Tuck Everlasting (2002 film)
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Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Jay Russell|
|Produced by||Marc Abraham
|Written by||Jeffrey Lieber
James V. Hart
Natalie Babbitt (Novel)
|Narrated by||Elisabeth Shue|
|Music by||William Ross|
|Cinematography||James L. Carter|
|Edited by||Jay Cassidy|
|Distributed by||Buena Vista Pictures|
|October 11, 2002 (US)
March 20, 2003 (Australia)
August 1, 2004 (UK)
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.
||This article's plot summary may be too long or excessively detailed. (November 2015)|
The plot revolves around a 15-year-old girl named Winnie Foster, who is from a proper, upper-class family living in the town of Treegap. Winnie feels suffocated and longs to make her own choices in life, but her parents constantly restrict her actions. One day, after being told that she would be sent away to boarding school, she runs off into the forest. She soon gets turned around and ends up in a strange part of the forest where she meets a boy named Jesse Tuck, drinking from a spring at the foot of a great tree. She is then kidnapped by his elder brother Miles and brought back to the Tuck's home where they tell her they'll return her as soon as they can trust her.
During her stay she becomes enamored of their slow and simple way of life, while also falling in love with Jesse. Winnie eventually learns that the Tucks can't age or be injured due to drinking water from a magic spring around a hundred years ago and that they kidnapped her in order 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 - they'll all fight for the chance at immortality.
Meanwhile a suspicious man in a yellow suit befriends the Fosters over time while she is gone. He spies on the Tucks and it's revealed that he desires the spring so that he can sell the water to the citizens for profit. When he is trustworthy to the Fosters, he makes a deal where if he agrees to save her from the Tucks and return her to her family, he will get the forest and therefore with it the spring. He goes to the Tucks and reveals his intents to get the forest and therefore the spring. He orders them to reveal where the spring is; when they refuse and try to 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, violently beats him with the rear end of a rifle. The hit is so massive that he dies instantly. The constable manages to see the attack and arrest Mae for killing the man in the yellow suit. She and Angus are sentenced to be hanged for kidnapping Winnie and murdering the man with the yellow suit.
After being returned home, Winnie is woken that night by Jesse who begs her to help him free his parents. The family fears that if Mae and Angus are in fact hanged the next day, they won't die and their immortality will be exposed. Winnie helps Jesse and Miles to break the Tucks out of jail and says a tearful goodbye to the everyone. 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 now as they will be hunted. So 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 ponders whether or not to drink from the spring. In the end chooses not to, remembering Angus' words, "You don't have to live forever, you just have to live." She realizes that despite the love she and Jesse share, she'd rather die after living a full life, than be immortal and forever stuck watching life pass her by.
85 years later, Jesse returns to a much changed Treegap. 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 the girl he loved.
The film closes with a narration revealing that Winnie had left Treegap to travel the world with her parents, and while she didn't live forever, she lived the life that she chose for herself.
- Alexis Bledel as Winnie Foster
- Jonathan Jackson as Jesse Tuck
- Ben Kingsley as The Man in the Yellow Suit
- William Hurt as Angus Tuck
- Sissy Spacek as Mae Tuck
- Scott Bairstow as Miles Tuck
- Amy Irving as Mrs. Foster
- Victor Garber as Robert Foster
- Julia Hart as Sally Hannaway
- Noami Kline as Beatrice Ruston
- Robert Luis as Night Deputy (as Robert Logan)
Differences between the movie and the book
|In the book...||In the movie...|
|The books starts in the first week of August.||The movie starts as soon as school is out.|
|Winnie is 10.||She is 15.|
|The book is set in 1880.||The movie is set in 1914.|
|Winnie's grave says 1870-1948 (died 78 years).||It says 1899-1999 (died 100 years).|
|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.|
|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.|
|Mae is sent to jail to be hanged.||Angus is imprisoned and Mae is to be sent to hanged.|
|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.|
|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 does.|
|The Tucks run off in a fierce thunderstorm.||They escape in a carriage.|
|Jesse gives Winnie a bottle filled with water from the spring and tells her to drink it when she turns 17.||He does not give Winnie a bottle, but she contemplates drinking from the spring after the Tucks leave.|
|The Tucks' house is deep in the woods and a faded red.||It is a brown log cabin.|
|The Tucks find the water in 1776.||The Tucks find the water in 1810.|
|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").|
- Official website
- Tuck Everlasting at AllMovie
- Tuck Everlasting (2002) at the Internet Movie Database
- Tuck Everlasting (1981) at the Internet Movie Database
- Alexis Bledel interview for Tuck Everlasting