Home > 1950 - 1959 > I'll Never Forget You / House in the Square

I'll Never Forget You / House in the Square

I'll Never Forget You title card

Year - 1951
Studio - Twentieth Century Fox
Stars - Tyrone Power, Ann Blyth, Michael Rennie, Dennis Price, Beatrice Campbell
Director - Roy Ward Baker
Writing Credits - John L. Balderston (play), Ranald MacDougall
Music - William Alwyn

Synopsis

Peter Standish (Tyrone Power) is an American nuclear physicist living in London. He lives in a magnificent old house in Berkeley Square, that hasn't changed in the 200 years it has been in his family.

A visiting co-worker, Roger Forsyth (Michael Rennie), comments that a large portrait of a Standish ancestor looks exactly like Peter. Peter starts to respond that he did pose for the painting, but checks himself. He explains to Roger his theories on the possibility of time travel. After bidding his visitor goodbye, Peter is struck by a bolt of lightning in his doorway. When he revives, he is in 1784 London, attired in the fashion of that time.

He is recognized by his ancestors, the Pettigrews, living in the home, as a cousin who has arrived from America and is there to be wed to Kate Pettigrew (Beatrice Campbell). However, she senses something about him that disturbs her, and her brother Tom treats the visitor condescendingly as an uncultured American.

House in the Square poster

When Kate's younger sister, Helen (Ann Blyth) arrives, Peter is much more attracted to her, to the annoyance of her suitor, Mr. Throstle (Raymond Huntley).

Peter is repelled by the poverty, child labor, and treatment of the mentally ill that he sees in 18th Century England. He decides to use his scientific knowledge to create technologies (electric lighting, photography, steam powered ships) that otherwise won't be invented for years. He shows Helen his laboratory and confesses to her his true origin. She is incredulous, but nevertheless is fascinated by this curious man who has come into her life.

The rest of the Pettigrew family, however, think there is something unholy about Peter, who occasionally makes careless statements about events that have not yet occurred.

Mr. Throstle learns of Peter's laboratory, and alerts the police, who destroy it as being the work of the Devil. He and Kate file an official complaint to have Peter sent for life to the Bedlam institute for the mentally insane.

When the police arrive at the house to arrest him, Peter and Helen vow their mutual love. She says that they "... belong together, not in her time, not in his time, but in God's time." Just before the police break into the room, she gives him an ancient Egyptian talisman, putting it into a secret compartment of a desk for him to find in the future.

As he is being escorted from the house, Peter is again struck by lightning, and returns to present day London. Roger Forsyth explains that he had been babbling incoherently for weeks. Peter rushes to the desk and locates the talisman given to him by Helen.

Then a young lady who looks exactly like Helen enters the house. Peter is stunned, but Roger explains that she is his sister, Martha, who has assisting him with Peter's care while he was sick.

Peter and Martha visit Helen Pettigrew's grave at a London church yard, where he learns that she died only months after his leaving.

Show Spoilers

I'll Never Forget You / House in the Square, with the exception of the scientific experiment elements in both the modern and period sequences, is a fairly faithful remake of Berkeley Square. Like A Matter of Life and Death / Stairway to Heaven, it was filmed with both color and monochrome scenes - the modern day framing section is in black & white, while the 18th Century part of the story is in Technicolor.