Man in the Moon

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Product Overview

After handsome 17-year-old court foster moves back into the long vacant foster ranch, 14-year-old dani trant falls in love for the first time, while her older sister maureen discovers true love.


Studio MGM
SKU 40146073
UPC 027616857767
UPC 14 00027616857767
Format DVD
Release Date 4/15/2008
Rating Rating
Coming Of Age
Family Interaction
Love Story
Tear Jerker
Theatrical Release
Editors Note
Note Robert Mulligan's graceful coming-of-age drama, set in rural Louisiana in 1957, explores the relationship change two sisters experience when both fall for the handsome new boy next door, Court Foster (Jason London). The younger sister, 14-year-old Dani (Reese Witherspoon), gains Court's friendship and a brief kiss but not his romantic affections, which he delivers to college-bound Maureen (Emily Warfield). The once-close sisters turn into rivals while learning some painful lessons about growing up. But when a sudden tragedy strikes, they are forced to draw strength from their powerful familial bond. Witherspoon gives a moving performance in her film debut, and Mulligan demonstrates once again his graceful and tender knack (shown in previous films such as SUMMER OF '42 and TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD) for capturing the bewilderment, awkwardness, and fresh excitement of adolescence.
Sight and Sound "...Magnificently photographed..." 03/01/1992 p.50
New York Times "...[THE MAN IN THE MOON] has a rosy glow....Simple, colorful and neatly constructed....[Witherspoon] has no trouble carrying a lot of the film single-handedly..." 10/04/1991 p.C13
Los Angeles Times "...[A] deeply moving film....The story unwinds with the inevitability, rigor, clarity and mysterious suggestiveness of a confession..." 10/03/1991 p.F1
Robert Mulligan
Sam Waterston
Reese Witherspoon
Jason London
Tess Harper
Cast & Crew
Gail Strickland - Actor
Reese Witherspoon - Actor
Sam Waterston - Actor
Tess Harper - Actor
Robert Mulligan - Director
Freddie Francis - Director of Photography
James Newton Howard - Musical Score
Bill Borden, et al. - Producer
Jenny Wingfield - Writer
Technical Info
Original Release Date 1992
Catalog ID 113703
UPC 00027616857767
Number of Discs 1
Running Time 100 minutes
Color Color
Original Language English
Available Subtitles French, Spanish
Available Audio Tracks English [CC], English, French Dubbed, Spanish Dubbed
Aspect Ratio
Anamorphic Widescreen  1.85:1
Young Artist Award (1992) Reese Witherspoon, Nominee, Best Young Actress
ReviewSource Chicago Sun-Times
Review When this movie was over, I sat quietly for a moment so that I could feel the arc of its story being completed in my mind. They had done it: They had found a way all the way from the beginning to the end of this material, which is so fraught with peril, and never stepped wrong, not even at the end, when everything could have come tumbling down. "The Man in the Moon" is a wonderful movie, but it is more than that, it is a victory of tone and mood. It is like a poem..."The Man in the Moon" is like a great short story, one of those masterpieces of language and mood where not one word is wrong, or unnecessary. It flows so smoothly from start to finish that it hardly even seems like an ordinary film. Usually I am aware of the screenwriter putting in obligatory scenes. I can hear the machinery grinding. Not this time. Although, in retrospect, I can see how carefully the plot was put together, how meticulously each event was prepared for, as I watched the film I was only aware of life passing by...Robert Mulligan is a director whose titles range from "Inside Daisy Clover" to "Blood Brothers" to "The Other." He made "Summer of '42," also the story of the intensity of young love, and his "Same Time, Next Year" and "Clara's Heart" were also, in a way, about how time and age affect romance. Although his work is uneven, he has always been a serious and sincere artist - both in the early days of the partnership with Alan J. Pakula that produced "Mockingbird," and since...Nothing else he has done, however, approaches the purity and perfection of "The Man in the Moon." As the film approached its conclusion without having stepped wrong once, I wondered whether he could do it - whether he could maintain the poetic, bittersweet tone, and avoid the sentimentalism and cheap emotion that could have destroyed this story. Would he maintain the integrity of this material? He would, and he does.
Reviewer Roger Ebert
ReviewRating 10
Review Released in 1991, The Man in the Moon is a fine example of the type of small budget, beautifully made films that would be all too rare throughout the decade. It is simple, passionate, well directed, acted and written, is one of the all time greatest examples of cinematography, and is the first to showcase one of the finest and most under appreciated actors of her generation. Despite all this, it got absolutely no recognition from organizations such as the Academy Awards and remains little known. It is, however, one of the most watchable films I have ever seen and among a handful of my all-time favorites...It is probably the greatest strength of The Man in the Moon that it is easily taken as much less than it is. The story and acting are so subtle they don't demand the attention of the viewer like many modern films do...The entire film is photographed with astounding beauty by Cinematographer Freddie Francis (Glory, The Elephant Man) who integrates a golden warmth of youth with blossoming and tangled branches of the trees, to match the main theme of the story. In particular, the last 15 minutes, during which there is almost no dialog, embodies the simple beauty and emotional power of this exceptional film, while showcasing the quiet talent of its star...Despite outstanding performances from Sam Waterston as Matt, Tess Harper as Abigail, Emily Warfield as Maureen, Jason London as Court and Gail Strickland as his mother Marie, the stand-out performance comes from Reese Witherspoon, only 14 years old at the time, as Dani, starring in her first film role. In the 14 or so years since, Witherspoon has become one of the most sought after actresses in the American movie business, which unfortunately, does not always lead to the most interesting roles. Her often subtle, but powerful performance here, as well as in many of the other lesser known films she has done shows Witherspoon as an exceptionally talented actor.
Reviewer John Rice
ReviewRating 10
Product Attributes
Actor Waterson,Sam
Label Mgm Entertainment
Music Format DVD
Video Format DVD
Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat, Spirituality and Practice Tender and touching film about two sisters whose close relationship is tested by the joy of love and the pain of grief.
Michael E. Grost, Classic Film and Television Beautifully filmed, with Mulligan's special gifts for depicting country life and the South.
Siskel & Ebert Two very enthusiastic thumbs up!

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