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The Reincarnation of Peter Proud is a 1975 American horror mystery film directed by J. Lee Thompson. The film was released on April 25, 1975 by American International Pictures.

The Reincarnation of Peter Proud
Reincarnation Of Peter Proud.jpg
Theatrical release poster.
Directed byJ. Lee Thompson
Produced byCharles A. Pratt
Frank P. Rosenberg
Written byMax Ehrlich
StarringMichael Sarrazin
Margot Kidder
Jennifer O'Neill
Paul Hecht
Cornelia Sharpe
Music byJerry Goldsmith
CinematographyVictor J. Kemper
Distributed byAmerican International Pictures
Release date
  • April 25, 1975 (1975-04-25) (U.S.)
  • October 29, 1975 (1975-10-29) (Sweden)
  • December 8, 1975 (1975-12-08) (Denmark)
Running time
105 mins
CountryUnited States
Box office$5 million (North American film rentals)[1]

Peter Proud is based upon a 1973 novel of the same name by Max Ehrlich, who wrote the screenplay. The film stars Michael Sarrazin in the title role, along with Margot Kidder, Jennifer O'Neill and Cornelia Sharpe.


A professor at a college in California, Dr. Peter Proud (Michael Sarrazin), begins to have recurring dreams. In one nightmare, Proud appears to see a man murdered by a woman in a rowboat while he is swimming naked. The murdered man repeatedly cries, "Marcia, don't!"

Margot Kidder in The Reincarnation of Peter Proud

Proud is haunted by his dreams and seeks medical treatment. He attends a "sleep lab" to try to decipher his dreams. However, the residing doctor, Sam Goodman (Paul Hecht), informs him that his dreams do not register as being dreams; in fact, they do not register at all. One evening while watching television, several of his "visions" play out before him on a local documentary entitled "The Changing Face of America". He sees the arch and the church that have been dominating his dreams, and calls the television station to discover the location. Upon learning that the location of his "visions" is in Massachusetts, Proud and his girlfriend Nora (Cornelia Sharpe) travel there. In Massachusetts, the couple drive from town to town, but are unsuccessful until they arrive in Springfield. It is here that Proud begins to see familiar sights from his visions, such as the bridge, the church, the Puritan statue, and others. Nora decides to return to California, tired of Peter's relentless searching. He brings Nora to the airport, and once she leaves, he continues alone. Eventually, Peter locates Marcia (Margot Kidder), the mystery woman from his nightmares, and befriends her daughter Ann (Jennifer O'Neill) at a local country club where Marcia's husband Jeff (Tony Stephano) was once a tennis pro.

Marcia is suspicious of Peter and curious about his motives, and how he knows so much about her life. Ann and Peter eventually fall in love, to Marcia's disapproval. Marcia increasingly drinks and takes medications from the stress of seeing Ann and Peter together. One day she is made aware that Peter Proud is a reincarnation of her deceased husband when she overhears him at the country club speaking in her husband's voice while he's asleep on a beach chair, repeating what he had said on the night of his murder. Peter discovers by re-enacting his visions, they would go away, one by one. The lake vision was his last to be conquered. The film ends as Peter Proud is drawn to the lake where the original crime was committed years ago. Marsha approaches him on the same boat she used years ago. They argue about Ann, and Peter soon suffers the same fate he did in his previous life.


Critical receptionEdit

The Reincarnation of Peter Proud received a mixed response from critics upon its release. Steven H. Scheuer labelled the film as a "clunky yarn".[2] Mick Martin and Marsha Porter awarded the film their "turkey" rating and criticized it for its "turgid direction" and "contrived plot".[3] Leslie Halliwell also panned the film as a "hysterical psychic melodrama which pretty well ruins its own chances by failing to explain its plot".[4]

Some critics were more generous. Leonard Maltin said that the film was "moderately gripping".[5] A.H. Weiler, like Halliwell, was unconvinced by the film's plot, but lauded it for its "polished [filmic] treatment" and Thompson's "properly moody [directorial] style".[6]


On November 9, 2009, it was announced that Andrew Kevin Walker and David Fincher (the writer and director, respectively, of Seven) would work on the remake,[7] with Paramount Pictures and Columbia Pictures financing the project. Filming and theatrical release of the remake were originally planned for 2016, but as of 2018, the project is still listed as "in development".[8]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "In winner's circle". Variety. Retrieved August 16, 2019.
  2. ^ Scheuer, Steven H. (1990). Movies on TV and Videocassette, 1991-1992. Bantam Books. p. 869.
  3. ^ Martin, Max; Porter, Marsha (1996). Video Movie Guide 1997. Ballantine Books. p. 887.
  4. ^ Halliwell, Leslie (2000). Halliwell's Film & Video Guide 2001. HarperCollins.
  5. ^ Maltin, Leonard (1991). Leonard Maltin's Movie and Video Guide 1992. New American Library. p. 1000.
  6. ^ Weiler, A.H. (April 26, 1975). "Screen: 'Peter Proud'". The New York Times. Retrieved August 16, 2019.
  7. ^ Miska, Brad (November 9, 2009). "Fincher 'Reincarnates' Relationship With 'Seven ' Writer". Bloody Disgusting. Retrieved August 16, 2019.
  8. ^ "The Reincarnation of Peter Proud". IMDb. Retrieved August 16, 2019.

External linksEdit