Sunday, August 26, 2007

Film Breakdown - Horror - The Reincarnation of Peter Proud (1975)


1. 0:40 - Opening credits. Ends: 0:00:40

2. 2:35 - A naked man swims across what looks like a lake in the dead of night. He swims towards a neon sign on the bank which advertises The Puritan Hotel. A small powered raft creeps out of the darkness... a woman sits alone, scanning the dark surface of the water. The man treads water as the woman pulls up alongside of him... he apologizes for what he said to her and claims he was drunk. Marcia (Margot Kidder) listens to him and responds sympathetically - it has clearly happened before. She invites him to enter the boat and as he does so, she attacks him with an oar. Unconscious, he sinks to the bottom of the lake.
Ends: 0:03:15


3. 2:07 - A naked, sweating Pete (Michael Sarrazin) is woken from a nightmare by his naked girlfriend. She is concerned by his restlessness and frightened by his changed voice (she says). He lights a cigarette and jokes that he’s really a Jekyll & Hyde personality. She calls him Professor and talks about her students - it’s likely they’re both teachers. As she leaves to shower, Peter writes notes in a bedside journal. Ends: 0:05:22


4. 0:49 - Peter is lecturing a room full of students when mid-sentence he experiences a shooting pain in his side. He cuts the lecture short.
Ends: 0:06:11

5. 2:25 - Peter is being examined by a doctor and questioned about his symptoms. It is revealed that he’s had this attack of pain three times already in the past six months. The doctor still can’t find anything wrong with him - x-rays are still showing everything as normal. Peter is given a mild sedative and he lays there alone in the examining office... he experiences images of architecture, a couple out on a ride in the country, intimate moments between strangers (possibly of a different era entirely)... Ends: 0:08:36


6. 1:14 - Peter is talking to what might be a psychiatrist. He’s told that it is normal for people to dream but Peter argues it’s always the same people, the same locations etc; the exact same dream. As Peter claims he’s almost afraid to go to sleep for fear of their returning, the doctor prescribes something to alleviate his anxiety. Peter appears frustrated at being given pills for his problem - the doctor tells him that there’s someone on his campus undertaking studies in parapsychology... this man - Dr. Samuel Goodman - might be able to help. Ends: 0:09:50

7. 2: 32 - Match cut over to what is presumably the office of Dr. Samuel Goodman (Paul Hecht) who is verifying some of the details in Peter’s dreams. Peter hands over his journal and the parapsychologist puts it away. He then gives Peter the tour of his facilities. We see first hand how several sleeping subjects have their vital signs monitored. Ends: 0:12:22

8. 1:42 - Peter drives through town during a bright, sunny day when he sees a luxury car showroom... in the window is displayed a vintage automobile which attracts Peter’s curiosity. He enters the showroom and makes his way over to a beautiful vehicle similar (if not identical) to the one in his dream. A salesman approaches him and talks about this particular car, the Cord super charged Sportsman convertible - and reveals they stopped making these in 1937. Ends: 0:14:04

9. 1:07 - Peter and his girlfriend are relaxing at home when he gets a call from Dr. Goodman - though very short-notice, Peter is asked to come in immediately because there’s an opening in the sleep lab’s patient schedule. His girlfriend is very disappointed. Ends: 0:15:11


10. 1:32 - Montage - Peter is wired-up to monitors by Dr. Goodman and one of his students. Peter - aka “number seven“ - is bid a good night and left alone in the dark. Peter’s girlfriend misses him in their lonely bed. The lab’s monitoring machine registers very little activity for patient number seven. A now dozing Peter experiences more images - a small house in a forest, a young couple having sex (always different women - not Marcia), a naked man jumping off a small pier and swimming in a lake. The techs in the sleep lab comment on the fact that patient number seven hasn’t dreamt anything as yet. Meanwhile, Peter’s visions continue... a building, a couple playing tennis, a bridge, a statue etc. Ends: 0:16:43

11. 1:06 - At lunch the following day, Peter talks to his girlfriend at the University. She asks how it went and Peter doesn’t know - he thinks Goodman is avoiding him since he hasn’t seen nor heard from him since the sleep monitoring began. Suddenly we see Peter again as patient number seven - we see his visions of an orange stained-glass window in a church, period architecture, a child running down the stairs while a woman plays the piano. In the lab, Dr. Goodman gets up off his chair to take a look at the readings from patient number seven. There’s nothing to see. Ends: 0:17:49


12. 1:07 - Goodman and Peter take a walk through the campus during the daytime. Peter is told he’s not dreaming at all. It’s more of a psychic experience but definitely not a dream of any kind. Ends: 0:18:56

13. 1:55 - Peter walks into an Occult store; lectures are being held inside, as well as there being a book store with quite a number of customers. He inquires about reincarnation and is directed to an entire section devoted to this subject. Ends: 0:20:51

14. 3:06 - Peter and his girlfriend are having dinner out; he’s frustrated by his dreams or visions. On their way home, Peter speculates that the man in his dreams was the man that he once was... his girlfriend is puzzled by his embracing the reincarnation theory. Back at home, Peter installs a tape recorder next to his side of the bed... he asks her to record whatever he says in his dreams as the other man. Later, we witness a sweating Peter mutter in his sleep and a wide-awake girlfriend turning on the tape recorder as requested. We hear Peter speak as the male victim of the murder, as we again see the same night-boat recapitulation sequence from the start of the story. Ends: 0:23:57


15. 2:16 - Match cut on Peter’s scream over to Dr. Goodman hearing the tape recording of the same event. Peter is distraught - he can’t eat, sleep or even face his students any longer. Dr. Goodman asks if he’d consider hypnosis... Goodman tells Peter to lie down and it’s clear they’re to try suggestive hypnotherapy. Peter is relaxed into a trance... he is ordered to forget all about his troublesome dreams as they are robbing him of energy and sleep. Ends: 0:26:13

16. 1:23 - A visibly relaxed Peter sits alone one night at home, enjoying a cold martini. He watches tv when suddenly some imagery of a New England town is shown... Peter recognizes some of the architecture from visions in his dreams. He calls out to his girlfriend Nora (Cornelia Sharpe) and goes over to the telephone and begins dialing the tv station.
Ends: 0:27:36

17. 1:51 - Peter is reviewing the show’s footage with Dr. Goodman at the tv station. None of the tv personnel know which town the footage came from - it’s just listed as a Massachusetts town. Outside, Dr. Goodman confirms that Peter’s dreams have returned, triggered by the imagery of the tv show. Peter has never even been to New England, but believes he has actually lived in that particular town in some previous life. Dr. Goodman reveals he has an open mind on reincarnation - it has never been proven, nor disproved. Peter is committed to proving the town of his dreams exists and that he’ll find it. Ends: 0:29:27


18. 7:18 - Series of shots - Peter and Nora fly to Massachusetts and drive to a place called Farmingham. The two have lunch and Nora comments on the fact that she would have liked to take in the sights; Peter however seems more focused in getting to where they’re headed and Nora seems bored. Peter and Nora check into a hotel for the evening. Peter’s hip suddenly begins to shoot pain (as it has done previously). Later, in their room he feels a lot better. However, Nora has had enough and feels they should give up trying to look around the big state. The next day while driving yet again, Peter stops on a bridge overlooking a small town - he thinks it might look familiar. While driving through that town, many images from his dreams start to match the sights surrounding them. He guesses that the statue in his dreams is a short distance away... however, once there it turns out to be a demolition site; no statue. Nora therefore remains unconvinced and wants him to take her to the airport. She’s through traveling around. Ends: 0:36:45

19. 0:28 - Peter and Nora say their goodbyes outside the airport building. She hopes he finds what he’s looking for. Ends: 0:37:13

20. 1:08 - Peter drives alone through the streets of the large town, still searching for more points of recognition. He eventually parks his car and walks over to a small wooded area... and sees the statue of his dreams before him. Ends: 0:38:21

21. 1:04 - Peter enters a police station and stops just inside the front entrance. He imagines what will transpire if he goes in front of the desk sergeant with his cockamamie story of looking for any information about an unknown victim from an unknown era. Peter leaves the police station before talking to anyone. Ends: 0:39:25

22. 0:47 - Peter checks into a large hotel and casually chats to the hotel employee about looking for a lake. He eventually hears that he must be referring to Crystal Lake, near which was the Puritan Hotel on the North shore. However, it is now called the Crystal Lodge. Ends: 0:40:12


23. 1:36 - Match cut to the view of the lake with the sign-posted Crystal Lodge Hotel. Peter sits in his rental car, overlooking the lake. He makes his way over to a small gas station, and while the attendant fills-up his car, Peter chats to the old-timer about murders in the area. The conversation goes around to the 1940’s and the attendant talks about the ”Brady case“. A man was allegedly killed by his wife on the dock and bled to death when his genitals were cut off... the wife however wasn’t convicted and eventually remarried. Ends: 0:41:48

24. 0:57 - A recapitulation scene now finds us seeing Peter walk through the town’s streets while his V.O. talks to Dr. Samuel Goodman (probably on the phone). Peter says he is sure this is the place but wonders what was his name, where did he live, who was Marcia, why did she kill him etc? We then see Peter in his hotel room, lying on the bed with the phone in hand... Sam Goodman and he are talking and Peter speculates that Marcia is probably still alive, she would perhaps be in her 50’s. Ends: 0:42:45

25. 0:43 - We again witness Peter’s visions. The stained-glass window, the child running through the home etc. Peter is asleep but sweating profusely and mumbling in his sleep. Ends: 0:43:28

26. 0:49 - The following morning, Peter is driving through a residential area when he suddenly sees the home in his dreams; it is unmistakable. Watching the house from his vantage point in the rental car, Peter smiles a little to himself. He drives over to the house and gets out of his car. Ends: 0:44:17

27. 1:45 - Peter makes his way to the front door of the mystery house and rings the bell. He is watched next door by a girl in her driveway washing her car. When he gets no response, Peter is told (by her) that nobody is home. The old lady, Mrs. Curtis who lives there, is away and has been for years. When Peter feigns interest in old houses, the girl offers to show him inside the house... she knows of a secret entrance and disappears into this and reappears at the open front door for him. Ends: 0:46:00

28. 2:53 - Peter enters the house. Suzy introduces herself as he walks around and recognizes the stained-glass window and the staircase. He walks upstairs and Suzy follows him into a boy’s bedroom... Suzy poses provocatively on the bed for Peter but he’s oblivious and reads the details off the the wall-mounted diploma. He thanks Suzy and leaves. Ends: 0:48:53


29. 3:27 - Peter walks into the offices of a newspaper. An employee looks through the 1940’s archives for mention of ”Curtis“.... and finds a Jeff Curtis, deceased Sep 27th 1946. The employee sets up the microfilm reader for Peter. Now alone, Peter scans the pages of the newspapers going back to that date and sees the headline. While he reads the front page article reporting the death of Jeff Curtis, we hear V.O. of a conversation between reporters discussing the case... we thus hear the back-story of the victim’s life... how the widow and infant daughter buried Jeff Curtis after the accidental death. Peter takes a printout of the article. While signing out of the newspaper office, he inadvertently signs the log book as Jeffrey Curtis. Ends: 0:52:20

30. 1:00 - Peter drives to an address he got out of the phone directory. He parks outside the large, opulent home but sees nobody there. While waiting, a police car crawls by and an intimidated Peter drives away. Ends: 0:53:20

31. 1:32 - A large cemetery finds us watching Peter read the engraved names of head stones. He finds the one he’s looking for. Ends: 0:54:52

32. 1:26 - Back outside the large, opulent home Peter sits in his car and sees a young woman in tennis gear exit the house. She drives off in a station wagon and Peter follows her in his rental car... all the way to a nearby country club. Ends: 0:56:18


33. 2:59 - Peter secures himself a temporary membership at the country club in order to play some tennis. In the Pro shop, Peter inquires after Jeff Curtis and is told in no uncertain terms that he wasn’t such a nice guy. Outside on an empty court, Peter spots the young woman he followed in his car and introduces himself. She is Ann Curtis (Jennifer O’Neill) and they play tennis. After their game, they have a drink together. Ends: 1:00:06

34. 3:53 - In the evening, Peter calls on Ann and the front door is opened by Marcia who welcomes him into their home and offers him a drink. While they chit-chat waiting for Ann, Marcia reveals that her deceased husband played tennis but went to war and seldom played after that - apparently he’d been injured by shrapnel in the hip which caused him some pain. Peter nervously taps his glass and Marcia reveals her husband had the same habit. Ends: 1:03:59

35. 1:05 - At dinner together, Peter and Ann discuss her father and mother. Ends: 1:05:04


