MOVIEmeter
Top 5000
Down 784 this week

Pleasantville (1998)

PG-13  |   |  Comedy, Drama, Fantasy  |  23 October 1998 (USA)
7.5
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.5/10 from 96,869 users   Metascore: 71/100
Reviews: 686 user | 162 critic | 32 from Metacritic.com

Two 1990s teenagers find themselves in a 1950s sitcom where their influence begins to profoundly change that complacent world.

Director:

Writer:

Watch Trailer
0Check in
0Share...

Watch Now

From $4.99 on Amazon Instant Video

ON DISC

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 38 titles
created 06 Nov 2012
 
a list of 49 titles
created 20 Dec 2012
 
a list of 30 titles
created 06 Sep 2013
 
a list of 24 titles
created 16 Sep 2013
 
a list of 34 titles
created 09 Nov 2013
 

Related Items

Search for "Pleasantville" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Pleasantville (1998)

Pleasantville (1998) on IMDb 7.5/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Pleasantville.

User Polls

Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 19 wins & 37 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Seabiscuit (2003)
Drama | History | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

True story of the undersized Depression-era racehorse whose victories lifted not only the spirits of the team behind it but also those of their nation.

Director: Gary Ross
Stars: Tobey Maguire, Jeff Bridges, Elizabeth Banks
Election (1999)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A high school teacher's personal life becomes complicated as he works with students during the school elections, particularly with an obsessive overachiever determined to become student body president.

Director: Alexander Payne
Stars: Matthew Broderick, Reese Witherspoon, Chris Klein
Varsity Blues (1999)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

In small-town Texas, high school football is a religion. The head coach is deified, as long as the team is winning and 17-year-old schoolboys carry the hopes of an entire community onto the... See full summary »

Director: Brian Robbins
Stars: James Van Der Beek, Jon Voight, Paul Walker
The Skulls (2000)
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

Luke McNamara, a college senior from a working class background joins a secret elitist college fraternity organization called "The Skulls", in hope of gaining acceptance into Harvard Law ... See full summary »

Director: Rob Cohen
Stars: Joshua Jackson, Paul Walker, Hill Harper
Romance | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A man suspects his girlfriend of being unfaithful. So he sends her a letter, but than finds out that he was wrong. He has 24 hours to stop the package, prevent a disaster, and fall in love.... See full summary »

Director: Jason Bloom
Stars: Paul Rudd, Christine Taylor, Reese Witherspoon
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A compassionate young man, raised in an orphanage and trained to be a doctor there, decides to leave to see the world.

Director: Lasse Hallström
Stars: Tobey Maguire, Charlize Theron, Michael Caine
Comedy | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3.3/10 X  

An evil scientist implants the brain of Michael, a murdered high school student, into an Tyrannosaurus. He escapes, wreaks vengeance on his high school tormentors and is reunited with his sweetheart Tammy.

Director: Stewart Raffill
Stars: Denise Richards, Theo Forsett, Paul Walker
Sci-Fi | Action
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3.8/10 X  

A middle eastern female terrorist is captured by the CIA in Greece, after an attack on a marketplace. Transported back to the USA, the terrorist undergoes an operation where she is ... See full summary »

Directors: Allan Holzman, Robert Short
Stars: Robert Ginty, Sandahl Bergman, James Booth
Wonder Boys (2000)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

An English Professor tries to deal with his wife leaving him, the arrival of his editor who has been waiting for his book for seven years, and the various problems that his friends and associates involve him in.

Director: Curtis Hanson
Stars: Michael Douglas, Tobey Maguire, Frances McDormand
The Ice Storm (1997)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

1973, suburban Connecticut: middle class families experimenting with casual sex, drink, etc., find their lives out of control.

Director: Ang Lee
Stars: Kevin Kline, Joan Allen, Sigourney Weaver
Fear (1996)
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

When Nicole met David; handsome, charming, affectionate, he was everything. It seemed perfect, but soon she sees that David has a darker side. And his adoration turns to obsession, their dream into a nightmare, and her love into fear.

Director: James Foley
Stars: Mark Wahlberg, Reese Witherspoon, William Petersen
Pleasantville (1976)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  
Directors: Kenneth Locker, Vicki Polon
Stars: John Bottoms, Michael Del Viscovo Jr., Robert Hitt
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
Paul Morgan Stetler ...
Edit

Storyline

David, single, lonely and not happy with his life, flees reality by watching Pleasantville - a 1950's b&w soap opera, where everything is just that... pleasant. His sister Jennifer, sexually far more active than her brother, gets in a fight with him about a very strange remote control. The remote was given to them just seconds after the TV broke, by an equally strange repair man. They suddenly find themselves in Pleasantville, as Bud and Mary-Sue Parker, completely assimilated and therefore black and white, in clothes a little different and with new parents... pleasant ones. David wants to get out of the situation as well as his sister, but whereas he tries to blend in (effortlessly, with his knowledge), she does whatever she wants to do. One event leads to the other, and suddenly there is a red rose growing in Pleasantville. The more rules are broken, the more colorful life gets in Pleasantville, USA. Written by Julian Reischl <julianreischl@mac.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Pleasantville - It's Just Around the Corner See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Fantasy

