7.5/10
108,638
705 user 171 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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3,239 ( 19)

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

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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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:

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:

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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) (25 October 1998)

Gross:

$40,568,025 (USA) (28 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

In the bowling alley scene when the elder men decide to do something about the chaos unfolding around them, a very popular black and white cinematic trick known as the "Dutch Tilt" or "Dutch Angle" - often noticed in Twilight Zone and Alfred Hitchcock shows - was utilized. The camera is tilted to create a crooked, dark, disorienting shot emphasizing madness and discontent, thus making the viewer feel uneasy. See more »

Goofs

The flag outside the school has 48 stars, the correct number for 1958. The one atop the fire truck has 50 stars. By 1958, it was well known that the 50-star flag would be introduced soon, and 50-star flags were available, but it still seems unlikely that an official vehicle would be flying an unofficial flag (especially since the official flag in 1959 had 48 stars until July 3rd, and 49 stars from July 4th until the end of the year). 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 Citizen Kane (1941) See more »

Soundtracks

Donna Reed Show Theme
Written by John Seely and William Loose
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

First of all...I really liked it.
13 February 2000 | by (Milwaukee Wisconsin) – See all my reviews

First of all....I really liked it. Ignore any review (and reviewer) that says different. We live in a day and age that we seems like every movie has a touch of this old film and bit of that one...or is a remake or possibly a re-release. But Pleasantville is none of that...it is unique, fresh, reflective, pleasant (you knew I was going to use that word someplace), sad, but yet still had a touch of fun. The film begins by looking at the interaction between and the lives of a brother (Tobey Maguire) and sister (Reese Witherspoon). The brother is very content with his life and enjoys watching television, in particular, the show, Pleasantville. His sister, a bit more outgoing, enjoys meeting new people and seeing where this interaction will lead. A fight over which show to watch results in the intervention by Don Knotts (of Andy Griffith and Three's Company fame). Maguire and Witherspoon are wisked into the television set and take center stage as two of the Pleasantville cast. The only difference is while the world may be watching a tv show, to them, this is their reality. The film appears to be in black and white, but as each character opens their mind or changes from the perception of the Pleasantville tv show, then they begin to gain color. As those in color become more prevalent, the old black & whites become resistant to change. To ebb the flow of change, the black and whites react violently against the "new colors" and begin placing restrictions on them. Yes the similarities of the 60s civil rights movement are here as are the violent acts of the Nazis in pre-World War II. But while you see these, you are also brought to the realization that there still exists a great deal of prejudice, discrimination, and close-mindedness in this world. One of the most pleasing aspects of this film is the cinematography, the mixing of the colors with the black & white shots were great. The story keeps your interest and the characters impact upon each member of the audience in their own special way. This is one film to see for I think you will hear more about it around Oscar time. Bottom line...if we open our minds more towards others, letting them be who they are, rather than who we want them to be, then not only will we be richer in color, but also richer in character.


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