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Frequency (2000 film)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Frequency film.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byGregory Hoblit
Produced byGregory Hoblit
Hawk Koch
Toby Emmerich
Bill Carraro
Written byToby Emmerich
Music byMichael Kamen
CinematographyAlar Kivilo
Edited byDavid Rosenbloom
Distributed byNew Line Cinema
Release date
  • April 28, 2000 (2000-04-28)
Running time
118 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$31 million[1]
Box office$68.1 million[1]

Frequency is a 2000 American science fiction thriller drama film starring Dennis Quaid and Jim Caviezel.

Directed by Gregory Hoblit and written by Toby Emmerich, it was distributed by New Line Cinema. It co-stars Shawn Doyle, Andre Braugher, Noah Emmerich, and Elizabeth Mitchell.

The plot follows John Sullivan, a homicide detective in New York City who accidentally discovers a cross-time radio frequency on his late father's ham radio, which allows the two to speak to each other across time.

The film was produced by Gregory Hoblit, Hawk Koch, Toby Emmerich, and Bill Carraro and was released on April 28, 2000. It grossed $9 million during its opening weekend and $68.1 million worldwide, against a budget of $31 million.[2] It received positive reviews and has a 70% approval rating based on 125 votes on Rotten Tomatoes.[3]


In October 1969, FDNY firefighter Frank Sullivan (Quaid) dies in a warehouse fire, leaving behind his wife Julia, a nurse, and six-year-old son John. Thirty years later, in 1999, John, now an NYPD detective, is still living in his childhood home, while his mother has moved to an apartment. After his girlfriend Samantha dumps him for being emotionally shut off, his neighbor and childhood buddy, Gordo, comes over for supper and finds a Heathkit single-sideband ham radio that once belonged to Frank, but fails to get it working.

The night before the anniversary of his father's death, John is surprised to find the radio operating during a particularly intense occurrence of the aurora borealis, and has a brief conversation with another man concerning the 1969 World Series, which John is able to recount in specific detail. Eventually, he realizes that the other man is his father, broadcasting in 1969, and tries to warn him of his impending death. The next day, while attempting to rescue a young girl from a burning warehouse, Frank remembers John's warning and carries the girl to safety. In 1999, everyone has an altered set of memories brought about by Frank's survival, but only John simultaneously remembers his father dying in the fire. That evening, Frank and John reconnect and learn a great deal about each other's lives.

Subsequently, John begins to notice major changes in the present: his mother Julia no longer lives at her current address, Samantha does not recognize him, and he learns that although Frank survived the fire, he died in 1989 from lung cancer due to his persistent smoking. His boss, Sgt. Satch DeLeon, an old friend of Frank's, assigns him to investigate the "Nightingale", a serial killer who murdered three nurses in the 1960s and was never caught. However, John discovers that the Nightingale is now connected to ten murders, including that of his mother two weeks after the warehouse fire. Feeling guilty that their actions somehow led to the Nightingale committing more murders, John persuades his father to help him prevent these crimes from occurring. Frank manages to save the first victim. But when he tries to rescue the second, the Nightingale subdues him, steals his driver's license, and plants it on the victim to frame Frank for the murder.

When Frank shares his experience with his son, John realizes Frank's wallet has the Nightingale's fingerprints. John asks his father to hide the wallet somewhere in the house where John can find it 30 years later. Using the preserved fingerprints from the wallet, John identifies the Nightingale as Jack Shepard, a former detective. In the original timeline, Shepard died from a medical error the same night Frank died because Julia, the nurse on duty, had left early after learning of Frank's death, and was not there to prevent the error that would have killed Shepard.

Meanwhile, in 1969, then-Detective Satch DeLeon tries to arrest Frank on suspicion of murder; he resists, and the radio is knocked over and damaged. At the station, Frank attempts to prove his innocence to Satch by being able to accurately predict various aspects of the 1969 World Series, including the famous Game 5 "shoe polish incident." While awaiting questioning, Frank activates the precinct's fire sprinkler system, escapes, and breaks into Shepard's apartment, where he finds jewelry taken from the victims. Shepard catches Frank in the act and pursues him, ending with a fight underwater where Frank appears to have killed Shepard. Satch, having realized that Frank was telling the truth, arrives at Shepard's apartment in time to witness the aftermath of the struggle and find the victims' jewelry, exonerating Frank.

Frank fixes the radio, but while talking both he and John are attacked by the 1969 and 1999 versions of Shepard. Using a shotgun, Frank blows off Shepard's right hand in 1969 and Shepard flees. In 1999, as the changes in the past affect the present, Shepard's hand disappears just as he is about to kill John. Furnishings in the house change as the timeline rapidly updates itself in 1999. An elderly Frank, having quit smoking to avoid his cancer-related death in 1989, appears and kills Shepard with the same shotgun, and embraces his son.

The film concludes with a softball game including John, Samantha (now his wife), John's young son, Frank, Julia, Satch and Gordo. In 1969, as a child, Gordo had talked briefly over the radio to John in 1999; John told him to pay attention to "Yahoo." At the baseball game, the license plate of Gordo's expensive car is seen to bear the word Yahoo!.



