Peter Standish has just inherited a house on Berkeley Square in London from a distant cousin, although he is unsure why it was given to him. It isn't until he moves in that he discovers a special bond with the house. Upon the discovery of further artifacts of his ancestors who had previously lived there, including a detailed diary, Peter comes to believe that he is destined to walk into the house at 5:30pm on September 3rd to assume the life of one of those ancestors. That man, also named Peter Standish, was an American officer in Washington's army who walked into the house for the first time at the same moment on the same day 149 years earlier in 1784, shortly after the American Revolution. Then, it was the home of Standish's distant cousins, the Pettigrews - Lady Ann and her three offspring Tom, Helen and Kate, who would become Mrs. Standish in an arranged marriage. Peter believes he knows what he should do so as not to change history by the details listed in Standish's diary. ...Written by
The original play, "Berkeley Square," opened in London in 1928, starring Leslie Howard. The Broadway production opened at the Lyceum Theater on November 4, 1929, also starring Howard. It ran for 229 performances, and was followed by a national tour. Howard and Valerie Taylor recreated their stage roles for the film version. See more »
In the 18th century, the word Okay (ok) was not used. See more »
Doesn't that prove that all time must really be one? Time... real time... is nothing but an idea in the mind of God.
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Most of us feel dissatisfied with the time in which they are living (I was five in the year 1964, to which I have long felt a powerful desire to return when I have the time, and will this time be paying more attention); and H.P.Lovecraft - being even more dissatisfied than most - not surprisingly loved this movie.
The feeling that the past is still out there somewhere going about its business continues to resonate through such disparate works of fiction as 'Wild Strawberries' and 'Goodnight Sweetheart'; and through the medium of that authentic miracle of time travel, YouTube, having just watched the 1951 Technicolor version with Tyrone Power of John L. Balderston's West End hit of 1926 I was immediately able to summon up like magic the earlier version adapted by Balderston himself with the star of the Broadway production of 1929, Leslie Howard; which for many years was once a lost film. (As a visitor from the future, I was intrigued to discover that Howard's fiancée Kate Pettigrew was played by the British stage actress Valerie Taylor - also from the original Broadway cast - who I know as a middle-aged woman from 'Went the Day Well' in 1942.)
The romance between Peter Standish and Helen Pettigrew engages the interest far more in this version, which has that pre-Code deftness of touch (Heather Angel as Helen also wears a chic thirties suit with a fur collar easily as eye-catching as her 18th Century creations).
With the benefit of hindsight, it's sobering to be aware that Howard, Power and Christopher Reeve (star of 'Somewhere in Time') were all taken before their time; something only a visitor from the future - or a film viewer - could know.
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