Taglines: Time waits for no man, but true love waits forever.
In 1939, Captain Daniel McCormick (Mel Gibson) is a United States Army Air Corps test pilot. After a successful run and subsequent crash landing in a prototype North American B-25 Mitchell bomber at Alexander Field in Northern California, McCormick is greeted by his longtime friend, Harry Finley (George Wendt) who’s a scientist. Finley confides that his latest experiment, “Project B”, has succeeded in doing the impossible.
The machine, built by Finley and his team of scientists, is a prototype chamber for cryonic freezing. When McCormick’s girlfriend, Helen (Isabel Glasser) goes into a coma from an accident and the doctors doubt she will ever recover, McCormick insists he be put in suspended animation for one year, starting November 26, 1939, so he will not have to watch Helen die.
Fifty-three years later, two boys are playing inside a military storage warehouse which is being emptied in preparation for its demolition. They discover the suspended animation chamber containing McCormick and are enticed by it. Believing it to be a miniature submarine, they proceed to play with its dials and controls and accidentally activate the restoration process.
The chamber opens and McCormick reflexively grabs one boy’s coat, causing them to flee in terror, leaving the coat clasped in McCormick’s hand. Shortly after, McCormick awakens to the realization that it is now 1992. After appropriating shorts and a shirt from a clothesline, he first approaches the military about his experiences.
When they dismiss him as crazed, McCormick becomes more determined to learn what happened to Finley, Helen, and the world that has seemingly evolved overnight around him. An address tag inside the jacket leads McCormick to the owner, 12-year old Nat Cooper (Elijah Wood), one of the two boys who opened the chamber. Though the boys are initially terrified, McCormick is able to calm Nat and his friend with the truth of his story.
While hiding in Nat’s tree house with a secret stash of junk food, he witnesses Nat’s single mother Claire (Jamie Lee Curtis) being assaulted by her abusive, alcoholic ex-boyfriend, and goes to her defense. After McCormick receives a gash in the fight, Claire, a nurse, fixes it up and a bond develops between the two. This bond is strengthened when she offers McCormick a place to stay, until he can discover what to do with his search. Nonetheless, McCormick’s time is running out, as his body starts to age rapidly because the suspended animation chamber process was not entirely successful.
When another “aging attack” practically cripples McCormick, Claire is told the amazing truth. Susan, Finley’s daughter, informs him that her father died many years earlier before she was born (the government later specifies it was a warehouse fire in the early ’40s, while trying to save the frozen McCormick from the chaos). Susan also gives McCormick her father’s journals, hoping he can use them to reverse his own condition.
However, according to the journals, the subject did not properly stop aging, but rather postponed it, thus explaining Daniel’s own rapid aging. Before leaving, Susan gives McCormick one further revelation: Helen is alive. The government is also after McCormick, but in the end, Claire hands over the crucial information on “Project B” and no one is arrested as the government investigates what went wrong.
Claire gave the government the journals that Harry wrote, to help them to fix their problem. Claire notices Nat is gone and he was last in the plane with Daniel. The Government will wait for Nat and Daniel to get back and escort them back home, so they can finish their research on Harry’s machine and research from the hospital on Daniel’s condition too.
Forever Young is a 1992 American science fiction-romantic drama film, directed by Steve Miner, starring Mel Gibson, Elijah Wood and Jamie Lee Curtis. The screenplay was written by J. J. Abrams from an original story, “The Rest of Daniel”. The original music score is composed by Jerry Goldsmith. The film is marketed with the tagline “Time waits for no man, but true love waits forever.”
Forever Young (1992)
Directed by: Steve Miner
Starring: Mel Gibson, Jamie Lee Curtis, Elijah Wood, Isabel Glasser, George Wendt, Nicolas Surovy, David Marshall Grant, Veronica Lauren, Joe Morton, Millie Slavin
Screenplay by: J. J. Abrams
Production Design by: Gregg Fonseca
Cinematography by: Russell Boyd
Film Editing by: Jon Poll
Costume Design by: Aggie Guerard Rodgers
Set Decoration by: Jay Hart, Jan Pascale
Art Direction by: Bruce Alan Miller
Music by: Jerry Goldsmith
MPAA Rating: PG for some language and domestic conflict.
Distributed by: Warner Bros. Pictures
Release Date: December 11, 1992