Jim Carrey stars as Peter Appleton, a Hollywood screenwriter who, in 1951, receives a summons to testify before the feared House Un-American Activities Committee. But Appleton accidentally crashes his car, develops amnesia and ends up in a small town. His remarkable resemblance to a missing World War II hero, Luke Trimble, causes the residents, including Luke's girlfriend, to rejoice at his "homecoming." The soldier's father (Academy Award winner Martin Landau) happily welcomes his "son," and, together, they refurbish the town's decaying movie theater, The Majestic. But when a film that he wrote plays there, Appleton regains his memory. Now he must choose between the life he left behind and the new one he's grown to love.