Home > 1980 - 1989 > Always
Year - 1989
Studio - Universal
Stars - Richard Dreyfuss, Holly Hunter, John Goodman, Brad Johnson, Audrey Hepburn
Director - Steven Spielberg
Writing Credits - Jerry Belson (screenplay)
Music - John Williams
Pete Sandich (Richard Dreyfuss), a forest fire fighting air pilot is in love with his flight controller, Dorinda Durstan (Holly Hunter). She, a flyer herself, worries that, because of his daredevil flying style, his "number is up" and wants him to become a flight instructor at a school instead.
While fighting a blaze, Pete's buddy, Al Yackey's (John Goodman) plane engine catches fire, and Pete heroically extinguishes it with his load of flame retardant. But in doing so, his own plane explodes, killing him. He finds himself in a garden clearing, having his hair cut by "Hap" (Audrey Hepburn), attired in white, who explains that his eternal role is to now act as a guardian angel for other flyers.
Six months later, Al Yackey has taken the job as head of the flight training school, and Dorinda is persuaded to join him there. Pete, invisible to all, watches helplessly as Dorinda attempts to overcome her grief. His mentoring project is an unconfident young trainee, Ted Baker (Brad Johnson), who he "coaches", by influencing his thoughts, to become the best pilot at the school. Ted develops a romantic interest in Dorinda, much to Pete's dismay.
When a group of ground firefighters are trapped by an enormous fire, Ted plans to provide them with needed air support himself. Dorinda, however, takes his plane, with Pete in the back seat, and flies into the inferno, successfully dumping her load and saving the stranded fighters. However, on the return flight, her oil pressure gives out, and she guides the plane into the lake. Under water, she sees Pete's ghost and follows him to the surface. She walks back to the base camp, and then runs to the waiting arms of Ted.
Always is a remake of 1943's World War II-themed A Guy Named Joe, retaining most of the character names and much of the plot and dialogue. In Always, Heaven is represented by an ethereal Audrey Hepburn, instead of uniformed American servicemen above the clouds.