Directed By: Gary Ross Starring: Reese Witherspoon Tobey Maguire

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5 out of 5
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by Jun Namja on 4/28/1999

This film was an outstanding and beatiful's visual effects were simply amazing...also it had very good story line...alothough i was little disappointed how the humor presented in the beggining was totally gone towards to end..but over all it was

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Good Concept but...

by Kevin on 4/30/1999

I thought there was way too much emphasis put on sex as being the answer to everyone's problems. The focus on sex cheapened the film in my eyes. As long as you don't have to watch the film with your parents or your children, however, you will enjoy it as a film with some beautiful shots and special effects.

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Product Overview

Life imitates art when two modern-day teenagers get sucked into the too-perfect, black-and-white world of a 1950s sitcom. Trapped and trying to find a way home, the two find themselves bringing color to the lives of pleasantville's rigid, naive townspeople.


Studio New Line
SKU 40110000
UPC 794043472824
UPC 14 00794043472824
Format DVD
Release Date 6/1/2004
Rating Rating
Theatrical Release
Time Travel
Editors Note
Note Two modern American teenagers are sucked into their television set and end up living in a black-and-white fifties sitcom. Bewildered by their new world's naivete and innocence, they slowly start to add color and spice to the town's life. Eventually, however, they begin to question their influence, wondering if their advanced 90's attitudes are really that much better than those of the innocent past. Sterling effects and stand-out performances make this commentary on modern life a poignant, entertaining effort.
Rolling Stone "...The film is a technical marvel....A visionary adventure..." 11/12/1998 p.121-2
Sight and Sound "...PLEASANTVILLE's ideas are visual and cinematic as well as theoretical, making it glorious entertainment..." 03/??/1999 p.49-50
Total Film "...Gorgeous effects and a top-notch cast....A funny, feelgood Hollywood movie..." -- 4 out of 5 stars 10/01/1999 p.98
USA Today "...Visually impressive..." 11/20/1998 p.6E
New York Times "...[An] ingenious fantasy....Ms. Witherspoon turns in a deliciously naughty performance..." 10/23/1998 p.E23
Box Office "...Winsome and witty....PLEASANTVILLE cleverly satirizes those who preach the values of rigid family values and conformity..." 11/01/1998 p.138
Los Angeles Times "...Color and black and white exist magically and seamlessly in the same frames....PLEASANTVILLE further illustrates how limitless the future is for the inventive use of new technologies..." 10/23/1998 p.C1
Wall Street Journal "PLEASANTVILLE sparkles with poetic notions as color spreads throughout the town." 03/22/2012
Gary Ross
Reese Witherspoon
Tobey Maguire
Cast & Crew
Don Knotts - Actor
J.T. Walsh - Actor
Jeff Daniels - Actor
Joan Allen - Actor
Reese Witherspoon - Actor
Tobey Maguire - Actor
William H. Macy - Actor
Gary Ross - Director
John Lindley - Director of Photography
Randy Newman - Musical Score
Gary Ross - Producer
Gary Ross - Writer
Technical Info
Original Release Date 1998
Catalog ID 4728
UPC 00794043472824
Number of Discs 1
Running Time 124 minutes
Color Color
Original Language English
Available Subtitles English
Available Audio Tracks English [CC], English
Aspect Ratio
Oscar (1999) Jay Hart, et al., Nominee, Best Art Direction--Set Decoration,Randy Newman, Nominee, Best Music, Original Dramatic Score
ReviewSource Dallas Observer
Review [Writer/Directorr Gary Ross has] taken the ancient comedy riff of the fish-out-of-water and refashioned it as a hilarious but surprisingly dark allegory about sexual repression and social intolerance. The satiric messages sneak up on you, but they arrive just the same... this uncommonly clever, surprisingly poignant fairy tale packs a social wallop that we're not quite prepared for.
Reviewer Bill Gallo
ReviewRating 8
ReviewSource Boxoffice Magazine
Review ...William H. Macy and Joan Allen are impeccable, nailing their characters' obliviousness without dehumanizing them... Pleasantville cleverly satirizes those who preach the virtues of rigid family values and conformity, but avoids controversy by wrapping its message up in a delightful and brilliant special effects-laden package.
Reviewer Shlomo Schwartzberg
ReviewRating 8
ReviewSource San Francisco Examiner
Review Maguire and Witherspoon are outstanding as the youngsters; and Macy and Allen are a fine casting stroke, with Allen in particular bringing touching overtones to what could have been a one-note role. Daniels also offers unexpected poignancy. The director and special-effects team also deserve credit for their handling of color; not only is it technically remarkable but it becomes a key element in the story-telling. If you focus on the slow colorization, you see less of the innocuous satire and more that's mysterious and dreamlike.
Reviewer Walter Addiego
ReviewRating 7
DVD, Platinum Series
Janet Maslin, The New York Times An ingenious fantasy...great fun!
Leonard Maltin's Movie & Video Guide ...excellent performances and striking visual design...
Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times of the year's best and most original films...

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