and they all move on.

Meanwhile, Elise cannot locate Richard and she doesn’t believe William’s story when he tells her that Richard just left, and she says she will go looking for him and that she loves him.

The next morning, Richard finally releases himself from the stables and runs to find Elise, but the theater team has already left the night before after the performance.

Sad, Richard sits outside the hotel. While he is thinking of her, Richard hears Elise’s voice and sees her running towards him.

Very happy they come back to the hotel room, spend the night together and make love. The next morning Richard asks her to marry him.

Talking about their future, jokingly Elise says that the first thing she will do for him will be to buy him a new suit because the one he wears was 15 years out of date. Trying to show her how practical the suit is, Richard finds a coin from 1976.

Looking at this coin, Richard is sent back to his own time, interrupting his hypnotic time travel.

A Sad Ending

 Richard wakes up in 1980 and desperately tries to go back, but he does not succeed. Depressed and weak he visits all the hotel locations where he was with Elise and finally goes back to his room, staying there for days without food, just thinking of her.

Finally Arthur and the Hotel Manager discover him, his condition is critical and they call the doctor but unfortunately, it is too late.

For one moment, Richard has a warm smile on his face and then he dies and finally finds his love, Elise, reunited for eternity.

My impressions

I don’t know what the critics were saying at that time but I found the movie very touching. When the film finishes (if you are a romantic person or not) is impossible to not be moved by Richards love, his tears, and his death.

If you ask me, yes it is worth traveling anytime into the past for such a powerful love.

The movie was brought to life by

Jane Saymour

Jane Seymour

Christopher Reeve as Richard Collier

Jane Seymour as Elise McKenna

Christopher Plummer as  Elise’s manager William Fawcett Robinson

Teresa Wright in the role of the housekeeper and friend Laura Roberts

Bill Erwin as Arthur Biehl

Susan French in the role of older Elise (the old lady who gave Richard the watch)

George Voskovec as Dr. Gerard Finney

Awards and Differences from the Book

 ‘Somewhere in time’ has received the Saturn Awards for the best costumes, best music, and best fantasy film. Also, it was nominated for the Academy Award for costume design.

Talking about the differences from the novel, in the film the journey was made from 1980 to 1912 and in the novel from 1971 to 1896 and Richard stays at the Hotel of Coronado in California (not at the Grand Hotel).

In the book, Richard is dying from a brain tumor and the entire time travel journey is considered possible due to hallucinations caused by this tumor.

The scene with the old Elise handing him the watch is not in the book and in the place of the manager William Robinson, two psychics warn Elise about Richards’s appearance.

Finally, Richard dies because of the tumor in the book, not because of his pain for losing Elise.

So overall I think the book is also very good but the movie is more romantic.

This is the story and I hope you enjoyed it.

Now, do you think their love could last in spite of their time differences?

Do you think Richard could stay in a time that he doesn’t belong?

What is Your Impression?

If you haven’t seen the movie, I recommend you watch it and tell me how you feel when the story ends.

Would you make this sacrifice for the love of your life, travel in time to find him/her and leave everything you know behind?

If you have any comments or questions I would love to hear from you. Just leave your thoughts below.


Thank you for reading

For further reading, viewing and buying click  below


Cristina Boros
I have always been interested in time travel. From a very young age I was forever watching movies that would take me back in time.

I would love to hear from all of you who are also interested in this subject. Movies? Science? Book? Literature?

Whatever your interest is, I would love to meet you.


  1. Chris Towers

    To be honest I loved this film. I was always a fan of Christopher Reeve and I think his performance in this movie was really heart touching.

    The them of this film really did take you into the past and the costume awards are certainly deserved. The music was also fabulous 🙂

    A really great reminder of a time travel film that is often overlooked 🙂



    1. Cristina Boros (Post author)

      me I was ready to cry in the end:) very touching and you are absolutely right,John barry can really take you …sowehere in time with his music. I loved it too 🙂

  2. Stella

    This is very interesting. I never heard of this movie. I have watched several about time travel and read several books – mostly Diana Gabaldon’s series. I will definitely have to see if I can find this on any of my movie gadgets. I also love movies before people had cell phones. Do you?

