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Pleasantville [Blu-ray] [1998]

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    Ratings & Reviews

    Overall Customer Rating:
    100% of customers would recommend this product to a friend (5 out of 5)

    Special Features

    • Commentary with Writer/Director Gary Ross
    • Isolated Score Track with Commentary by Composer Randy Newman
    • Featurette The Art Of Pleasantville
    • Fiona Apple Across the Universe Music Video Directed by Paul Thomas Anderson
    • Theatrical Trailer


    Gary Ross, Oscar nominated for his Dave and Big screenplays, made his directorial debut with this comedy. The cheerful '50s TV sitcom "Pleasantville" is revived in the '90s for a loyal cable audience. One devoted fan is shy suburban teen David Wagner (Tobey Maguire), who has an almost obsessive interest in the series. Living with his divorced mother (Jane Kaczmarek), David sometimes has disputes with his ultra-hip twin sister Jennifer (Reese Witherspoon). She wants to watch MTV just when a Pleasantville marathon is about to begin. They struggle over the remote control, and it breaks. A strange TV repairman (Don Knotts) supplies their new remote, a potent high-tech device which zaps David and Jennifer inside Pleasantville, where their new sitcom parents are businessman George Parker (William H. Macy) and wife Betty (Joan Allen). As "Bud" and "Mary Sue," the teens take up residence in a black-and-white suburbia where sex does not exist and the temperature is always 72 degrees. Life is always pleasant, books have no words, bathrooms have no toilets, married couples sleep in twin beds, the high school basketball team always wins, and nobody ever questions "The Good Life." David revels in Pleasantville's Prozac-styled peacefulness. He fits right in, but Jennifer's 1990s attitude upsets the blandness balance, painting parts of Pleasantville in "living color." Repressed desires surface, cracks appear in the '50s lifestyles, and the Pleasantville populace finds their lives changing in strange, wonderful ways. It's liberating -- but there's also a darker side. This film breaks an all-time record with more than 1700 special effects shots. Shown at the 1998 Toronto Film Festival. ~ Bhob Stewart, Rovi

    Cast & Crew

    • Tobey Maguire
      Tobey Maguire - David/Bud
    • Jeff Daniels
      Jeff Daniels - Mr. Johnson
    • Joan Allen
      Joan Allen - Betty
    • J.T. Walsh
      J.T. Walsh - Big Bob
    • Reese Witherspoon
      Reese Witherspoon - Jennifer/Mary Sue

    Customer rating

    Rating 4.8 out of 5 stars with 5 reviews

    would recommend to a friend

    Most relevant reviews

    See all customer reviews
    • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

      A trip down nostalgia lane...


      1998's Pleasantville is a charmingly executed parable about introducing change to a closed society, and the ripple effect that even the smallest changes can produce. Siblings David (Tobey Maguire) and Jennifer (Reese Witherspoon) are polar opposites; nerdy David is obsessed with the ficticious 1950s sitcom Pleasantville (an homage to Leave It To Beaver and other picture-perfect small-screen families), while Jennifer hangs out with the fast crowd, smoking and snaring potential dates. After a mysterious TV repairman (Don Knotts) gives the two a remote, they're transported into the black-and-white, picture-perfect town of Pleasantville, where the basketball team makes perfect baskets every shot and a nutritious dinner is always on the table (thanks, mom!). Horrified, the two at first try to desperately find a way back. David has the advantage of being intimately familiar with the Pleasantville universe, and tries to steer Jennifer away from any seismic outbursts that would be out of place in placid Pleasantville, such as swearing, smoking, and heaven forbid, s-e-x. Jennifer has her own agenda, though, and Lovers Lane soon becomes more than just a place to stargaze and hold hands. With each change comes the slow but sure colorization: first bubblegum turns pink, then the more "adventurous" teens end up in color. David and Jennifer's "parents," George (William H. Macy) and Betty (Joan Allen) Parker, are stamped straight out of 1950s legend; George begins every evening by announcing "honey, I'm home!" and Betty's always on call to whip up massive breakfasts or hors d'oeuvres. David, now "Bud," works in the burger joint owned by Bill (Jeff Daniels), who's paralyzed by indecision and any break in routine. But a funny thing happens; the once-wild Jennifer slowly becomes more scholarly and more and more like her TV counterpart than her former "bad girl" self, while once-timid David learns to stand up for himself and to fight for what he believes in. In Pleasantville, the old guard is threatened by all of the changes: the once-empty books in the library are filled, Bill realizes his life's dream of becoming a painter, using every shade under the sun, rockabilly and rock and roll are heard...resulting in violence and trials that parallel McCarthyism. Betty and other wives begin to yearn for a fulfilling life outside of the home, leaving their husbands hungry and confused. Although the visual metaphors are heavy-handed at times, Pleasantville does an admirable job at capturing the balance between modern uncertainties (at school, the teens are given sobering statistics about AIDS, global warming, and underemployment) and our rose-tinted nostalgia for the past. The visual design deserves special mention, and the classic soundtrack is loaded with gems by Pat Boone, Miles Davis, Etta James, Elvis and Buddy Holly. Pleasantville was nominated for two dozen awards, and it's easy to see why. A delightful film for the entire family.

      I would recommend this to a friend

    • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

      Good movie

      • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
      • My Best Buy® MemberMember

      Not sure why I like this movie so much, I just do.

      I would recommend this to a friend

    • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars


      • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
      • My Best Buy® Elite MemberElite Member
      • Top 250 ContributorTop 250 Contributor

      great movie for the whole family very nicely done a must have

      I would recommend this to a friend

    • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

      Awesome movie

      • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
      • My Best Buy® Elite Plus MemberElite Plus Member

      Love this movie and seeing it in HD just takes it to the next level.

      I would recommend this to a friend

    • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

      Great flick!

      • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
      • My Best Buy® Elite Plus MemberElite Plus Member
      • Top 500 ContributorTop 500 Contributor

      Classic! Great story! Very interesting. Great acting.

      I would recommend this to a friend

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