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The Truman Show (1998)

PG | | Comedy, Drama, Sci-Fi | 5 June 1998 (USA)
Trailer
2:32 | Trailer
An insurance salesman discovers his whole life is actually a reality TV show.

Director:

Peter Weir

Writer:

Andrew Niccol
Popularity
938 ( 179)
Top Rated Movies #179 | Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 39 wins & 65 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jim Carrey ... Truman Burbank
Laura Linney ... Meryl Burbank / Hannah Gill
Noah Emmerich ... Marlon
Natascha McElhone ... Lauren / Sylvia
Holland Taylor ... Truman's Mother
Brian Delate ... Truman's Father
Blair Slater ... Young Truman
Peter Krause ... Lawrence
Heidi Schanz Heidi Schanz ... Vivien
Ron Taylor Ron Taylor ... Ron
Don Taylor Don Taylor ... Don
Ted Raymond ... Spencer
Judy Clayton ... Travel Agent
Fritz Dominique Fritz Dominique ... Truman's Neighbor
Angel Schmiedt Angel Schmiedt ... Truman's Neighbor
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Storyline

Since birth, a big fat lie defines the well-organised but humdrum life of the kind-hearted insurance salesman and ambitious explorer, Truman Burbank. Utterly unaware of the thousands of cleverly hidden cameras watching his every move, for nearly three decades, Truman's entire existence pivots around the will and the wild imagination of the ruthlessly manipulative television producer, Christof--the all-powerful TV-God of an extreme 24/7 reality show: The Truman Show. As a result, Truman's picturesque neighbourhood with the manicured lawns and the uncannily perfect residents is nothing but an elaborate state-of-the-art set, and the only truth he knows is what the worldwide television network and its deep financial interests dictate. Do lab rats know they are forever imprisoned? Written by Nick Riganas

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The World is Watching See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Sci-Fi

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for thematic elements and mild language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

5 June 1998 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Truman Show See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$60,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$31,542,121, 7 June 1998

Gross USA:

$125,618,201

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$264,118,201
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Paramount was cautious about the film which they dubbed "the most expensive art film ever made" because of its $60 million budget. They wanted the film to be funnier and less dramatic. Peter Weir also shared this vision, feeling that Andrew Niccoll's script was too dark, and declaring "where he [Niccol] had it depressing, I could make it light. It could convince audiences they could watch a show in this scope 24/7." Niccol wrote sixteen drafts of the script before Weir considered the script ready for filming. See more »

Goofs

During his first encounter with the Dalmatian, Truman shields himself with his briefcase. However, as the angle changes, his case is down by his side, yet the dog is still in position, jumping up. See more »

Quotes

[Meryl panics when Truman confronts her about the conspiracy around him, the situation is diffused by an impromptu appearance from Marlon. Crying, Meryl runs into his arms]
Meryl: How can anyone expect me to carry on under these conditions? It's unprofessional!
See more »

Crazy Credits

In the end credits, the cast is divided between Truman's World, Christof's World and The Viewers See more »

Alternate Versions

A lot more pseudo-documentary footage on the making of the fictional Truman Show was shot but not used in the theatrical version. Only some short segments have been included in the released film, in the pre-credits sequence. Segments of this outtake footage, featuring Meryl Burbank and Marlon being interviewed and talking about their roles on the show and their personal lives, have been included in some airline versions, presumably to pad the running times. See more »

Connections

Spoofed in Johnny English (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

Piano Sonata No. 11 in A Major (K. 331) (300), Third Movement: Alla Turca
by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Performed by Wilhelm Kempff, piano
Courtesy of Deutsche Grammophon Gesellschaft mbH., Hamburg
by arrangement with PolyGram Film and TV Music
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

camera lucida
24 August 1999 | by bax-2See all my reviews

Truman Burbank (Jim Carrey) is the most famous man in the world, and he doesn't even know it. Raised entirely 'within' a television show which comprises his entire world, Truman is an Everyman for the post-television age. Truman's world, "Seahaven", is an Eisenhower-era model of American bliss, recalling the prison-like Port Meirion and the moral certainty of Bedford Falls (Its a Wonderful Life). Surreptitiously filmed around the clock by 5000 hidden cameras, the show exists inside an enormous geodesic dome with simulated weather and even its own ocean. Through a series of production blunders Truman slowly realises that he is being controlled and that perhaps all in his world is not as it seems. His surrogate father by proxy, 'Christof' the producer/director, goes from being benevolent social scientist to evil genius as his attempts to frustrate Truman's wanderlust become more and more deadly. Will he escape?

The film raises some interesting points about our fascination with life as seen through the magnifying lens of tv, and the morality of real lives viewed as so much entertainment. But like most soaps the scenes from "The Truman Show" that appear within the movie are variously dull, mawkish and sentimental. At points the film has a problem deciding on whether it is going to be a straight escape-chase movie or a philosophical piece about morality and technology. The t.v. show's inherent blandess also lends little to the pace or our sense that there are characters worth caring about.

Carrey is good. This in itself is gratifying, and a tribute to a script that walks the tightrope of imitating bad t.v. in tandem with the metaphysical angst of Truman's unique situation. If it isn't quite the film it could have been, The Truman Show is still pretty much unique in the recent crop from our cultural overlords in Hollywood. No arthouse here, this is a watchable, big-budget think piece, with well-executed and stylish direction. Its too early to say but this film may have given some execs at NBC, ABC et al. one very bad idea...


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