    1. Cristina Boros (Post author)

      a lot 🙂 and to be honest I would really like to leave somewhere in time :))thanks for reading:)

  3. JJ

    I love time traveling movies like “Back to the future”, “Time After Time”, “Twelve Monkey” just to name a few title. However, I hardly had the chance to watch a time travel love theme movie with a sad ending. Especially with Christopher Reeves in it, I would definitely watch this one.

    1. Cristina Boros (Post author)

      you will really enjoy it 🙂 I am sure 🙂 are you romantic at all?:)) is a very nice film:) I watched it many times:)

      thanks for reading and soon will b here more films:)

  4. Jeff

    The description of the movie gave me the impression that I knew quite a bit about the movie without having ever seen it.

    It sounds like a good movie with the time travel twists throughout the movie. Very clever use of this device.

    I think I would want to travel in time to be with someone I truly loved and cared about.

    I didn’t get it from your description, but I am curious, while traveling in time did Richard and Elsie know that they were not where they started out in time, but they had traveled in time?

    1. Cristina Boros (Post author)

      Richard yes, he knew but she was in her time. she didn’t travel. he went to find her .and finallly she found out when he disappeared because of the coin:(. tis is the reason why she gived gim the watch, the old lady, in the present time 1980.

  5. Surrounding Beauty

    Hi there,

    Nice post. I have not heard of this movie before as well. While reading your post halfway, I thought you were going to give a full synopsis on the movie and I thought to stop reading in case I came to know of the ending. Yet, the more I read the more interested in the movie I get! Will make sure to catch it if I managed to find it,

    1. Cristina Boros (Post author)

      you will sure find it 🙂 I am happy that you enjoyed my post and i am sure that you will love the movie:))

      Watch it and tell me your opinion.:)) thank you for reading and soon i will bring more time travel movies that i am sure you will love:)

  6. lifebeginswithyourhealth

    Loved this article very much, I would travel any place in time myself to find my true love. I think most of us would do almost anything to meet our true love, many people never find true love they satisfy for much less.

    I have not found my true love, I did marry my high school sweetheart but she was not meant to be my true love and our relationship ended and I never met anyone who gave me the feelings true love should give a person.

    1. Cristina Boros (Post author)

      🙁 I am sad about your story and i am sure you will find it 🙂 thanks for reading. I wish you good luck in finding your true love 🙂 it is worth it :)) if i could help you to time travel 🙂

  7. Dira

    I did not know about this movie until I saw it on your site. It’s such a beautiful and sad story. Reading halfway through I started thinking about the ending: maybe when he goes back he will meet her great granddaughter or someone who looks like her. I was wrong. This movie seems hard to find. Do you have some recommendations on where I can find this movie (I believe it’s not on Netflix)?

    1. Cristina Boros (Post author)

      you can find dvd on amazon and also the book In the end of the post I have a link also for this 🙂 Yes it is a sad romantic wonderful story. I really loved it. Christofer Reeves is amazing in it. Each one of us can make in his mind a nice and to the story.
      Thanks for reading and for your comment. How would you make your own end of this story?:)

  8. Dr. Doug

    Thanks for your review. Yes you are right, when you think of time travel movies you usually think of science fiction like the the classic H.G. Wells Time Machine. And I think its often linked to dystopic scenarios like the Terminator series. What I liked about this film is that it’s a love story in a romantic historical setting but still has time travel. Its got a pretty stellar cast and costuming. I remember when it came out and a lot of people liked it, so critics are often not the best source for movie ratings.

    1. Cristina Boros (Post author)

      Yes I think I agree with you , is personal choice if you like a movie or not but i think most liked it . What about you ? You did like the movie?

      It Is a great touching romantic story with time travel elements. If you are the romantic type you will sure love it 🙂 

      Thanks for visiting my site and more film reviews are waiting for you here:)

      Have a nice day.


  9. Patty Peterson

    I cried again after watching this movie. It’s been well over 30 years since I’ve seen this and it truly is a classic. The music is phenomenal. Just the first few notes give me chills. And yes I would travel back for true love. Good thing it’s lying next to me snoring?

    1. Cristina Boros (Post author)

      This good 🙂 If your true love is near you 🙂 Some have to make a real journey to find it.:) Thanks for reading my post and you are right it is a very touching movie and the music is amazing.I am glad that you enjoyed it. if you are interested, look for more captivating time travel movies here on my site. Have a great day.


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *