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Tyrone Power stars as Peter Standish, a scientist who lives in an old house in London that he came to own by way of family inheritance. He confesses to friend and co-worker, Roger Forsyth (played by Michael Rennie), that he had found a late 1700's diary from an earlier Peter Standish, who had come to England from America. Peter has romanticized in his mind what 18th century England would have been like. He believes it to have been full of romance, grace, and charm, and he is obsessed with the idea of seeing it for himself. He tells Roger that somehow he is destined to exchange places with his ancestor. Roger is worried for his friend, thinking that he is on the brink of a nervous breakdown. He encourages him to take a long rest.
Later, during a thunderstorm, Peter is trying to return to his house. As he tries to enter the house, he is struck by a lightning bolt. To his surprise, he finds himself back in time, in the 1700's. His 18th century fiancee, Kate (played by Beatrice Campbell) greets him as he opens the door.
Tyrone Power and Michael Rennie
Because of his thorough reading of the earlier Standish diary and papers, he knows his ancestors, but, more than that, he also knows the future. The family and friends become very alarmed as the story contiues to unfold. His ideas from the 20th century only serve to frighten them.
There was one person whose appearance came as a total surprise to Peter. Kate's beautiful sister, Helen, for some reason, was never mentioned in the diary, so Peter was not prepared when he was introduced to her. Soon, Helen and Peter fall in love, much to the chagrin of Helen's mother and brother.
Peter's romanticized notions about the 17th century is shattered when he sees the filthy living conditions and cruelty common in the streets and coffee houses.
Tyrone Power and Ann Blyth
Horrified at the living conditions, he is determined to help bring some 20th century inventions to the 18th century to improve life. He sets up a workshop to work on the inventions. Eventually, Kate, who has become very jealous of his relationship with her sister, discovers his workplace and tries to have him committed, using his knowledge of the future against him. Only Helen, who is totally in love with him, stands by him.
As Peter realizes that he must return to the his own time, he and Helen share a romantic parting. She tells him that they will be together, but that "we can't be together in my time, nor yours, but in God's time."
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