Somewhere in Time

  • Review Date: December 9, 2009
  • Rated: PG
  • Genre: Romance
  • Release Year: 1980
  • Running Time: 104 minutes

Common Sense Media says

Moony time travel tale is best for incurable romantics.
  • Review Date: December 9, 2009
  • Rated: PG
  • Genre: Romance
  • Release Year: 1980
  • Running Time: 104 minutes





What parents need to know

Positive messages

Love is more important than time and space in this movie. Richard does all that he can to go back in time to be with the woman of his dreams.

Positive role models

Though Elise is a woman of a certain era, she does assert herself with her manager, telling him to let her live her own life. Richard is gentle and respectful with Elise, modeling dreamy romantic behavior. However, the intensity of Richard's desire to go back in time to find Elise borders on obsession.

Not applicable

Kissing between Richard and Elise and a vague shot of his bare shoulder when they are presumably in bed together. A woman walks around in a corset and stockings. Richard's bare chest is shown.


"Damnit," "damn," 'Christ," and "s--t."

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

A beer bottle on Richard's dinner table, plus some champagne sipping by diners in the 1912 dinner scene. 

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that there is little to worry about in this romance. Though to some, the intensity of Richard's desire to go back in time to find Elise may look like an unhealthy obsession.

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Kids say

What's the story?

Playwright Richard Collier (Christopher Reeve) is confronted by an elegant older woman who gives him a pocket-watch while he is cutting the cake at a celebration of his first play. He is stunned to hear her whisper, "Come back to me." A few years later when he is struck by writer's block, he finds himself in his old college town staying at the Grand Hotel. He's instantly struck by a beautiful woman's photograph in the hotel's Hall of History, and, with some help, proceeds to travel back in time to try to find her. Sure enough, when Elise (Jane Seymour) looks deeply into his eyes and asks, "Are you the one?" they fall in love. Whether Richard can keep a foot in time past gives this romantic fantasy a touch of mystery.

Is it any good?


Romantics everywhere will swoon to watch Christopher Reeve court Jane Seymour in this classic period piece. It's a little hokey at times (time travel in a hotel room, really?), but the film successfully captures the chemistry between the two actors, making the love story a little more believable. Elise's reticence to fall in love with Richard, coupled with the intensity and gentle quality of Richard's appeals make for good, gooey romance.

Moreover, by recreating the heyday of the Grand Hotel in Mackinac Island, Michigan, the movie gains another leading lady. This hotel is unlike any other, and its elegance and monument to time past brings a little credence to the unrealistic time-travel bit. Scenes depicting the lovers rowing a boat on the lake, strolling on the vast lawns, or dancing in the grand ballroom work very nicely. Cynics or macho types won't  find this movie tolerable: it's really meant for dreamers and lovers.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about love and its power to bring people together, as well as its power to break hearts. How do different people deal with the end of a relationship, or the loss of a loved one? How do Richard and Elise cope with their separation?

  • Time travel is a central theme to this movie. How does Richard try to travel through time? What does the concept of time mean to you? Do you relate to certain eras more than others? Why do you think that this is so?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:October 31, 1980
DVD release date:October 31, 2000
Cast:Christopher Plummer, Christopher Reeve, Jane Seymour
Director:Jeannot Szwarc
Studio:Universal Pictures
Topics:Magic and fantasy
Run time:104 minutes
MPAA rating:PG

This review of Somewhere in Time was written by

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  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Teen, 14 years old Written byOrcaheart7 December 25, 2010

I loved the book...

I haven't seen the movie, but I've read the book, and I loved it! There is a scene where Richard and Elise make love, and it is a big more graphic than usual, but it's not the whole point of the story. The point is that Richard makes Elise a free woman by allowing her to love freely. I hope to see the movie in the future, but I would highly recommend the book from what I've read. I thought this was a beautiful story.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Great messages
Great role models


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