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Forever Young

Forever Young title card

Year - 1992
Studio - Warner Bros.
Stars - Mel Gibson, Elijah Wood, Isabel Glasser, George Wendt, Jamie Lee Curtis
Director - Steve Miner
Writing Credits - Jeffrey Abrams
Music - Jerry Goldsmith

Synopsis

Capt. Daniel McCormick (Mel Gibson) is an Air Force test pilot in 1939, in love with Helen (Isabel Glasser), but is unable to work up the nerve to propose to her. His best friend is a scientist, Harry Finley (George Wendt), who has just conducted a successful cryogenics test on a chicken.

After lunch with Daniel, Helen leaves the diner and is struck by a truck. In the hospital, she lies in a coma, and the doctors advise that she will likely never reawaken. Daniel is devestated, unable to concentrate on anything else. In desperation, she asks Harry to use him as his first human cryogenics subject, and Harry reluctantly consents, telling Daniel he will be frozen for one year,

In 1992, two young boys, Nat (Elijah Wood) and Felix (Robert Hy Gorman) are exploring a massive military warehouse, and they find a strange, large container they take to be a small submarine. They begin playing on it, turning various dials and valves, when a puff of steam emerges and the lid slams open. They open the zipper on a canvas bag inside and find a frozen body. They assume it is dead, but the man's hand grabs Nat's jacket and holds on tight. Tearing away from the jacket, Nat and Felix run away in terror.

Struggling to move after being in the frozen state for 53 years, Daniel takes a shirt and pair of shorts from a clothes line, and finds his way to the Air Base headquarters. He attempts to explain his situation but, seeing that the officer thinks he's crazy, hobbles away. He finds his way to young Nat's home, as a name label was sewn into his jacket. The boys are first horrified that the "dead man" has found them, but he wins their loyalty, and Nat gives him clothing and puts him up in his tree house.

Forever Young poster

The next day, the boys try to help Daniel research his old friend, Harry Finley, at the local library. A young library assistant is charmed by Daniel and agrees to expedite a search of old military records.

From the tree house, Daniel observes Nat's divorced mother, Claire Cooper (Jamie Lee Curtis) being assaulted by a drunken old boyfriend, and he runs and drives off the intruder. Claire thanks him profusely, and offers to let him stay in their house until he finds what he's looking for. Nat is happy and relieved having become very attached to Daniel. In the tree house, they assemble mock airplane controls, and Danny teaches Nat how to fly a plane.

But, Daniel suffers a severe seizure and is rushed to the hospital, where Claire works as nurse. John (Nicholas Surovy) a physician friend of Claire's, is baffled by Daniel's symptoms - he appears to be aging rapidly.

In the meantime, the military authorities have followed up on Daniel's initial contact at the base and have discovered the truth about him from old military records. Their scientists are anxious to locate him, and they track him down to the hospital. But, Claire gets a call from the librarian, that a possible relative of Harry Finley has been found. Ditching the arriving military officials, Daniel, Claire and Nat escape the hospital and go the address provided. It is the home of Harry Finley's daughter, Susan (Millie Flavin), who informs them that Harry is dead. She gives them all of Harry's old scientific books and papers and, and Daniel finds a photo of Helen and a little girl. Susan explains the little girl is her, but Daniel argues, "That's impossible. She died before you were born." Susan responds, "Daniel, Helen is still alive!"

With Daniel now aging rapidly, Claire drives frantically to get to Helen's home, at a seaside location near a lighthouse. Daniel realizes that the car isn't fast enough, and insists that he needs a plane. Claire races to the air base, where an exhibition of old fighter planes is in progress, the military again in pursuit of them. Daniel commandeers one of the vintage planes and flies off before the authorities can stop him. As he pilots his way to Helen, he discovers that Nat has stowed away on the plane. Nat takes the co-pilot seat and, as Nat continues to undergo rapid aging, helps him land the craft at their destination.

Daniel knocks on the door to Claire's house but there is no response. But he senses her presence and turns to see her standing in the garden, staring at him and the huge aircraft on her lawn. She exclaims, "Danny" and, both now in their 70s, they embrace. Daniel makes his long delayed marriage proposal and Helen nods in agreement.

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