36. 0:23 - Marcia Curtis sits at home, drinking large vodkas neat.
Ends: 1:05:27

37. 1:15 - Peter drives Ann home after their restaurant dinner. It appears as though Peter has to restrain himself from being anything but a gentleman... he walks her to the front door and says goodnight.
Ends: 1:06:42

38. 1:46 - Peter and Ann play tennis at their club. Standing watching them is Marcia, who appears a little unsteady in her chair as she sits there smoking her cigarette. The Pro shop attendant (an old acquaintance) appears alongside Marcia and says hello - they talk about Peter and the attendant reveals that Peter was asking a lot of questions about Jeff... seems Jeff was a friend of Peter’s father (or so Peter told him). Once alone, Marcia hears Peter call out something to Ann and it is identical to something Jeff once said to Marcia. She is a little distraught. Ends: 1:08:28

39. 0:56 - Peter enters his hotel room in the evening. Once inside, his phone rings... it’s Sam Goodman and he’s been trying to contact Peter. The latter reveals he’s just played tennis with his daughter and that his wife was watching... needless to say, Sam is amazed and wants all the details. Peter agrees to do so, providing it’s just between the two of them. Ends: 1:09:24

40. 1:55 - Ann is preparing food in her kitchen; her mother Marcia enters and it turns out Ann is going out on a picnic with Peter. Marcia is already drinking and breakfast hasn’t even been served as yet. They begin an argument - Ann accuses her mother of drinking when previously she had been doing so well... Marcia tells her to quit being a nursemaid but Ann counters that’s the reason she came back to the house to be with her. Marcia then warns Ann about Peter - she believes he’s after something, she doesn’t know what, but it’s her instinct, warning her to beware of him. Ann doesn’t know what she’s talking about. Ends: 1:11:19

41. 0:56 - Out on their picnic, Ann and Peter lie on a blanket and talk. She reveals that she’s just gotten over a divorce, after which she decided to come back home and be with her mother for a while. A ”while“ has now been 10 months. They kiss and Peter is somewhat repelled... Ann is upset but Peter tries to explain it’s his fault and if he tried to explain, she’d think he was crazy. Ends: 1:12:15

42. 0:34 - Marcia lies in bed and accepts a tray from Ann; she asks if Ann could take something to her grandma and Ann says she’ll be busy playing tennis with Peter. Marcia pleads somewhat and says Ann hasn’t visited her grandmother for some time... Ann agrees to the chore. Ends: 1:12:49

43. 2:56 - Peter accompanies Ann to visit her grandmother at an expensive retirement home. Ann’s grandmother is being fed lunch by one of the staff members but it’s pretty obvious she’s out of it memory-wise and doesn’t recognize Ann. Suddenly, the grandmother turns and calls Peter ”Jeff“ and moves over to hug him. Everyone else is surprised and Peter doesn’t say much, though he does hug the old lady and calls her ”mother“. Ends: 1:15:45


44. 1:02 - Ann is extolling the virtues of Peter to her mother... he apparently made an old lady very happy. Peter, Ann and Marcia are having tea together. Marcia can’t understand how Peter could be mistaken for Jeff - Peter can’t explain it either. Ends: 1:16: 47

45. 1:21 - Ann drives Peter past Crystal Lake and points out that her father drowned there. They stop near the family cottage and view the lake. Peter asks if they can go into the cottage and Ann agrees. Inside, Peter has a flashback and sees Jeff there with Marcia. Ends: 1:18:08

46. 2:11 - Montage - Banjo music plays and Peter and Ann square-dance with a group of people from the town. Back at her home, Marcia drinks her vodka, but washes down a pill she’s taken out of her medicine cabinet. Meanwhile, Peter and Ann continue to dance. Ends: 1:20:19


47. 2:35 - After their dance, Peter and Ann leave and decide to go for a drive. She knows of a great spot. Down by the lake, both stand watching the night view of the town... Ann reveals that her father proposed to her mother at that spot. Peter kisses her. They undress and have sex under the moonlight. Jerry Goldsmith’s composed score swells in the background. Ends: 1:22:54

48. 1:59 - Back at her mother’s house, Ann offers Peter a coffee. She’s about to go to the kitchen when she spots her mother passed out on the sofa. Ann runs over to Marcia to verify she’s alright... Peter offers to leave but Ann tells him it’s okay and to please stay; this has happened before. Later, alone together in the kitchen, Ann reveals that Marcia has been drinking heavily since Ann was a baby; probably because of her father’s death and not being able to get over it. Peter comforts her. Ends: 1:24:53

