DVD - 1999
Average Rating:
Rate this:
A brother and sister are magically transported through their television set and into the black-and-white world of a 1950s sitcom called Pleasantville. Soon they affect this environment with their worldly sensibilities, and people and things slowly begin to acquire color.
Publisher: [S.l.] : New Line Home Video, c1999
Edition: Widescreen version
ISBN: 0794043472824
Branch Call Number: DVD DRAMA PLE
Characteristics: 1 videodisc (124 min.) : sd., col. & b&w ; 4 3/4 in


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment

Jun 17, 2017

Pleasantville is an addictive film: every viewing is better than the last time. Little wonder it has become a cult classic. We've watched the DVD several times (and originally at the theater), and it never gets old.
In the pursuit of entertainment, Pleasantville of course employs stereotypes: I lived through the 1950s, and it certainly wasn't this blissfully happy. After all, this was the era of the Red Scare and nuclear saber-rattling. Even so, you can easily get on board with the total innocence at the beginning of the black & white inner story, and yet also exult as the colors begin to appear.

Apr 27, 2015

One of my all time favorite movies, with characters that grow, and find inter truths. Can watch this over, and over (and again for the soundtrack). A real pleasure.

Kelly196 Oct 16, 2014

Fun movie. Very good storyline.

Robert092543 Aug 25, 2014

"The time has come, the walrus said, to talk of many things..." ...of black & white and colored folk, of burning books and flings. Thus we all sing as we tumble down the rabbit hole that is Pleasantville, one of the most uniquely conceived cinematic events I've ever seen. We are Alice observing the absurdities and nonsense thinly disguising the bigotry and censorship issues that lie just under the surface of Pleasantville's Wonderland.

This is one of the few instances where I thoroughly approve the author directing his own screenplay, for no one else could possible have used the metaphors inherent in the writing to better imaging on the silver screen. This was a director's movie in every sense of the phrase, and the honor of its intent was faithfully rendered entertaining and delightful to behold. Color became a character in the film, gently easing its message to us bemused spectators, and was as effective as the vivid black & white book burning scene, or the simple sign in a shop window, "no coloreds." I tip my hat to director/writer Gary Ross.

None of the above is subtle, and at first I thought I was watching parody, or even satire. But when a film transcends those literary devices and comes alive with delicious imagery and simple intent, true cinematic art is created. I can see how this film could be seriously misunderstood, which may or may not have had anything to do with its not earning awards for its writing and direction. It's simplicity in style and approach is its greatest virtue. Its tragedy is its misinterpreted messages.

The acting was fine, the cinematography and art direction both brilliant, but all these elements were used and manipulated to serve the director/writer's vision. I've always liked Tobey Maguire's work, ever since I saw his terrific performance in The Cider House Rules, made a few years earlier. And I thoroughly enjoyed and appreciated the work of Reese Witherspoon. The talented and versatile Joan Allen and Jeff Daniels were spot on in terms of the film's style and intent, touchingly illustrating the two central victims of the perfect world they inhabit.

How a film with as many obvious images and metaphors can be so entertaining is beyond me. But I thoroughly enjoyed the film for its fun, as well as its messages.

Jul 18, 2013

Is carnal knowledge, like ignorance, really bliss?_____ You know, I much preferred the b&w, 1950s town of Pleasantville before the characters of Jennifer and David arrived in it and corrupted it with the colors of carnal knowledge. (Yep. That's right! - Corrupted it!)_____ I thought that as a movie Pleasantville got its equation for fulfillment all wrong. By using the screwy metaphor of color as its yardstick to measure fulfillment, I was told, plain and simple, that a black & white world equaled sterility, close-mindedness, and gross naivety. While, on the other hand, a technicolor world meant only beauty, life-lovingness and rich rewards._____ This film seemed to have absolutely no understanding or appreciation for the targeted era in US culture which it so smugly attempted to belittle and ridicule._____ I found it really hard to believe that the characters living in Pleasantville (before the colors of sex arrived) were so bloody clueless that they didn't know that a whole, wide world existed out there beyond the idealism of their quaint, little town._____ Like, hello!? - Didn't these innocent-ones watch movies and TV? And, didn't they actually see in color?

indigo_lion_24 Feb 27, 2013

This film has a couple insights that make it interesting at first but pretty soon it becomes a belabored morality tale, heavy handed and little entertainment value.

Good acting all around though.

tarayoung Jan 30, 2013

Great movie

Oct 26, 2012

Implied Sexual content, although there was no explicit sex.

vdragon1031 Feb 04, 2012

I absolutely LOVE this movie! I grew up to it in the late '90s and this is how I remember Toby Mcquire and Reese Witherspoon. Definitely a movie that will make you question morals and what is right and what is wrong.

Really good movie


Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at ELPL

To Top