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Pleasantville (1998)

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0:31 | Trailer
Two 1990s teenage siblings find themselves in a 1950s sitcom, where their influence begins to profoundly change that complacent world.

Director:

Gary Ross

Writer:

Gary Ross
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Popularity
2,619 ( 481)
Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 18 wins & 41 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
William H. Macy ... George
Joan Allen ... Betty
Natalie Ramsey ... Mary Sue
Kevin Connors ... Bud
Jeff Daniels ... Mr. Johnson
Tobey Maguire ... David
Heather McGill Heather McGill ... Girl in School Yard
Paul Morgan Stetler ... College Counselor
Denise Dowse ... Health Teacher
McNally Sagal ... Science Teacher
Jane Kaczmarek ... David's Mom
Giuseppe Andrews ... Howard
Reese Witherspoon ... Jennifer
Marissa Ribisi ... Kimmy
Jenny Lewis ... Christin
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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". Pleasantville 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 unbeknownst 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:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

23 October 1998 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Pleasantville See more »

Filming Locations:

Petaluma, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$60,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$8,855,063, 25 October 1998

Gross USA:

$40,584,421

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$49,805,462
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In the scene where Bud is asked how he knew how to handle the fire, it's mentioned that the books have now started to fill in if the plot is described. After describing the plot of 'The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" to the diner, he is asked about another book. The title is not mentioned by name, but the character of Holden Caulfield is mentioned. That means the book in question is "The Catcher in the Rye". The book is also featured in a mural later in the film. "The Catcher in the Rye" is the book that supposedly inspired Mark David Chapman to kill John Lennon. The song used in the end credits, and is basically the theme of the film, is a Fiona Apple cover of "Across the Universe", a song witten by John Lennon. 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

Referenced in Gilmore Girls: Rory's Dance (2000) See more »

Soundtracks

At Last
Lyrics by Mack Gordon
Music by Harry Warren
Performed by Etta James
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
A brilliant and vastly underrated cinematic experience
23 October 2006 | by Isaac5855See all my reviews

PLEASANTVILLE had to be one of the biggest surprises I've ever had at the movies. This superbly mounted and completely winning fantasy starred Toby Maguire and Reese Witherspoon as a contemporary teenage brother and sister who are magically transported into a black and white television show called "Pleasantville", a show similar to "Leave it to Beaver" or "I Love Lucy", where everyone in the town knows each other, where the fire department only saves cats from trees and never put out fires and where there are no pages in the books or toilets in the bathrooms. Maguire's character is a "Pleasantville" trivia expert so he knows everyone there and everything that's going to happen but sis Witherspoon is a stranger in a strange land whose introduction of 1990's sensibilities to the citizens of this town brings about extraordinary changes. The film is beautifully made with a very smart screenplay and superb performances, the best of which is by Joan Allen, who is luminous as Betty, the mother in the sitcom who is shocked at first but learns to accept the 1990's coming to Pleasantville. Yes, it may borrow from other movies, but there is a freshness and originality to this movie that is most engaging and anytime with Don Knotts is time well spent.


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