I’ve made no bones about my admiration for author Richard Matheson, and further, his indelible (and often unappreciated) influence on popular culture over the last 50 years.
I’ve also spoken of the wild crush I had in my youth for Lindsay Wagner. (For a detailed biography of her, please visit my Celebrity Profile page at Examiner.)
How am I going to tie these two together? Easy. The 1979 TV movie, The Two Worlds of Jennie Logan, was a time-travel love story regarding a woman struggling to keep her marriage alive after her husband’s infidelity. When Jennie (Wagner) and her unfaithful hubby (Alan Feinstein) move into a old Victorian house, Jennie finds an old dress in the attic. When she puts the dress on, she is transported back to the year 1899, where she meets a grieving widower, David Reynolds (Marc Singer) who mistakes her for his dead wife, Pamela. As Jennie flips back and forth between the past and the present, her husband becomes increasingly worried about her sanity, and Jennie realizes she must choose between these two worlds, before death chooses for her.
I will give away no more, save to say this story, based on the book Second Sight by David Williams, published in 1979, was obviously influenced by Richard Matheson’s 1975 novel, Bid Time Return, later filmed as and retitled Somewhere in Time. It is also obvious that writer/director James Cameron watched both of these films — the parallels to 1997’s Titanic are numerous. Regarding that, in my article Richard Matheson – a Legendary Influence, I mention that the film Somewhere in Time has its own fan club, INSITE, The International Network of Somewhere In Time Enthusiasts, that meet every year at The Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island, Michigan. On their website, is a looooong list of eerie parallels between Titanic and Somewhere in Time. I only mention this since Jennie Logan is so weirdly tied to these other two. Even Gloria Stewart, old Rose from Titanic, has a cameo as Roberta in this film.
Although I loved this movie the first, and only, time I saw it 30 years ago (yeah, it’s a chick flick, so sue me), I have searched in vain for it over the ensuing decades. Other than bootleg versions on eBay, it is not available on video or DVD. However, leave it to the miracle of YouTube to change that. I just stumbled on the entire movie (posted in 10 parts) over there, each of which was available for embedding. So, of course, I HAD to bring it over here. The video quality is not great, but it is certainly watchable. I am curious, however, whether viewers today will find this corny or trite. Regardless of its more polished and bigger-budgeted imitators (or wait, this one is an imitator, too), this is still a solid story well told. Have a look and let me know what you think.
Never seen it? A fan of time travel love stories like Somewhere in Time or The Lake House? You are bound to enjoy visiting The Two Worlds of Jennie Logan.
UPDATE 11-20-2010: Good news and bad news here, kids. As with most good things (especially on YouTube), they pass. This film was yanked offline, and so I deleted my video embeds. However, Amazon now has The Two Worlds of Jennie Logan for sale under their new “burn on demand” DVD program – cover art below. You can purchase it HERE.