7.5/10
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704 user 172 critic

Pleasantville (1998)

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

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3,368 ( 692)

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ON DISC
Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 18 wins & 41 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

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Paul Morgan Stetler ...
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Storyline

David Wagner is a kid whose mind is stuck in the 1950s. He's addicted to a classic 50's sitcom television show called "Pleasantville". Pleasntville is a simple place, a place where all of its citizens are swell and simple-minded folks, a place where the word "violence", and life outside of Pleasantville, is unbeknown to its inhabitants; things are perfect down in Pleasantville. One evening, the life of David and his obnoxious sister Jennifer take a bizarre turn when an eccentric repairman hand them a supposed magical remote. After a quarrel between the siblings, they inexplicably zap themselves into the world of "Pleasantville". Now, David and Jennifer must adjust to a 50s lifestyle of repressed desires and considerably different societal values while trying to find their way home. Written by Kyle Perez

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Nothing Is As Simple As Black And White. 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 »

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Details

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Release Date:

23 October 1998 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Amor a colores  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Budget:

$40,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

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

Gross:

$40,568,025 (USA) (26 March 1999)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

During the publicity campaign surrounding the film's release, there was a contest for a trip to Pleasantville, Iowa (the smallest Pleasantville in the United States). See more »

Goofs

At the very end of the movie, George Parker and Betty Parker are sitting on a bench. The camera pans from George to Betty, then back to where George was sitting, and he "turns into" Mr. Johnson. If you look at Betty before the camera goes back to Mr. Johnson, you can see her bounce. This is from Mr. Johnson sitting down in George's place. 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.
[...]
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Crazy Credits

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

Connections

References To Kill a Mockingbird (1962) See more »

Soundtracks

Sparkle of Love
Written by Robin Bissell
Performed by Robin Bissell (as Bissell), Bourgeois and Bruno Coon (as Coon)
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

a wonderful many layered experience that put a smile on my face again
18 December 1999 | by See all my reviews

i wish i had the ability to put into a 1000 words what this movie impressed upon me. sadly enough, i am a verbose person, inclined to write and write and write, following a train of thought that never ends. however, i shall certainly give it a try, without botching it up. after having viewed this movie, i sat a while in my chair, watching the end credits play and listening to the music as it played along. not until the tape rewinded did i fully realise that i had watched a really good movie again, one that spoke on more levels than the simple obvious ones.

if i were to speak of one of the main things in this movie that are so incredibly important, it's the fact that it speaks about people and society, and the patterns inherent in them. in the beginning, you see reese witherspoon in a normal 90's class situation, following what is a 'normal' situation in that environment. then she is dropped into pleasantville, and what happens? she loses all reference points towards a life that seems right to her; she misses her pattern in life. the first thing that happens is she tries to enforce it again, resulting in the start of the major happenings of the movie, and somewhere along the line, softly swerves away from it and finds another pattern. once she reads a book, and stays put reading in it while she could have gone out to 'do it', you know things have changed.

william c. macy shows the same thing when he gets home, and his wife isn't there to greet him, and i could go on for ages to point to this, but i'd be overstepping my boundaries of these 1000 words, and definitely spoil someone elses movie experience. fact is, almost every single storyline in this movie is about change, change brought about because someone is stuck in a pattern and feels something is wrong, or through the self discovery that is inherent in every single one of us. not only that, it also shows how fear of breaking established patterns can bring out the worst, or get the upheaval that the major starts with his 'concerned citizens'. but even beyond all this, all the explanations and thought provoking issues that it brings up, if alone for the beauty of it and for the precious score that is attached, one should at least consider seeing it. i am personally a very jaded person concerning movies, having seen more than probably even a professional movie reviewer has seen taking my age as his career.

even with that in mind, i thank my lucky stars for picking this up on a whim and getting a look at something that has taken me in more than most of the movies this year. several of the scenes are priceless, and as someone before commented, the drive through a black and white scenery with coloured blossom weaving through the soft winds will leave you breathless.

in short, if you feel like watching a wonderful movie, catch this one and be impressed; try to follow the patterns every character exhibits and think about what the colour means in that sense, how it brings life back, how change is life.


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