Tuesday, 25 June 2013

BID TIME RETURN

He penned some of the most memorable fantasy, horror and science fiction stories of the twentieth century which, in turn, became equally memorable motion pictures: The [Incredible] Shrinking Man, Hell House, What Dreams May Come, A Stir of Echoes, Duel and I Am Legend.


Richard Matheson, who has just died at the age of 87, also wrote numerous episodes of The Twilight Zone including the celebrated Nightmare at 20,000 Feet, contributed the script for 'The Enemy Within' episode of Star Trek, adapted Edgar Allen Poe's The House of Usher, The Pit and the Pendulum and The Raven for Roger Corman and Dennis Wheatley's The Devil Rides Out for Hammer.


He also wrote the time-travel novel Bid Time Return that was filmed (from Matheson's screenplay), in 1980, as one of my forever-favourite movies, Somewhere in Time, with Christopher Reeve, Jane Seymour (as the time-separated lovers), Christopher Plummer, the fabulous Grand Hotel, Mackinac Island, Michigan, and an unforgettable score by time-united composers John Barry and Sergei Rachmaninoff.

Here's a reminder of a beautiful and haunting film...


Thanks Mr Matheson. Rest in peace.

6 comments:

Suzanne said...

Thank you Brian! I love that film - and Rachmaninov's piano concerto is my all-time favourite classical piece.

josna said...

Brian, somehow your blog spoke to me this morning and I dropped everything, found Somewhere in Time on Netflix, and started watching it. I've just finished, and am shattered. What a moving film. Rest In Peace, Richard Matheson. I will look for some of his other writing. Thank you.

Brian Sibley said...

Suzanne - Yes and the blending of Rachmaninov with Barry's original score is superb.

josna - Glad you found SIT and enjoyed it. It is curious: when the film opened it was something of a failure, but it has survived to gain cult status (rather as Frank Capra's It's A Wonderful Life did with an earlier generation).

There is also a Fan Club!

SharonM said...

What a gifted writer he was. RIP

Phil said...

It's amazing that one writer could have produced so much work of such quality and influence. He seems to have been very lucky with the people he collaborated with - not always the greatest film-makers, but usually people who managed to get what he was doing (or at least, not screw it up).

I always appreciated that he seldom went in for technical explanations of what was going on in his stories. Like Jack Finney, if he wanted someone to go back in time, he simply made them BELIEVE they were going back in time... and then the reader (or viewer) would believe it, too.

Did you notice that Richard Matheson also appears in SOMEWHERE IN TIME? There's a scene where Christopher Reeve comes out of a bathroom after shaving, with cuts all over his face. The man who passes him mutters, "Astonishing!"

Astonished Man = Richard Matheson.

Brian Sibley said...

SharonM and Phil - Yes, very true. A great talent whose work lives on in other media...

I have a signed limited edition of the novel, Phil, re-titled as Somewhere in Time containing a series of stills from a take of Matheson's cameo scene in the film in which he and Reeve crack up and burst out laughing. A fun memory of two great characters...