7.5/10
101,504
692 user 167 critic

Pleasantville (1998)

Trailer
0:34 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $9.99 on Amazon Video

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

Director:

Writer:

Reviews
Popularity
1,068 ( 1,711)
Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 17 wins & 41 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
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A romantic comedy about a naive man who comes out into the world after being in a nuclear fallout shelter for 35 years.

Director: Hugh Wilson
Stars: Brendan Fraser, Alicia Silverstone, Christopher Walken
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
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Two wealthy step-siblings of an elite Manhattan prep school make a wager: to de-flower the new headmaster's daughter before the start of term.

Director: Roger Kumble
Stars: Sarah Michelle Gellar, Ryan Phillippe, Reese Witherspoon
Walk the Line (2005)
Biography | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A chronicle of country music legend Johnny Cash's life, from his early days on an Arkansas cotton farm to his rise to fame with Sun Records in Memphis, where he recorded alongside Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Carl Perkins.

Director: James Mangold
Stars: Joaquin Phoenix, Reese Witherspoon, Ginnifer Goodwin
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

A young woman who's reinvented herself as a New York socialite must return home to Alabama to obtain a divorce from her husband, after seven years of separation.

Director: Andy Tennant
Stars: Reese Witherspoon, Patrick Dempsey, Josh Lucas
Biography | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

The life and career of a legendary comedian, Andy Kaufman.

Director: Milos Forman
Stars: Jim Carrey, Danny DeVito, Gerry Becker
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

When a blonde sorority queen is dumped by her boyfriend, she decides to follow him to law school to get him back and, once there, learns she has more legal savvy than she ever imagined.

Director: Robert Luketic
Stars: Reese Witherspoon, Luke Wilson, Selma Blair
Ghost (1990)
Drama | Fantasy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

After an accident leaves a young man dead, his spirit stays behind to warn his lover of impending danger, with the help of a reluctant psychic.

Director: Jerry Zucker
Stars: Patrick Swayze, Demi Moore, Whoopi Goldberg
High Fidelity (2000)
Comedy | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Rob, a record store owner and compulsive list maker, recounts his top five breakups, including the one in progress.

Director: Stephen Frears
Stars: John Cusack, Iben Hjejle, Todd Louiso
Drama | Fantasy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A gentle man, with scissors for hands, is brought into a new community after living in isolation.

Director: Tim Burton
Stars: Johnny Depp, Winona Ryder, Dianne Wiest
Comedy | Fantasy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A lonely landscape architect falls for the spirit of the beautiful woman who used to live in his new apartment.

Director: Mark Waters
Stars: Reese Witherspoon, Mark Ruffalo, Donal Logue
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:

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 »

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:

$40,568,025 (USA) (26 March 1999)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

| |

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Danny Strong and Marc Blucas both appeared as unnamed characters in Pleasantville. Both also acted for several overlapping years in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, though their characters in Buffy only appeared together in 1 episode, Superstar. 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

Features I Love Lucy (1951) See more »

Soundtracks

Sparkle of Love
Written by Robin Bissell
Performed by Robin Bissell (as Bissell), Bourgeois and Bruno Coon (as Coon)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
The Colors of Modern Life seems Brighter than ever before
11 October 2009 | by (Ottawa, Canada) – See all my reviews

Three movies of the late '90s -The Truman Show, EdTv and Pleasantville- specifically examined how television made an impact on our world, our culture and our values. They both showed larger than life happenings and captured our minds with their perspectives. In EdTv there was a humble video store clerk guy having his life filmed for a reality show, which was happening in present time. Though in Truman Show very futurist and fantastically, Truman Burbank was not even aware that his life is being filmed, offering the viewer the vision of life from God's perspective. Distinctively here in Pleasantville, there is a journey which starts with materializing a TV-series into life and ends up with materializing the life into this TV-series.

The cheerful 1950s' TV sit-com Pleasantville is revived in the '90s on cable. A homebody teen, David Wagner, escapes from the daily rush of the real unpleasant world by watching this show. He doesn't even miss the reruns, memorizes the scripts and speaks them out before the actors in the show say their part. One day after school, he and his sister Jennifer can't agree on the right TV channel to watch. Then they fight over the remote control and it breaks. The new remote, which will zap them inside Pleasantville, given them by a strange TV-repairman.

When they entered Pleasantville, they become the part of the show and turn to black-and-white as the TV show displays. David and Jennifer take up residence as the son and the daughter of the sit-com family. Soon, they realize that there the life is always pleasant; the temperature is always lukewarm and the seasons are always spring with no rain no snow no hot no cold weather, books have no words, roads end where they start, nothing burns and matches are useless, married couples sleep in twin beds, sex does not exist, nobody gets sick, nobody gets hurt and nobody ever questions this hassle-free life. David fits right in as he always dreamt to be, while her sister persists on him to try to figure out what should they do to escape from there. Though she changes her mind when he gets a boyfriend from school. Her attempts of putting her lifestyle on effect causes Pleasantville gets colors. Thus wonderful and frightening changes start to take place.

Pleasantville is a truly original film that soars with dynamism and aesthetic. From a social and deeply political perspective; it has deep meaning and relevance in today's society. Consequently, it should serve as a reminder for most that the world is made up of how its residents think and act. "You can't stop something that's inside you." says David, and that could be summation of all that Pleasantville stands for.


40 of 53 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Blackwhite and color, other movies? Kling
So how much meat loaf is in this movie anyway? Metafizzypop
Confused by the ending makeasmileyface
Pleasantville = liberal? nonoG
Undefeated basketball team GermanScreenwriter
Did either of them enter a bathroom + wonder where the toilet was? fubleduck
Discuss Pleasantville (1998) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page