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Frequency

Frequency title card

Year - 2000
Studio - New Line Cinema
Stars - Dennis Quaid, James Caviezel, Shawn Doyle, Elizabeth Mitchell, Andre Braugher, Noah Emmerich
Director - Gregory Hobit
Writing Credits - Toby Emmerich (screenplay)
Music - Michael Kamen

Synopsis

In 1999, the skies over the east coast are lit up with the biggest Aurora Borealis display in many years. In his home, John Sullivan (Jim Caviezel) a police detective in Queens, New York, drags out an old shortwave radio that had been owned by his father, Frank (Dennis Quaid), a fireman who died thirty years ago fighting a blaze. John makes contact with another ham operator in New York, and they chat about the World Series in progress.

Soon it becomes obvious that the other voice is referring to the 1969 Series, as if it were in the present. As they talk further, John comes to the realization that he is talking with his father, who is sitting at the same desk and using the same radio, thirty years ago.

Frequency poster

John tries to warn Frank that tomorrow, in 1999, is the thirty year anniversary of his death in the Buxton fire. Frank can't accept that notion, but the following day finds his ladder company called to a huge fire at an old warehouse, with the name "Buxton" on the side. When he's told that a person is still in the building, he doesn't hesitate to go in. He finds the unconscious victim and attempts to exit, but the fire has him trapped. Remembering John's warning, he takes an exit route that is contrary to his first instinct and he survives the fire.

John is overjoyed at the news, but when he goes to work, he is shocked to discover that a long running serial murder case he is assigned, has involved ten female victims in thirty years, not three, as was the case the previous day. And he is horrified to learn that one of the victims is his mother, Julia (Elizabeth Mitchell). He contacts Frank again on the radio and explains that, when he didn't die in the fire, other events were set in motion that changed the future.

He provides Frank with information about a killing about to take place, so that he can go to that location and prevent it. Frank successfully discourages the killer by remaining with his intended victim in a bar. He attempts the same strategy with the next victim, but the killer, Jack Shepard (Shawn Doyle), knocks him out and steals his driver's license, leaving the wallet benind. When Frank revives, he finds the murdered victim and leaves..

John tells his father to put his wallet in a plastic bag and hide it where it won't be found for thirty years. With the fingerprints on that wallet, John is able to identify the killer as Jack Shepard (Shawn Doyle), a retired policeman. Although that evidence certainly isn't legally admissible, he goes to Shepard and warns him that the case is closing around him.

When the police find Franks's ID and fingerprints in the murder victim's apartment, he is arrested by Satch DeLeon (Andre Braugher) a police officer, his friend for many years. Satch refuses to believe his fantastic story and Frank, to offer proof, tells him exactly what is about to happen in the World Series game being played on the police station TV. But, with Frank left alone in a holding room, Jack Shepard uses his old police credentials to talk his way into the room with intentions of killing him. Frank foils the attempt and manages to escape, to go to Shepard's apartment to find the evidence he needs. Shepard arrives, but so does Satch and other policeman who now believe Frank's accusation about Shepard.

Shepard escapes and is apparently drowned in the pursuit. Frank reports the news to John on the radio, but John still doesn't have the sense that his mother's death was prevented. Shepard breaks in to Frank's house, intending to kill Julia. Simultaneously, the older version of Shepard arrives to kill John. Fierce fighting ensues at the two time-separated venues, and ends when Frank, now physically together in the same room with John, shoots Shepard dead. The Sullivan family is reunited in time, father, mother and son.

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