7.5/10
107,401
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.

Director:

Writer:

Reviews
Popularity
2,945 ( 423)

Watch Now

From $9.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

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

Videos

Photos

Edit

Cast

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

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 »

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

Director Gary Ross acknowledges these cinematographic homages:
  • The scene of J.T. Walsh in front of the bowling alley scorecard recalls Patton's speech in front of the American flag in Patton (1970);


  • The courtroom segregated into black-and-white characters downstairs and "colored" characters upstairs recalls To Kill a Mockingbird (1962);


See more »

Goofs

When Jennifer and David are fighting over the remote control before the Pleasantville Marathon starts at 6:30, they momentarily go to the Prevue Channel. The time shown on that channel is 1:16, not 6:30. 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 Hollywood's Top Ten: Fantasy Lands (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

Dream Girl
Written by Johnny Mitchell and Robert Carr
Performed by Robert & Johnny
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.


45 of 59 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page