A young playwright, Richard Collier (Christopher Reeve), is approached by an elderly woman on the occasion of his first triumph in 1972 — all she says to him is “Come back to me” and leaves him with a watch that contains a picture of a ravishing young woman. Eight years later, he visits the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island and comes upon a photograph of the same woman, whom he discovers was an actress who made an appearance at the hotel in 1912. He becomes obsessed with the image and what the woman — who died the night she approached him in 1972 — meant by what she said. He falls in love with her and her image as he learns more about her life and career. Then he comes upon the suggestion of a professor at his former college that time travel may, in fact, be possible, using an extreme form of self-hypnosis to free the person from the place they occupy in the time-stream. Collier’s feelings for the woman are so strong that he succeeds, bringing himself back to the hotel in 1912 on the eve of her triumph. He meets the actress, Elise McKenna (Jane Seymour), and the two fall in love.