A 1939 test pilot asks his best friend to use him as a guinea pig for a cryogenics experiment. Daniel…
Release Year: 1992
Rating: 6.0/10 (20,028 voted)
Stars: Mel Gibson, Jamie Lee Curtis, Elijah Wood
A 1939 test pilot asks his best friend to use him as a guinea pig for a cryogenics experiment. Daniel McCormick wants to be frozen for a year so that he doesn't have to watch his love lying in a coma. The next thing Daniel knows is that he's been awoken in 1992.
Capt. Daniel McCormick
Jamie Lee Curtis
David Marshall Grant
Lt. Col. Wilcox USAF
Robert Hy Gorman
Michael A. Goorjian
(as Walt Goggins)
Time waits for no man but true love waits forever
Release Date: 16 December 1992
Filming Locations: Claremont, California, USA
Did You Know?
The phone number Daniel says is also seen on Jim Rockford's phone in the opening title sequence of
The Rockford Files
While Claire is bandaging Daniel's cut hand, her blouse is unbuttoned, buttoned, and unbuttoned several times.
[outside Alice's window, singing]
You are my sunshine, my only sunshine. You make me happy, when skies are gray. You'll never know dear, how much I love you. Please don't take my sunshine away.
Is this some kind of prank?
No, sir. No, sir this is very serious. My name is Nat Cooper and I'm in love with your daughter.
Nat… go home.
Love waits for no man, except Mel Gibson.
When Mel Gibson starred in Forever Young in 1992, it was probably an
attempt to break away from the wild man of Mad Max and Lethal Weapon.
He actually proves to be quite likable as a romantic lead, and makes
Forever Young a sweet, endearing romantic fable.
In 1939, Mel plays Captain Daniel McCormick, an Air Force test pilot.
No stranger to danger, he is willing to brave the latest experimental
aircraft, but he's unable to take the biggest risk of all, proposing to
his girlfriend, Helen.
Every time Daniel tries to work up the courage to pop the question, he
loses his bottle. So he decides to wait. Unfortunately, he waits too
long. Helen is run down in an accident, and slips into a coma. Daniel
can't live without her, and decides to volunteer for a risky
Daniel's best friend Harry Finley (George Wendt) is one of the first
scientists working on cryogenics. He has yet to test his theories on a
living, human subject. Daniel decides to go for it, where he will be
placed into a capsule and frozen for a year. If Helen ever wakes up,
Harry wakes up Daniel.
But of course, things don't go the way they're supposed to. When World
War II breaks out, the cryogenics experiment falls through the cracks.
Harry is killed, and as a result, Daniel is forgotten about. He stays
frozen in the capsule for over 50 years.
Daniel is eventually thawed out by two boys, Nat and Felix (Nat is
played by a young Elijah Wood). Daniel wakes to find the world has
become a very different place. Staying with Nat and his mother Claire
(the delightful Jamie Lee Curtis), Daniel tries to piece together the
last 50 years.
To enjoy Forever Young, you will probably have to suspend disbelief
quite a bit. The story itself is rather outrageous, but on a simple
level, it's fairly enjoyable. It has more than a few shades of Back to
the Future about it. In the same way Robert Zemeckis brought a Frank
Capra style of storytelling to BTTF, the director Steve Miner also
brings a gentle, benign touch to this story.
The greatest discovery of all is the fact that Mel Gibson manages to
make this film work. He makes for a very endearing character when he is
lost in the 1990's. His amazement at the new world is played in a very
understated fashion. His confusion and old-fashioned naiveté are subtly
incorporated into the story, e.g. discovering filtered cigarettes,
seat-belts, answering machines, etc.
What's nice about his performance is also the fact that Daniel was
brought up in different times. He has a completely different set of
values compared to the cynical attitudes of the present day. I like the
scene where Daniel saves Claire from an abusive ex-boyfriend, or when
he gets to sit in the cockpit of an old-fashioned test plane.
This type of story could have become very mawkish, but Steve Miner
manages to find just the right focus, and balances events just right.
Jamie Lee Curtis adds sterling support as always, and she gets a lot of
good scenes with Gibson.
Elijah Wood also puts in an excellent performance, showing incredible
maturity for his age. He acts as Daniel's guide while he is in the
90's, and proves invaluable in putting together what happened to
Daniel's past. He plays Nat as neither too precocious or too juvenile,
and went on to the fame that he deserved.
In some eyes, Forever Young has an improbably happy ending, where
Daniel is reunited with Helen. But I didn't mind this time round.
Probably because I was enjoying myself too much. I especially like the
scene where Daniel teaches Nat to fly in his tree-house. Watch the
camera angles, and you sometimes feel as if they really are flying a
Forever Young wouldn't win any awards for originality, but if they gave
out awards for heartwarming stories, Forever Young would definitely be
up for a nomination.