The Two Worlds of Jennie Logan
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|The Two Worlds Of Jennie Logan|
|Directed by||Frank De Felitta|
|Produced by||Charles W. Fries
Paul B. Radin
|Written by||David L. Williams|
|Music by||Glenn Paxton|
|Edited by||John F. Schreyer|
|October 31, 1979|
The Two Worlds of Jennie Logan is a 1979 American television movie which is an adaptation of David L. Williams' novel Second Sight. The film stars Lindsay Wagner in the title role. It also stars Marc Singer, Linda Gray, Alan Feinstein and Henry Wilcoxon. Directed by Frank deFelitta, who also adapted Williams's novel into this screenplay.
A woman finds an antique dress in her attic, and after putting it on, finds herself flashing back 80 years in the past, where she falls in love with a grieving painter. Soon she finds herself bouncing back and forth between the two realities, and becomes obsessed with solving an 80-year-old murder.
Michael Logan (Alan Feinstein) and his wife Jennie (Lindsay Wagner) are trying to salvage their marriage after Jennie finds out about Michael's infidelity. They move into an old Victorian house in rural New England. In the attic, Jennie, who is herself a Victorian at heart, finds an authentic Victorian white dress under a protective cover, thick with dust. The dress is intact save for one small tear in the fabric at the shoulder.
After having the dress repaired, Jennie decides to wear it and admires herself in the mirror in the attic. She begins experiencing excruciating headaches and the room starts swirling around her. When the headache ceases, she finds herself still up in the attic, in the dress, yet the attic is now an artist's studio, complete with Victorian artifacts. Upon hearing muffled sounds from below, she hears a woman scream, as a man's voice downstairs is yelling, "Pamela." Terrified, Jennie shuts her eyes and finds herself back in the spot she was, in the present.
At first she assumes she is either dreaming or hallucinating, yet Jennie experiences further similar episodes. She is initially terrified of finding herself in an unfamiliar situation and hysterical once she is pulled back into the present. After experiencing this a couple of times, she decides to explore the history of her new house in more detail. She goes to the local historical museum where an elderly curator named Mrs Bates (Irene Tedrow) explains to her that the house belonged to artist David Reynolds in the year 1899. She explains how David reports that he saw the ghost of his dead wife several times and called out to her, but she disappeared each time. Reynolds died under mysterious circumstances on the night of the turn of the century. Legend has it that either he was murdered during a duel or that it was the woman he loved who killed him. However, no-one knows for certain. Also on the wall of the museum is a portrait painting which the old woman mistakes for Reynold's dead wife Pamela. Mrs Bates remarks how much of a striking resemblance the portrait bears to Jennie.
Intrigued by this, Jennie keeps going back and forth between the two worlds by wearing the antique dress to meet David, who is grieving for his dead bride Pamela. When David first sees her again, he mistakes her for Pamela but quickly realises that it isn't her after Jennie introduces herself. Jennie realizes that what David mistook for his wife's ghostly appearances were really Jennie appearing in and out of time.
When Jennie confides in her husband Michael, he doesn't believe her when she reveals to him about her time travels, and thinks that she is going crazy. He urges her to go a psychiatrist named Dr Erica Lauren (Joan Darling).
Mrs Bates takes Jennie to see "Aunt Betty", an extremely old woman on her death bed who is senile but was alive at the time of David Reynolds' murder. However, she is unable to shed any light on the situation.
Jennie and David fall in love in 1899, but David's sister-in-law Elizabeth Harrington (Linda Gray) is also in love with him. However, her father (Henry Wilcoxon) disapproves of David and blames him for Pamela's accidental death.
During their time together, David reveals to Jennie that he is working on a portrait. It is the same one that Jennie saw in the museum in the present which she assumed to be David's late wife Pamela. The painting is in fact a portrait of Jennie, which explains why it resembles her so closely.
Pamela's father later challenges David to a duel on the night of the turn of the century - the night that David died.
In the present, Jennie tries to find out how she can prevent David's death and save his life. Michael still doesn't believe Jennie. He gives her a locket which she promises she will always wear. Mrs Bates later calls Jennie and says that "Aunt Betty" is dying and wants to make a death bed confession. "Aunt Betty" reveals that she is really Elizabeth Harrington and that she is actually responsible for David's murder. During the duel, Elizabeth was hiding with a gun which she used to shoot David.
Jennie rushes to save David in the past, but she is confronted by Michael who suspects her of inventing the entire delusion and that she is really having an affair. He tries to prevent her from going up to the attic, in the process ripping the shoulder of Jennie's dress and bringing it back to the state in which it was originally found. He chases her up the stairs but she manages to block his path by locking the door, which he tries to break down. In the meantime, Jennie has already escaped from the present world to the past world to stop the duel and try to save David's life. Jennie spots Elizabeth but appears to be shot when she tries to prevent the murder.
In the present, Michael manages to break into the attic but he is too late. He discovers the lifeless body of Jennie lying on the bed. He grieves her death and she is later buried.
Later, as Michael is cleaning out the attic, and preparing to move, the movers stumble onto several paintings. He goes through them, only to find out that they are of his wife, from the time she had left to be in the past and showing the life she led there: her portrait from the wedding to David, to a trip to Paris and to her growing old. While looking at these pictures, he notices that she is wearing the locket he gave her. He remembers everything Jenny had said, and begins to cry, finally realizing that his wife was right the entire time.
Differences from the novel
In the novel, Jennie merely finds a drawing of the dress and has a replica made, whereas in the film she finds an actual dress.