by Jack Nilan            EMail :

Pleasantville (1998)

Movie Grade A

McCarthyism Connection Grade A-

McCarthyism Connection
Pleasantville can be viewed as a critique of 1950s McCarthyism and contemporary conservative nostalgia.

Fantasy/ comedy / drama


Jack   A
Roger Ebert   ****
IMDB    7.4

   This movie, while on the surface seems to have very little to do with McCarthyism, may be one of the most important films that we can use to discuss that phenomenon.

   The movie, to me, gets to the heart of what McCarthyism is all about (and the Patriot Act too for that matter). Is it worth it to give up some freedom in order to have an orderly and safer society?

   One of the things that I find most interesting about Pleasantville is that some people will watch it and welcome the changes that are taking place while others will view them with horror. This is very similar to the arguments that still go on today as to whether McCarthy was right or not in his pursuit of the "Commies".

   Pleasantville examines one of the most important issues we will face in the very near future, "striking the right balance" between freedom and safety.