14 Going on 30 is a 1988 made-for-TV movie broadcast by ABC and Buena Vista Television, and later distributed by Walt Disney Home Video. It stars Steven Eckholdt as Danny, a fourteen-year-old boy who is infatuated with his teacher Peggy Noble (Daphne Ashbrook). Danny uses a "growth accelerator" to make himself appear older than his actual age in an attempt to seduce her. A similar age swap and nearly identical title appears in the 2004 film 13 Going on 30, and the earlier film may have influenced the latter.
14-year-old Danny O'Neil (Gabey Olds) is madly in love with his teacher, Miss Peggy Noble (Daphne Ashbrook). Given the fact that she is engaged to the cold-tempered and vicious gym teacher, Roy Kilton (Rick Rossovich), who is nicknamed Jackjaw for his constant threat of breaking his pupils' jaws, Danny goes through his school days somewhat uninspired and suffers in silence.
One day, he oversees his geeky friend Lloyd Duffy (Adam Carl), who happens to live next door with his uncle Herb (Harry Morgan) and aunt May (Irene Tedrow), growing fruits with an experimental growth accelerator. Danny becomes enthusiastic of turning himself into a grown man with the same machine, in order to break up Miss Noble's engagement, as well as convincing her to give him a chance. Lloyd is reluctant to help him out, aware of everything that could go wrong, so Danny secretly uses the machine at night. He saw that the timing was perfect, considering that his parents will leave the house for a week. Unaware of the consequences, he turns into a 30-year-old man (Steve Eckholdt).
The next day, Lloyd immediately starts working on a machine with the opposite effect so Danny will be able to return to his 14-year-old body soon. During this process, Danny visits the high school to pursue Miss Noble. When he arrives, he is mistaken as the school newest principal, Harold Forndexter. He not only impresses his assistant Louisa Horton (Loretta Swit) with the introduction of his new rules - which include having as much fun as possible - but also Peggy, who admires his youthful approach of life.
Much to the dismay of Kilton, she agrees to go on a date with 'Harold'. Even though Kilton follows their every step, Peggy has a splendid evening with the new principal, and they almost kiss at the end of the night. During a school dance, 'Harold' convinces Peggy that Kilton is not right for her, and she breaks off the engagement. Immediately after, 'Harold' and Peggy become a couple. Kilton, refusing to accept this, tries to find out more on Forndexter, and finds out that 'Harold' is an impostor, as the real Forndexter (Alan Thicke) looks quite differently. He immediately warns the police, who arrive quickly to arrest him.
While 'Harold' tries to escape, Lloyd informs him that his machine is complete. After getting rid of the cops, 'Harold' tells Peggy that he has to leave town for good and then becomes 14 again. Peggy witnesses this transformation, and realizes that 'Harold' was actually Danny, one of her favorite students. Because she has fallen in love with him, she uses the same machine to turn herself into a 14-year-old (Amy Hathaway), which enables her to be with Danny. Meanwhile, Lloyd turns himself into an old professor, Mr. Lloyd (Sal Viscuso), and starts working at the same high school as a teacher.
- Steve Eckholdt as Danny O'Neil at age 30, a.k.a. Harold Forndexter
- Daphne Ashbrook as Miss Peggy Noble
- Adam Carl as Lloyd Duffy
- Gabey Olds as Danny O'Neil at age 14
- Irene Tedrow as May
- Patrick Duffy as Actor in a classic film
- Harry Morgan as Herb
- Loretta Swit as Miss Louisa Horton
- Alan Thicke as Harold Forndexter
- Dick Van Patten as Principal John Loonies
- Rick Rossovich as Roy 'Jackjaw' Kilton
- Sal Viscuso as Mr. Lloyd
- Amy Hathaway as Peggy Noble at age 14
- The ending to this movie in which Peggy turns herself young to be with Danny has often been mistaken for a lost alternate ending to Big, which was released the same year.
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