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Someday in the past, he will find her...
A 1980 film adaptation of Richard Matheson's Bid Time Return.
Even if you have Single-Target Sexuality, you just might give up after finding out that your One True Love lives in a different time period, but that doesn't stop the writer and playwright Richard Collier (Christopher Reeve), who, for lack of a better description, manages to psych himself back in time to meet a beautiful woman whose portrait he was captivated by. The space-time continuum is just no match for The Power of Love.
After his self-hypnosis, Richard arrives in The Edwardian Era when the lady in the portrait, the stage actress Elise McKenna (Jane Seymour), was visiting the same vintage hotel he was staying at in The Eighties. However, her overprotective manager William Fawcett (Christopher Plummer) won't hear of anyone romancing his star. . .
- Bittersweet Ending: Richard dies of grief after being separated from Elise and returned to his own time, but is reunited with Elise in heaven.
- The Constant: Arthur.
- Chekhov's Gunman: The old lady who gave Richard the pocket watch, and then died that same night. That's none other than Elise.
- Creator Cameo: Richard Matheson appears as the 1912 man who stares at Arthur following the latter's less-than-successful attempt to shave with a straight razor. ("Astonishing!")
- The Edwardian Era: 1912 scenes.
- The Eighties: 1980 scenes. Okay, the very early Eighties.
- Enforced Method Acting: The first time Richard sees Elise's picture was also the first time Chris Reeve had seen it. The director wanted his genuine reaction.
- Fade to White
- Fantastic Romance: Due to Time Travel Romance.
- Fashions Never Change: Subverted: Elise informs Richard that his suit is 15 years out of style.
- Film of the Book
- Forgotten Theme Tune Lyrics: A post-film example -- the theme was given lyrics in The Nineties and turned into a song of the same title for Michael Crawford. It appears on the soundtrack to his Las Vegas show EFX!, where it served as a prerecorded prelude due to its fantasy theme, but it's easy to interpret the first-person lyrics as coming from Richard's point of view.
- Gorgeous Period Dress: Elise wears some magnificent examples of late-Edwardian (1910 to 1914) couture.
- Have We Met Yet?
- Her Heart Will Go On: Unusual in that the story is seen from the man's perspective.
- Love Before First Sight: Richard falls in love with Elise's portrait, and then with Elise herself.
- Nostalgia Heaven: Richard and Elise are reunited in Fluffy Cloud Heaven upon Richard's death.
- Opera Gloves: Elise wears these seemingly half the entire length of her screen time in the film.
- The Red Stapler: Many fans of the film now take vacations to the Frozen in Time Mackinac Island, Michigan, where the movie was filmed.
- The Seventies: 1972 scenes.
- Single-Target Sexuality: Richard and Elise.
- Something We Forgot: Richard apparently didn't check his pockets. He should've NOT carried a penny with the 1979 mint date on it. Ops.
- Stable Time Loop: The watch.
- The portrait of Elise that Richard falls in love with also works something like this: after he's travelled back in time and she's falling in love with him, the reason she looks so happy and beautiful in the photograph is because she sees him while it's being taken.
- Time Travel -> Throw It In: In-universe. Elise gets lost in her lines in the play, during a scene discussing love; she instead begins daydreaming about finding her (Elise's) real true love. Unfortunately the effect is more awkward and stilted than romantic, at least for anyone who is not Richard. The other actress looks uncomfortable, and Elise's manager is none too thrilled.
- Together in Death: Anti-climax: Richard's abrupt separation from Elise upon unfortunate reminder from his own timeline. Penny for your thoughts? REEEEEEE-chard!!!
- The Windy City
- Your Universe or Mine?
- You Already Changed the Past adapted, as this is discovered before going back, not after; resulting in VujaDe.