49. 1:56 - Dr. Samuel Goodman arrives at the airport and is met by Peter. They have a drink and discuss his case. Goodman is very excited, believing as he does that Peter’s story proves the existence of reincarnation. Goodman wants very much to document the whole case but Peter wants to wait a while. Peter reveals that the images - or hallucinations - have disappeared with the exception of the lake dream... that one keeps coming back. Goodman advises that sometimes the best thing is to reenact or play-out the fantasy and it often disappears. In his opinion, that’s why the other dreams have gone away. Ends: 1:26:49

50. 1:54 - Peter is dozing by the pool at the country club. Ann asks if he’ll come for a swim but he sleepily declines. Above him, Marcia sips her drink and watches Peter. While Ann is swimming, Peter begins to sweat in his sleep and mumble. Eventually, Peter’s voice changes to that of Jeff and Peter’s tortured body is used to reenact the attack on Jeff that night out on the water of Crystal Lake. Marcia is distraught at hearing Peter/Jeff’s mumblings. Ann runs to Peter and tries to wake him... eventually he does and reassures Ann that he’s okay. But Peter does turn and look back at Marcia... who promptly drops her drink and flees the country club. Ends: 1:28:43

51. 2:55 - Back at the house, Ann runs up to Marcia’s room but her mother who won’t let her in; Ann leaves. Marcia lies in a bath of hot water and we see her flashbacks of that night. Jeff is ripping off his & her clothing and is sexually assaulting Marcia in the lakeside cottage. V.O. of their argument can be heard - it appears that a philandering Jeff was bringing women back to the cottage and Marcia found out about it. Despite the violence of the flashbacks, Marcia in her bathtub is aroused enough to masturbate to the vintage memories. Ends: 1:31:38


52. 2:20 - Peter meets Sam Goodman in a bar; he specifies to Goodman that he wants the whole case to die as a secret between them both. Sam is upset but Peter reveals that he wants to marry Ann. Peter is going out to the lake and get rid of that last dream, once and for all. Ends: 1:33:58

53. 0:32 - Ann enters her mother’s bedroom but there’s no sign of her. Jeff’s photo portrait lies to one side, its glass shattered. Ends: 1:34:30

54. 2:25 - Peter is in his hotel room packing a towel and some items of clothing when there’s a knock at his door. It is Marcia and she walks into his room and asks point-blank ”Who are you?“... she asks how Peter could know what they said out in the lake and he grabs her and shouts ”because I was there!“. Marcia flees from the room in horror. Peter now makes moves to leave the room and his phone rings... he ignores it and leaves. Ann is on t the phone and leaves a message for Peter.
Ends: 1:36:55

55. 3:05 Montage - Marcia drives erratically through the night streets. Peter is at the lakeside and lets himself into the cottage. Marcia is speeding down a freeway, dodging in & out of traffic. Peter walks towards the lake in his swimming trunks and dives into the black water. Marcia sits at the wheel of her idle car and she relives the last meeting with Peter in his hotel room. She eventually looks up and finds herself at the cottage - and all the lights are turned on. More flashbacks relive her last humiliating encounter with her husband Jeff. Peter swims across the lake in the dead of night.... he’s bobbing in the water when he hears the faint sound of a boat’s engine come out of the darkness. Ends: 1:40:00

56. 2:35 - Marcia is at the back of a small boat motoring across the lake. She cuts the power and all is silent. Peter is in the water, but a few feet away... Marcia asks Peter why Jeff had to come back? Peter wants to talk to her but Marcia now has an automatic weapon in her hand. She calls Jeff a monster. Marcia wants to save their daughter Ann, afraid Jeff is going to do to her what he did to Marcia. She points the gun to herself and Peter swims hard towards the boat to try and stop her. As Peter climbs into her boat, in almost the same exact pose as Jeff on that fateful night, Marcia is distracted and turns the gun to him and pulls the trigger. There’s a loud report of gunfire and Peter falls back into the lake. He sinks to the bottom. Ends: 1:42:35


virtute71 said...

Holy cow, I have not seen this movie since 1978 in TV. Wow almost 30yrs later. Every time I think of Margot Kidder, besides the Superman series, this movie always came to mind. And the glass tapping where she said that her husband use to do that also, I'd always remember that scene.

Anonymous said...

good one