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Pleasantville: Original Motion Picture Score
Randy Newman
Pleasantville: Original Motion Picture Score
Genres: Special Interest, Pop, Soundtracks
  •  Track Listings (16) - Disc #1

Oscar is a fickle little nude statue, one who historically seems to have had it in for talents like Ennio Morricone and Randy Newman. Perhaps because his uncle Alfred had a mantel full of the li'l gold fellas, Randy may ye...  more »


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CD Details

All Artists: Randy Newman
Title: Pleasantville: Original Motion Picture Score
Members Wishing: 3
Total Copies: 0
Label: Varese Sarabande
Original Release Date: 11/17/1998
Release Date: 11/17/1998
Album Type: Soundtrack
Genres: Special Interest, Pop, Soundtracks
Styles: Comedy & Spoken Word, Singer-Songwriters
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPCs: 030206598827, 4005939598822

Oscar is a fickle little nude statue, one who historically seems to have had it in for talents like Ennio Morricone and Randy Newman. Perhaps because his uncle Alfred had a mantel full of the li'l gold fellas, Randy may yet have to stand on his head and spit nickels to win an Academy Award. Newman's work on Pleasantville begs to be honored for less theatrical reasons: doing what the greatest film scores do, fleshing out character and plot almost subliminally. Sure, Newman gets to lovingly (re-)create the bubbly, smotheringly sentimental theme song of the prototypical '50s-family-TV-comedy-that-never-was (one that serves as the nexus for the film's social and cultural metaphors), but it's the composer's gentle, emotional touches (recalling some of the more plaintive moments of Copland and Bernstein) that help truly add color to the characters' black-and-white sitcom world. Pleasantville has been lauded for its ideas and masterfully subtle visual effects, but Newman's music is what holds it all together. --Jerry McCulley

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CD Reviews

One of Newman's Best Scores!
Sam Bethune | Lincoln, Nebraska USA | 12/06/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I've been a fan of Randy Newman since his "Little Criminals" album of 1978. And although he probably didn't do much more than lip synch in it, I consider his "I Love L.A. video to be the best video ever made (take that, you Thriller fans)!But Randy Newman's musical forte is in scoring and soundtrack work, whether for television shows like the late and unlamented "Cop Rock" or for movies, like "Ragtime" and "The Natural", just to name a few."Pleasantville" falls into the latter category. His score of the 1998 movie starring Tobey Maguire is his best work yet. "The Pleasantville Theme Song" is very evocative of 50's tv shows like "Father Knows Best" and fits the mood of the movie."Real Rain" is a particularly beautiful piece of music, especially the climax of the piece. In the movie, you hear it both in the rain sequence and in the scene where Bud sees the color television sets in the window of the appliance store. It sets a mood of unfolding and discovery of the new and works incredibly well.But the best piece of music on this soundtrack, as mentioned by other reviewers, is "The Mural". Again, this piece is used twice in the movie: once when the townspeople see the mural, and earlier in the movie where Bill Johnson is looking through the art book that Bud has brought him from the library. I get teary-eyed listening to this piece, and I don't know of a single piece of music in any score of any movie that creates such emotion except for "Father Kobe's Preaching" from the soundtrack of "The Truman Show".I think it'll take Randy Newman a while to outdo himself on this one."
One of the Best Music Scores Ever Produced
John P Bernat | Kingsport, TN USA | 10/17/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This CD may be hard to find now; if so, consider just buying the DVD and setting your player to hear the music tracks, uniquely interspersed with Randy Newman's commentary. It is fascinating.

You may know that Randy Newman's family is steeped in music, expecialy film composition. His father was Lionel Newman. He's written many popular songs, but his music for the movies will probably last the longest.

His music for Pleasantville is the best he's ever done. The opening of the "Pleasantville Suite" better expresses unrealized yearning than anything I've ever heard. Newman's already worked in the style of Aaron Copland in many of his film scores, perhaps most memorably in "The Natural," but the tilt he puts on this style for Pleasantville is fascinating.

Following the film's demeanor, he has to work from patronizing "Americana," into playing along, and finally into complete involvement in order to support the deepened understanding the characters grow into.

Pleasantville is a story about trapped people happy not knowing they're trapped, becoming desperately unhappy with knowledge, and finally living out an unknown future. Newman's music suits perfectly. He already is recognized for his gift in film score; this work seals that reputation."
Beautiful, moving, and well......PLEASANT!
Scott Roy | Rochester, MI United States | 07/19/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Randy Newman is a composer you may know from his work in several Disney movies, such as 'Toy Story', 'Toy Story 2', 'A Bug's Life', and 'James and the Giant Peach'. As far as I'm concerned, Pleasantville is his best work to date. Newman did an excellent job in referencing tv music from the 50's, as well as just composing some of the most beautiful movie music ever. 'Real Rain', 'The Mural', and 'A New Day' are some of the best tracks on the CD. He also does a fine job composing music for the few serious or menacing cues in the movie. My only complaint is that this CD is quite short. One track is only 15 seconds long. But then again, I don't recall them leaving anything out, so I guess I can't complain too much. However, just for the sheer beauty of the music, this CD is worth the buy. Hey, at least Randy Newman does us all a favor and doesn't sing on this CD!"