When a psychiatrist (Yves Montand) begins talking to a young woman (Barbra Streisand), he realizes that she can recall a past life while under hypnosis. Although this brash New Yorker is thoroughly modern and somewhat abrasive, he becomes fascinated by the 19th-century English woman who speaks through her. This oddball musical flicks back and forth between period flashbacks and modern times, which may be one reason it never builds up much power in either realm. On a Clear Day You Can See Forever failed at the box office in 1970, one of a number of glossy musicals that could not find an audience in the post-Easy Rider movie world. In fact, one of the film's out-of-place costars is Jack Nicholson, a symbol of the new movies that were making old-fashioned musicals a thing of the past. It didn't help that Paramount severely cut On a Clear Day before releasing it. For all that, the picture is enjoyable and--at the end--really quite touching. Director Vincente Minnelli (Meet Me in St. Louis), then near the close of a fabulous career, maintains his usual careful eye for color and design, and keeps Streisand relatively restrained--for Streisand, that is. --Robert Horton
- G (General Audience)
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