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I've Lived Before

I've Lived Before title card

Year - 1956
Studio - Universal - International
Stars - Jock Mahoney, Leigh Snowden, Ann Harding, John McIntire, Jerry Paris, Raymond Bailey
Director - Richard Bartlett
Writing Credits - Norman Jolley, William Talman
Music - Herman Stein

Synopsis

At a 1931 air show, twelve year old Johnny Bolan (Brad Morrow) gets into a World War I era fighter plane and, to the horror of his parents and the spectators, takes off into the sky. When he safely lands, he cannot explain how he knew how to fly the vintage plane.

As an adult, John Bolan (Jock Mahoney) is a Captain pilot for a commercial airline. On a routine flight to New York City, he sees a female passenger in the cabin who seems eerily familiar to him. He speaks to her, but she has no recognition of him. Back in the cockpit, John and his copilot Russell Smith (Jerry Paris) prepare for landing. Abruptly, something in John snaps, and he takes the plane into a steep dive, to the shock of the passengers and the control tower. The copilot tries, unsuccessfully, to wrestle the yoke from him, and then knocks him out in time to take the controls and land the plane.

I've Lived Before poster

John is taken to a New York hospital for examination. Investigators from the airline arrive to take his statement and, at first, he refuses to provide one. But then he explains that, in that moment, he believed he was Lt. Peter Stevens in the year 1918, and that he was being fired upon by German fighter planes. The hospital assigns psychiatrist Dr. Thomas Bryant (John McIntire) to his case but John, without permission, leaves the hospital and goes to the apartment of his fiance, Lois Gordon (Leigh Snowden). She is sympathetic to his story, but skeptical about the idea of reincarnation. John remembers the familiar passenger on the plane, and believes that she is somehow related to his situation. He gets her name, Mrs. Jane Stone, and address from the passenger manifest, and travels to meet her.

At her home, Mrs. Stone (Ann Harding) listens patiently to John's story. But when he reveals the name, Peter Stevens, she icily asks him to leave. He begs her for more information, and she explains that she was engaged to Lt. Stevens before he was killed in France in a World War I fighter crash.

John returns to the hospital, hoping to convince Dr. Bryant of the truth of his story, and Lois travels to see Mrs. Stone, and talks her in to returning to New York with her. She actually hopes that Mrs. Stone will be able to confront John with questions that only Peter Stevens would know the answers.

In Dr. Bryant's office, the psychiatrist tries to offer psychological explanations for John's experience. And, at first, John is unable to provide answers to Mrs. Stone's questions. But when she asks him to describe the scene when Peter asked her to marry him, he does so in vivid detail. She places an object in Dr. Bryant's hands, out of John's sight, and asks what Peter gave her at that time. He describes that gold brooch, including the personal inscription inside. Jane Stone leaves the office convinced, like the others, that John Bolan's reincarnation experience is genuine.

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