Tuck Everlasting (2002 film)

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Tuck Everlasting
Tuck Everlasting (2002 film) poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Jay Russell
Produced by Marc Abraham
Jane Startz
Thomas Bliss
Screenplay by Jeffrey Lieber
James V. Hart
Based on Tuck Everlasting by
Natalie Babbitt
Starring Alexis Bledel
Ben Kingsley
Sissy Spacek
Amy Irving
Victor Garber
Jonathan Jackson
Scott Bairstow
William Hurt
Narrated by Elisabeth Shue
Music by William Ross
Cinematography James L. Carter
Edited by Jay Cassidy
Distributed by Buena Vista Pictures
Release date
  • October 11, 2002 (2002-10-11) (U.S.)
Running time
96 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $15 million[1]
Box office $19,344,615[2]

Tuck Everlasting is a 2002 fantasy family romantic drama film based on the children's book of the same title by Natalie Babbitt published in 1975. The Walt Disney Pictures release was directed by Jay Russell.


15-year-old Winnie (Winifred) Foster is from an upper-class family in the town of Treegap, Maryland and wants to make her own choices in life. After being told that she is going to a boarding school, she runs off into the forest where she meets Jesse Tuck drinking from a spring at the foot of a great tree. She is kidnapped by his older brother Miles and brought back to the Tucks' home where they tell her they will return her as soon as they can trust her.

She becomes enamored of their slow and simple way of life and falls in love with Jesse. She learns that the Tucks cannot age or be injured due to drinking water from a magic spring around a hundred years ago and that they kidnapped her to hide the secret. They tell her that living forever is more painful than it sounds and believe that giving away the secret of the spring will lead to everyone wanting to drink from it.

A man in a yellow suit befriends the Fosters while Winnie is gone. He spies on the Tucks and he desires the spring to sell the water. He makes a deal to save Winnie and get the forest. He goes to the Tucks and orders them to reveal where the spring is; when they deny any knowledge about the spring he threatens Winnie with a pistol. He calls their bluff by shooting Jesse and exposing his youth; but in return Jesse's mother, Mae, kills him with the rear end of a rifle. The constable arrests Mae and Angus. Mae is sentenced to be hanged murdering the man.

After being returned home, Winnie is woken by Jesse who begs her to help him free his parents. The family fears that if Mae will be hanged the next day, she won't die and their immortality will be exposed to the public. Winnie helps Jesse and Miles to break the Tucks out of jail and say goodbye to them. Jesse, who has fallen in love with Winnie, asks her to join them, but Angus warns her that it is dangerous to go with them as they will be hunted. Jesse tells Winnie to drink from the spring so she could live forever and never age, then he will come back for her when everything is safe. He leaves promising to love her until the day he dies. After the Tucks depart, Winnie chooses not to drink the water. She would rather die after living a full life, than be immortal and stuck watching life pass her by.

85 years later, Jesse returns to a much changed Treegap that has modernized with a McDonald's and a Starbucks now located near the town square. He goes into the woods and at the base of the great tree he finds Winnie's headstone marking the site of where the spring once stood. The stone reads that Winnie became a wife and mother before passing away at 100 years of age. Jesse sits at her grave, smiling through his tears and remembering her.


Differences between the movie and the book[edit]

In the book In the movie
Winnie is 10. She is 15.
The story starts in the first week of August. The story starts the first week of summer.
Winnie runs away because she's tired of being cooped up. She runs away because she's going to be sent to a boarding school.
The Tucks' house is deep in the woods and a faded red. It is a brown log cabin.
Miles fights in several wars so he can die and reunite with his family in Heaven. Miles only mentions fighting in the Mexican–American War ("Vera Cruz") and American Civil War ("Gettysburg").[3]
Mae, Jesse, and Miles "kidnap" Winnie when they fear that their secret will get out. They take her to their cabin north of Treegap Only Miles kidnaps Winnie. Jesse actually objects.
Winnie is brought home to her family by the constable. Winnie's father joins a rescuing group led by the constable.
Mae is sent to jail to be hanged. Mae and Angus are imprisoned, and Mae is sentenced to be hanged.
To save Mae, the Tucks remove the bars of a window of the jail, and Winnie switches places with her. Winnie tells the prison guard that the people who kidnapped her are back to get her. He runs outside with a shotgun to face them. He shoots them, but runs away when he sees they can't die. Meanwhile, Winnie grabs his keys and unlocks Mae and Angus' cell.
Jesse gives Winnie a bottle filled with water from the spring and tells her to drink it when she turns 17. Jesse implores Winnie to visit and drink from the spring and await his return when it's safe, she contemplates her choice, but decides against drinking from the spring.
The Tucks run off in a fierce thunderstorm. They escape in a carriage.
Mae and Angus visit Winnie's grave in 1950. They return to Treegap riding their old horse-drawn wagon. Only Jesse comes back in 2002. He returns riding a motorcycle.
Winnie's gravestone says 1870–1948 (died 78 years). The gravestone says 1899–1999 (died 100 years).


Box office[edit]

On a $15 million budget, Tuck Everlasting grossed $19,161,999 in the US and $182,616 in other territories for a worldwide total of $19,344,615.[4]

Critical response[edit]

Tuck Everlasting received generally mixed reviews, with a 61% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes.


  1. ^ "Tuck Everlasting". IMDb. Retrieved 2009-06-09. 
  2. ^ "Tuck Everlasting". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2009-06-09. 
  3. ^ http://www.imdb.com/character/ch0023043/quotes
  4. ^ "Tuck Everlasting". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2009-06-09. 

External links[edit]