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The Truman Show (1998)

 -  Comedy | Drama | Sci-Fi  -  5 June 1998 (USA)
8.0
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Ratings: 8.0/10 from 503,199 users   Metascore: 90/100
Reviews: 824 user | 190 critic | 30 from Metacritic.com

An insurance salesman/adjuster discovers his entire life is actually a T.V. show.

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Top 250 #231 | Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 35 wins & 51 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Blair Slater ...
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Heidi Schanz ...
Ron Taylor ...
Ron
Don Taylor ...
Don
Ted Raymond ...
Spencer
Judy Clayton ...
Fritz Dominique ...
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Storyline

In this movie, Truman is a man whose life is a fake one... The place he lives is in fact a big studio with hidden cameras everywhere, and all his friends and people around him, are actors who play their roles in the most popular TV-series in the world: The Truman Show. Truman thinks that he is an ordinary man with an ordinary life and has no idea about how he is exploited. Until one day... he finds out everything. Will he react? Written by Chris Makrozahopoulos <makzax@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Watch What Happens See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Sci-Fi

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for thematic elements and mild language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

5 June 1998 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Truman Show  »

Box Office

Budget:

$60,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£2,210,999 (UK) (9 October 1998)

Gross:

£9,771,416 (UK) (27 November 1998)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

|

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

It took 3 years from Peter Weir receiving his first copy of Andrew Niccol's script to the film's completion. See more »

Goofs

The 'set' is supposed to be right behind the Hollywood sign/hills, but in the satellite view, the set is in the southeast LA region, 20 miles from the Hollywood sign. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Christof: We've become bored with watching actors give us phony emotions. We are tired of pyrotechnics and special effects. While the world he inhabits is, in some respects, counterfeit, there's nothing fake about Truman himself. No scripts, no cue cards. It isn't always Shakespeare, but it's genuine. It's a life.
See more »

Crazy Credits

In the end credits, the cast is divided between Truman's World, Christof's World and The Viewers See more »

Connections

Referenced in This Girl's Life (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

The Beginning
Written and Performed by Philip Glass
Courtesy of Nonesuch Records
by arrangement with Warner Special Products
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User Reviews

An unassuming film that is thought provoking on so many levels, well acted and thoroughly enjoyable however you come to it
29 October 2004 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Truman Burbank is an ordinary guy in an ordinary little seaside town of Seahaven Island where nothing really happens. Everything is clean, everything is perfect, he knows people but never really connects to anyone. The one woman he ever really loved is not his wife and has long since left for the other side of the world where he longs to visit but feels he can never go. Paralysed by his fear of water since seeing his father die on a boating accident, Truman still feels he is missing something. A strange light falling from the sky, a man who reminds him of his dead father, a strange radio broadcast and the feeling that the world really stops when he shuts his eyes all combine to make him feel something is wrong – but what is it that he seeks but feels he cannot find?

When I first saw this film it was with my girlfriend (who would then become my wife, then ex-wife!) and I remember how she and our friends felt a little bit cheated by the film that they had expected to be yet another wacky Jim Carrey comedy. In fairness to her and the others, it was easy to do this at the time – who would have thought that Jim Carrey would be able to act – certainly not the marketing department that sold this film on the basis of it being a hilarious film as opposed to the thoughtful and rewarding film it turned out to be. The plot can be viewed on so many levels that it is honestly easier to leave it to each viewer to take what they will from it. On the most obvious level it satirises the media, the emotional façade of television and (the increasingly relevant) look at reality shows. To others it will say as much about God, the empty drone of life and the things that we all desire. Of course to others it will just be a comedy with general comments to make – and there is nothing wrong with that whatsoever; in fact the multi-level approach works to make it appeal to many audiences.

Starting as a comedy, I am always taken by how well the film moves to become more and more interesting but yet never loses sight of those audience members who have come for the basic story. Hence it delivers an enjoyable and engaging central narrative that, plainly put, makes for a comic and involving yarn – we grow to care for Truman and this makes the ending an emotional and satisfying one even if some viewers will bemoan the fact that (to them) it appears 'open ended'. That it is also a very thought-provoking affair is only a bonus, with the satire working on many levels. Of course by seeming to tackle so many subjects and issues in such a short running time, the film never really gets its teeth deep into any one of them but this is not a major problem because it leaves us to do that in our heads after the film finishes.

The cast is roundly superb even if the majority of them are in minor roles. Of course it is easy now to look back at Carrey and accept that he can act straight but at the time it seemed so unlikely and few felt it was a good casting choice. Of course, seeing the end result it is clear that he can and he delivers such a great performance that he really makes the film work.

He is comic but yet serious, sympathetic but not worthy of pity – it is a great delivery and one that basically meant that I now look at his Ace Ventura stuff as the 'other' category and see his acting as his real work (6 years ago that was vice versa). Carrey carries the film, being on screen for almost the entire film but he has good support from Linney, Emmerich, Krause and others who play it well despite being stuck in the necessary stiff and unreal roles. The controller etc roles are all well played and feature a collection of well known faces including a great support role from Harris through to roles for Giamatti, Shearer, Baker Hall and a few others. It may be Carrey's show but the support certainly helps.

Overall this is a great film that can be appreciated as much for what it is on the surface (a great little comic story) as it can for the issues that it hints at all the time. There was a time when some viewers may have looked to a Carrey film to be a load of mugging an crude, basic laughs but this was the film that saw that change. Thought provoking, funny, entertaining, short, enjoyable and well acted throughout – well worth seeing and well worth coming back to several times.


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Message Boards

Recent Posts
Was the nature of Truman's world, originally supposed to be a twist? Manolisk33
Jim Carrey no good for this part. holstenpils20
The guy in the bathtub Paverpimp
Anyone else think this film is severely underrated? alekseifeik
Actors, why not a real world? land_of_chocolate
Would such reality show be possible with today's technology? pilarp-1
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