Pleasantville (1998) was a high-concept fantasy-comedy about high-school siblings (Tobey Maguire and Reese Witherspoon) transported into an idyllic, black-and-white 1950s Leave It to Beaver-type TV show. In the hands of writer/director Gary Ross, the film is more than just a fish-out-of-water tale with dazzling VFX—it is a touching character study and potent Civil Rights allegory that received critical acclaim and is fondly remembered today.
Scoring Pleasantville was a master of Americana, humor and symphonic scoring, Randy Newman. Newman had cheeky fun with the show-within-the-film's old-school traditions, but just as the story blossoms into a heartfelt tale of emotional awakening—with a beautiful performance by Joan Allen as a repressed mother—so does the gorgeous score.
"Randy is unique in the fact that he can write with a depth of emotion, and he's also an accomplished satirist," says Gary Ross in the new liner notes by Tim Greiving. "He could write to the vernacular of what the movie was, but not be limited by it. That's what the film is trying to do, and it really needs someone who can understand the breadth of those intentions... I've never been happier with any score, on any movie."
Varèse Sarabande released Pleasantville's score album in 1998 as a 17-track, 31-minute edition. As the film celebrates its 25th anniversary, this Deluxe Edition features an expanded program of 34 tracks and 66 minutes.
- Varèse Sarabande