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The Somewhere In Time - Superman Connection

Updated on July 13, 2008

In 1978 what is still considered today the quintessential Superman movie was release propelling a not too well known actor Christopher Reeve to the Mount Everest of fame. Not that he had this fame he not goal was to turn that into the recognition as credible dramatic actor. In 1980 while preparing for the lead in the Broadway Production of “The Fifth of July” his first motion picture dramatic turn in piece called Somewhere In Time (SIT) would seemingly crash and burn. Over time this romantic fantasy would overcome it's debut and enter the realm of cult classic. Many people I talk to even to this day both male and female have a copy of Somewhere In Time in their own personal movie collections.

The Kevin Bacon Effect

You know that one popular trivia game on connections to Kevin Bacon throughout Hollywood. Well, believe it or not I have found the same domino style connection to the Superman live action mythology.When researching for a series of pieces on the “Somewhere In Time” background, I unearth this secondary phenomenon along with some real funny and fun facts

Let's begin

Christopher Reeve popularity as Superman surpassed the prior all time fan favorite George Reeves. George did the big screen movie Superman and The Mole people which became the TV show “The Adventures of Superman.” With Superman III another version of the timeless loop theme used in “Somewhere In Time. Annette O'Toole would appear in the movie as the first known live action Lana Lang. Lana was Supes boyhood girlfriend. And yes they did do the intimate thing in the movie. One only hopes he wasn't faster than a speeding bullet for her sake. Annette would move on to the lastest live action production based on the Superman mythology, Smallville. Here she would play the not yet ready to wear cape with underwear over tights Clark Kent's mother, Martha. In case you live under a rock Clark Kent (CK) is Superman's alter ego. So, in twist of sci-fi and romantic fantasy SIT style, this woman has both mothered and slept with CK.

Saving Jane

Jane Seymour who plays SIT's Elise McKenna not only is connected by Christopher Reeve but by the present day TV Smallville as well. Apparently her character was messing with this show's Lana Lang who is sleeping with her character's son Jason Teague. Here we have the prototypical soap opera action combining the Kevin Bacon effect with the SIT time looping of someone having slept with both one's soulmate and son.

Heres the butter

Because we are on a roll here. Jeannot Szwarc now has his own loop. The SIT director went on to direct several parts of the Superman live action mythology. First up, the 1984 theatrical production of Supergirl was the movie that took his mind off of the box office failure of SIT. It was also the movie that could have ended his career. Unlike SIT the only following Supergirl could have developed was an occupational funeral procession. The budget is estimated at $35 million. The box office take under $14 million. At least SIT came close to doubling it's budget. Supergirl didn't even return half of it's production cost at the box office. In the directors defense the movie was shelved and recut just before release. It is said those cuts greatly diminished the over all movie. Those who have viewed the precut version say the original Jeannot Swarc movie was actually not bad. Szwarc got his creative revenge by coming aboard and directing select episodes of Smallville from 2003 on. Smallville eventually featured a Supergirl who is considered a hit with fans. It does seem the Jeannot Szwarc's career path is filled with the ironic.

Let's not stop there

William H Macy in SIT had a part that the best I can describe you can try to find it. The billing is The Critic. I still can't tell which one is him. He would eventually do a voiceover an episode of the 1998 Superman; The Animated Series called “Where There's Smoke. His character being sort of mad scientist type villian. Thus making his contribution to the Superman family.

Hi Norm?

This leaves George Wendt out in the cold. A skinny George with glasses appears as the student who stops and shakes Richard Collier's (Christopher Reeve) hand at the beginning is the only present day name actor from SIT to not have a credit in the actual Superman on screen mythlogy. Since his most prolific outside of TV's Cheers credits seems to be Norm Peterson from Cheers maybe Norm should pay a visit to Smallville's Talon looking for a beer with that latte. Well at least while you may not recognize him in Somewhere In Time unlike William H. Macy, you can find him easier.


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