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some thematic elements emphasizing sexuality, and for language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

23 October 1998 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Amor a colores  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$40,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$8,855,063 (USA) (23 October 1998)

Gross:

£790,203 (UK) (26 March 1999)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

| |

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Early appearances of color: the red rose, after the encounter at Lover's Lane;
  • pink bubblegum seen in the hallway at school;


  • one girl's pink tongue;


  • the red hearts of the cards in the bridge hand;


  • the subtle green of the car in front of the diner;


  • the jukebox in the diner becomes multicolored the guy in front of the jukebox combs his hair with a yellow comb Jennifer's red cherry on her shake in the diner;


  • the pink cherry blossoms reflected in the side mirror of the car;


  • the subtle green of the grass at Lover's Lane before it turns completely colorized.


See more »

Goofs

After arriving in Pleasantville, Jennifer looks over at a calendar on a desk. When they are called to breakfast there is a wide shot of the room and the desk does not have the calendar on it. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
[David is gazing admiringly at a pretty blonde girl]
David: *Hi*
[chuckles]
David: I mean, Hi. Uh, look, you probably don't think I should be asking you this. I mean, not knowing you well and all? I mean, you know, I, I, I know you, 'cause everybody knows you. I just don't know you technically. Uh, anyhow. Uh, I don't know what you're doing this weekend, but my mom's leaving town, and she's letting me borrow the car.
[...]
See more »

Crazy Credits

The New Line logo plays in complete silence. See more »

Connections

Referenced in After Lately: A-list BFF (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

So What
Written and Performed by Miles Davis
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
I heard about this movie, but I didn't know that it would be THIS good....
8 April 2000 | by (Silver Spring, Maryland, U.S.A.) – See all my reviews

I knew what this film would be about before I rented it, but I'm stunned that it would be THIS good. Nothing against "Saving Private Ryan" or "Shakespeare in Love", but this film should have won Best Picture in 1998 and it was a shame that it wasn't nominated. It's an even bigger injustice that it did not get a nomination for best screenplay or cinematography.

In the hands of another writer, this movie could have been made as just a parody of 1950's sitcoms like "Leave It To Beaver" or "Ozzie and Harriet." But this film isn't about how clichéd those series look decades later. It's about the false nostalgia for a past that never existed. We survived the past and we know that everything turned out all right. Because of this, we selectively choose our memories and weed out the unpleasant ones. That's why the past is sometimes seen as "the good ol' days." Pleasantville does not represent how the 50's actually were but rather an idealization of what people THINK the 50's were---no one had sex, everyone got along swell, and life was fairly easy. Nothing could be further from the truth, and there are many film from that era which show how real people (even in suburbia) actually lived. This film argues that free will and choice is ESSENTIAL to life and that we should embrace freedom instead of fearing it. It isn't just about making out, but having the OPTION to make out.

Another reviewer claimed that this film was an attack on the 50's, but David and Jennifer could very easily have been dumped in the world of "The Brady Bunch", "Gilligan's Island" , or "Batman." But setting "Pleasantville" in a 1950's sitcom allows for the brilliant metaphor of black and white versus color. Black and white photography is a stylized depiction of the universe, but unless you're color blind it's not the way you actually see the universe. When we first see Pleasantville's citizens, all of them are cardboard cut-outs of stereotypes. As they begin to open up and become real people, color seeps into their world. The catalyst seems to be the willingness to experience new sensations and become vulnerable. Jennifer has slept with lot of guys when she was in the normal world, so sex does not change HER into a color character. On the other hand, when she actually finishes a book (without pictures) for the first time in her life, THEN she becomes colorized. Similarly, David does not bloom into color until he breaks out of his aloofness and defends his "mother." Compare the way he ignores his real mother at the beginning of the film to how he consoles and comforts her at the end to see how much David has changed.

I could go on and on, but I think you get the idea. There are a lot of films out there that are very entertaining and/or very moving--like "Raiders of the Lost Ark" or "Titanic." Movies like "Pleasantville" which challenge the audience and force them to think are very rare, and should be treasured by the discerning filmgoer.


236 of 262 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Blackwhite and color, other movies? Kling
the colourful sin uvabola
One 'change' that was probably uncommon in '58 BootsRabb
Confused by the ending makeasmileyface
Pleasantville = liberal? nonoG
Undefeated basketball team GermanScreenwriter
Discuss Pleasantville (1998) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page