The film was greenlighted for production on January 21, 1999.[4] Sylvester Stallone was rumored to be taking the role of Frank Sullivan in 1997, but fell out of the deal after a dispute over his fee.[5][6] Renny Harlin was rumored to be director on the film.[5][6] Gregory Hoblit first read the script in November 1997, eighteen months after his father's death. In a 2000 interview shortly after the American release of Frequency, he described the film as "high risk" since the project had already been passed among several directors, including one of note who had twice the budget Hoblit was given.[7] In the same interview, he described the difficulty he had finding the two leads. Hoblit realized he needed an "experienced actor" to portray Frank Sullivan and thus chose Dennis Quaid.[7]


Two weeks before its release, a sneak preview of the film was shown with Final Destination.

Home media

Frequency was released on DVD on October 31, 2000 and on VHS on April 3, 2001. It was later released on Blu-ray on July 10, 2012.[8][9][10]


Box office

Frequency was released at 2,631 theaters, making $9 million during its opening weekend. Eventually, the film grossed $45 million domestically and $23.1 million in other territories, for a worldwide gross of $68,106,245.[1][11]

Critical response

Frequency received generally positive reviews. Based on 125 reviews collected by the film review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the film has a 70% approval rating with an average rating of 6.52/10. The consensus reads, "A tight blend of surprises and suspense keeps audiences spellbound."[12] Roger Ebert called the film's plot "contrived", yet gave the film a favorable review. He also pointed out similarities with the films The Sixth Sense and Ghost.[13] David Armstrong, of the San Francisco Chronicle, praised the moments in the film when John and Frank Sullivan talked to each other over the ham radio but criticized the "unintentionally funny climax." He also praised actor Shawn Doyle's performance as the Nightingale killer, calling him "convincingly creepy."[14] Todd McCarthy of Variety magazine said despite Dennis Quaid and James Caviezel's physical separation in the film, they formed a "palpable bond that [gave] the picture its tensile strength".[15] McCarthy noted that screenwriter Toby Emmerich's "bold leap into reconfiguring the past" created "agreeable surprises" and an "infinite number of possibilities" to the plot's direction. He added, however, that the serial killer subplot was "desperately familiar".[15] James Berardinelli gave the film two stars out of four, criticizing the "coincidence-laden climax" but wrote that "poor writing [did] not demand subpar acting", praising Frequency's "few nice performances".[16]

The American Radio Relay League assisted in some of the technical aspects in the film, though some ham radio enthusiasts criticized technical errors that made it into the film.

Frequency was nominated for the Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation, but ultimately lost out to Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. The film's ending song, "When You Come Back to Me Again", was nominated for a Golden Globe Award.[17] Written by Jenny Yates and Garth Brooks (performed only by Brooks), the song failed to win, losing out to "Things Have Changed" from Wonder Boys.

Television adaptation

In November 2014, it was reported that Supernatural showrunner Jeremy Carver was in talks to produce a new television series adaptation/reboot based on the film for television network NBC. The film's writer Toby Emmerich is attached to serve as a producer for the series.[18] NBC passed on it, and a pilot was ordered at The CW in January 2016.[19] The series was canceled after one season on May 8, 2017.[20]

While not a television adaptation, Frequency was briefly parodied in the television show Reno 911, where the Reno officers respond to a house fire and are urged by the homeowner to "save his novel," which turns out to mirror the plot of Frequency. The Reno officers proceed to spoil the ending of the "novel" (based on them having seen the movie), causing the homeowner to suddenly become ambivalent about having his novel saved from the flames.

See also


  1. ^ a b c "Frequency (2000) - Box Office Mojo".
  2. ^ "Frequency". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2020-02-16.
  3. ^ Frequency (2000), retrieved 2020-02-16
  4. ^ "Hoblit time-trips; old script scores for Iliff". Variety. January 21, 1999. Retrieved June 26, 2007.
  5. ^ a b Cox, Dan (June 6, 1997). "Sly eyeing New Line's 'Frequency'". Variety. Retrieved June 27, 2007.
  6. ^ a b Busch, Anita M. (June 27, 1997). "INSIDE MOVES". Variety. Retrieved July 13, 2007.
  7. ^ a b Sragow, Michael (May 25, 2000). "What's the "Frequency," Gregory?". Retrieved June 27, 2007.
  8. ^ "Frequency [VHS] (2000)". Retrieved June 10, 2014.
  9. ^ "Frequency (2000)". Retrieved June 10, 2014.
  10. ^ "Frequency [Blu-ray] (2012)". Retrieved June 10, 2014.
  11. ^ "Frequency (2000)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved June 26, 2007.
  12. ^ "Frequency (2000)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango. Retrieved July 26, 2020.
  13. ^ Ebert, Roger (April 28, 2000). "Frequency (2000)". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved June 27, 2007.
  14. ^ Armstrong, David (April 28, 2000). "Convoluted 'Frequency' in need of fine-tuning". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved June 27, 2007.
  15. ^ a b McCarthy, Todd (April 17, 2000). "Frequency". Variety. Retrieved June 26, 2007.
  16. ^ Berardinelli, James (2000). "Frequency". ReelViews. Retrieved June 26, 2007.
  17. ^ "The Golden Globe nominations". BBC News Online. December 21, 2000. Retrieved June 27, 2007.
  18. ^ Lesley Goldberg. "NBC Plots 'Frequency' Reboot With 'Supernatural' Boss (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter.
  19. ^ "2016 The CW Pilots". 17 December 2015.
  20. ^ Strauss, Bettina (May 8, 2017). "'Frequency,' 'No Tomorrow' Canceled at The CW". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved May 8, 2017.

External links

This page was last edited on 10 May 2021, at 05:50
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