The movie opens with college student Richard Collier gathering rave reviews for his debut play. At the party, he comes face to face with an old woman who presses something in his hand and whispers "Come back to me." He opens his hand to find an old pocket watch. Eight years later, Collier is a successful playwright in the middle of a break-up and writer's block. He leaves Chicago for awhile to think things out and finds himself near his alma mater at the Grand Hotel. While wandering around the hotel, he finds a photograph of a beautiful young woman. Richard is entranced, and attempts to find out whatever he can about her. During the course of his research, he learns she was Elise McKenna, a famous actress from the turn of the century. He also discovers she was the mysterious old woman who gave him the pocket watch. Finally determining that he must meet her somehow, he employs self-hypnosis and wills himself back to 1912. He meets Elise and they fall in love, which does not make her manager, William Fawcett Robinson, rather happy. Will their love survive Robinson's disapproval? Will Richard be able to remain in 1912?