The Reincarnation of Peter Proud {1975)


The movie The Reincarnation of Peter Proud (1975) is an American psychological horror film directed by J. Lee Thompson, and starring Michael Sarrazin, Margot Kidder, and Jennifer O’Neill. The film follows a university professor who, after experiencing a series of bizarre nightmares, comes to believe he is the reincarnation of someone else. It is based on the 1973 novel of the same title by Max Ehrlich, who adapted the screenplay [1].

Peter Proud, a college professor in Los Angeles, begins having recurring dreams he cannot explain. In one particular nightmare, Peter witnesses the murder of a young man by his girlfriend, Marcia, while he swims naked in a lake near a hotel. As he screams his final words, “Marcia, don’t!,” she bludgeons him with an oar, and he drowns. In subsequent dreams, Peter witnesses brief vignettes from the man’s life, including romances with two different women, and has visions of houses and landmarks that are unknown to him [1].

Peter is haunted by his dreams and seeks medical treatment1. He attends a sleep laboratory to try to decipher his dreams1. However, the resident doctor, Sam Goodman, 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 Peter’s visions play out before him on a local documentary film titled The Changing Face of America. He sees an arch and church in the documentary that have figured prominently in 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 travel there [1].

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 a bridge, a church, the Puritan statue, and others. Nora decides to return to California, tired of Peter’s relentless searching, which she dismisses as delusion. After Nora leaves, Peter continues his journey. Eventually, Peter locates Marcia, the mystery woman from his nightmares, now a middle-aged alcoholic. Peter subsequently befriends Marcia’s daughter Ann at a local country club where Marcia’s husband Jeff was once a tennis pro; Ann has recently returned home to care for her emotionally unstable mother. Through his research, Peter uncovers that Jeff was found drowned in Crystal Lake in 1946 under mysterious circumstances [1].

The movie The Reincarnation of Peter Proud (1975) is a mysterious film with an original and intriguing story of reincarnation. The first point that impresses is the cast, with Michael Sarrazin, Margot Kidder, Jennifer O’Neill, and Cornelia Sharpe. The plot is creepy but the film deserved a better conclusion [1].


  • Michael Sarrazin as Dr. Peter Proud
  • Jennifer O’Neill as Ann Curtis
  • Margot Kidder as Marcia Curtis
  • Cornelia Sharpe as Nora Hayes
  • Paul Hecht as Dr. Sam Goodman
  • Stuart Thomas as Jeff Curtis
  • Norman Burton as Dr. Frederick Spear
  • Anne Ives as Ellen Curtis2
  • Debralee Scott as Suzy


Margot Kidder is about six months younger than Jennifer O’Neill in real life, yet she played Miss O’Neill’s character’s mother in this film [1].


According to a review on Against the 70s, “Reincarnation is pretty boring, so I was surprised to find The Reincarnation of Peter Proud, a water stained, remaindered pulp novel of a movie, completely engrossing. It does a bunch of smart things to avoid the obvious pitfalls2, the first of which is to make it a mystery.” [2]

Trailers from Hell mentions, “1975’s The Reincarnation of Peter Proud simply wants to tell a good story, which is a relief. It looks beautiful and is graced with an impressive Jerry Goldsmith soundtrack, and a lot of the acting is good. ” [4]


[1] Wikipedia

[2] Against the 70s

[3] Anthony Balducci’s Journal

[4] Trailers from Hell


Last updated byCody Meirick on November 12, 2023