The Truman Show

Synopsis: He doesn't know it, but everything in Truman Burbank's (Jim Carrey) life is part of a massive TV set. Executive producer Christof (Ed Harris) orchestrates "The Truman Show," a live broadcast of Truman's every move captured by hidden cameras. Cristof tries to control Truman's mind, even removing his true love, Sylvia (Natascha McElhone), from the show and replacing her with Meryl (Laura Linney). As Truman gradually discovers the truth, however, he must decide whether to act on it.
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Sci-Fi
Production: Paramount Pictures
  Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 38 wins & 65 nominations.
 
IMDB:
8.1
Metacritic:
90
Rotten Tomatoes:
94%
PG
Year:
1998
103 min
3,148 Views


FADE IN:

A white title appears on a black screen.

"One doesn't discover new lands

without consenting to lose sight

of the shore for a very long time."

Andre Gide

The title fades off, replaced by a second title.

"We're all in this alone."

Lily Tomlin

INT. A WOMB. DAY.

A fiber optic camera observes a five-month-old MALE FETUS as he

gently floats, weightless, suspended in the amniotic fluid of

his mother's womb. We focus on the unborn's hand, already a

tiny, exquisite work of art, moving towards his newly formed

lips. He sucks his thumb.

INT. HOSPITAL - DELIVERY ROOM. DAY.

A seconds old BABY BOY - umbilical cord still attached,

smeared with blood and protective skin grease - is held up

by an anonymous pair of latex gloves to the camera. Shocked by

the unaccustomed light and cool of the delivery room, the

newborn fights for his first, arduous breath. Following almost

immediately, a cry.

From another angle we see the crying infant on a television

screen, the individual lines of the screen clearly visible.

MATCH DISSOLVE TO

INT. CAR - UTOPIA, QUEENS. MORNING.

The face of the baby thirty-four years later, still crying.

TRUMAN BURBANK, thinning hair, a body going soft around the

edges, appearing older than his thirty-four years sits at the

wheel of his eight-year-old Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme. He

cries without shame, making no attempt to wipe away the tears.

Pausing at an intersection in a quiet, working-class suburban

street, a spherical glass object suddenly falls from the sky and

lands with a deafening crash on the roadway, several yards in

front of his idling car.

Truman exits the Oldsmobile to investigate. Amidst a sea of

shattered glass are the remains of a light mechanism.

He looks around him but the street is deserted. He checks that

all the surrounding streetlights are accounted for, even though

the fallen fixture is far larger. He looks up into the sky but

there is no plane in sight. With some effort, Truman picks up

what's left of the crumpled light, loads it into the trunk of

his car and drives away.

INT. CAR - TRAIN STATION PARKING LOT. MORNING.

TRUMAN sits behind the wheel of his car, unscrews the cap of

a miniature bottle of Jack Daniels and empties the contents into

his Styrofoam cup of coffee. Stirring it in with his finger, he

burns himself.

TRUMAN:

Sh*t!

As Truman drinks, he becomes aware of the delighted squeals of

children coming from the gymnasium of Utopia Elementary School,

adjacent to the parking lot. The sound of the children triggers

a memory in his head.

EXT. LONG, WIDE BEACH. DAY, TWENTY-SEVEN YEARS EARLIER.

Unlike a conventional flashback, the scene in his memory appears

to be playing on a television screen.

A sandy-haired, SEVEN-YEAR-OLD TRUMAN, runs towards a bluff on

the beach.

The boy's father, KIRK, late-thirties, beer bottle in hand,

flirts with two TEENAGE GIRLS at the shoreline. Suddenly, the

father remembers his son. He looks anxiously around. The sight

of the boy at the far end of the beach causes him to drop his

bottle in the sand and run to him.

The boy is near the top of the cliff before his agitated father

comes within earshot.

FATHER:

(out of breath, clutching his side)

Truman! Truman! Stop!

Truman turns from his perch and waves happily down to his

father. But the smile quickly vanishes when he registers the

anger and distress on his father's face.

FATHER:

Come down now!

His father's unnatural anxiety makes the next bay even more

tantalizing. The boy considers defying his father. He puts

his hand on the rock above him to stretch up and sneak a peek at

the other side. One good stretch would do it.

FATHER:

(reading Truman's mind, enraged)

No!

TRUMAN:

(sensing his father is keeping

something from him)

Why? What's there?

FATHER:

(unconvincing)

Nothing's there. It's the same as this.

(trace of desperation)

Come down, please!

Truman is suddenly aware that the hundreds of other BEACHGOERS

have stopped their activities to stare at him. Reluctantly

he starts to retrace his steps down the rocks. When he finally

jumps to the sand, his father grabs him roughly by the arm and

drags him away down the beach.

FATHER:

I told you to stay close. Don't ever leave

my sight again. You gotta know your

limitations. You could've been washed

away by the tide.

EXT. LOWER MANHATTAN, FINANCIAL DISTRICT. MORNING.

TRUMAN emerges from a subway exit in Lower Manhattan and walks

briskly down the bustling street. A snarl of taxis, buses and

COMMUTER traffic. A STREET VENDOR thrusts a pretzel under

Truman's nose, a CAREER WOMAN catches his eye.

Rate this script:2.0 / 1 vote

Andrew Niccol

Andrew M. Niccol is a New Zealand screenwriter, producer, and director. He wrote and directed Gattaca, S1m0ne, Lord of War, In Time, The Host, and Good Kill. more…

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