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The Man in the Moon (1991)

Sam Waterston , Tess Harper , Robert Mulligan  |  PG-13 |  DVD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (182 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Sam Waterston, Tess Harper, Gail Strickland, Reese Witherspoon, Jason London
  • Directors: Robert Mulligan
  • Writers: Jenny Wingfield
  • Producers: Bill Borden, Jerry Grandey, Mark Rydell, Shari Rhodes, William S. Gilmore
  • Format: Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, Full Screen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0), French (Dolby Digital 2.0), Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0)
  • Subtitles: Spanish, French
  • Dubbed: Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: MGM
  • DVD Release Date: January 9, 2001
  • Run Time: 104 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (182 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000053VB2
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,473 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Man in the Moon" on IMDb

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

Oscar(r) nominees* Sam Waterston and Tess Harper and veteran actress Gail Strickland (Norma Rae) join three talented newcomers in this deeply moving film (Los Angeles Times) about coming of age and sexual discovery in rural, 1950s Louisiana. Brilliantly directed by Robert Mulligan (To Kill a Mockingbird, The Summer of 42), The Man in the Moon is a poignant and bittersweet tale Roger Ebert calls a wonderful movie...a victory...a meticulously prepared masterpiece. Fourteen-year-old Dani (Reese Witherspoon) and her older sister Maureen (Emily Warfield) have always shared everything. But when Court Foster (Jason London) moves in next door, the sisters become rivals as Dani experiences her first feelings of affection and Maureen finds the true love she's longed for. But with love comes heartache, and the sisters soon learn a tough life lesson when tragedy strikes and the strength of their bond is the only thing that will keep theirhearts from breaking. *1984: Actor, The Killing Fields; 1986: Supporting Actress, Crimes of the Heart

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
111 of 113 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Odd title for a wonderful film. June 9, 2001
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Okay, I'm going to say this straight out. This is a family film (although it is rated PG-13). And yes, it will bring tears to your eyes. For those who are already heading for the hills, you'll be making a huge mistake. After all, it's directed by the same man (Robert Mulligan) who gave us "To Kill a Mockingbird" and "The Summer of 42".
"The Man in the Moon" is a small film that came out in 1991 and I, among millions of others, missed its theatrical release. Heck, most missed its video release. This is really a shame because these movie treasures come far too infrequently. They get pigeon-holed and lumped together with all the other Hollywood-style attempts to depict family drama (which runs from the banal to okay, and even to pretty good). So I'm here to "unlump" it.
This marvelous story centers around two teenage sisters, Dani and Maureen (age 14 and 17 respectively) and their attraction and love for the same boy (Court Foster, played nicely by Jason London). Set in the 1950s on a rural Louisiana farm, this film richly depicts the setting and ambience of this era. Much like "Stand by Me", it shows us the unfettered freedom that children had in a small, rural community in those days...a freedom sadly lacking today.
Wonderfully acted throughout, special attention should go to Sam Waterston (the father), Tess Harper (the mother), and Reese Witherspoon (Dani). This is not, let me repeat, not an overblown melodrama. This movie knows exactly where it is going and it pin-points the target at every turn. Today, where "coming of age" films mean boy gets girl, this film takes a fresh and absolutely honest approach, catapulting it far above the others of this genre. Between 1 and 10, "The Man in the Moon" gets the highest mark, a 10. When one looks at the jacket, you'll see over-used words such as "poignant" and "bittersweet". All I can say is, believe it, for it is true. This one is a classic in the truest sense of the word.
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63 of 65 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "You're so pretty that it hurts!" July 4, 2004
Format:DVD
As of this review this film has 75 reviews and a 4.9 cummulative rating. If that is not enough to make somebody at least rent this film... This is the style of film that harkens back to the days when a good script, solid acting, and inspired direction was all any studio needed to have a great film. This film has a fantastic coming-of-age tale set in 1950s Louisiana and is so often absolutely believable that I felt transported, even nostalgic for a time in which I was never even alive. Director Robert Mulligan, most famous for directing "To Kill a Mockingbird," has such a light, fluid touch with camera angles and complex panning sequences that it feels almost organic. The movie practically flows through you as you watch it. Then there are the splendid acting performances. Sam Waterston, a favorite actor of mine since "The Killing Fields," gives the whole package here from wit and strength to fear and being at a total loss for words when intense situations occur. Tess Harper has a more limited role, serving as a strong foundation as the mother and wife, but when the scene calls for it she shines accordingly. Jason London has some splendid scenes, particularly with both Reese Witherspoon and Emily Warfield who play sisters who both fall in love with the young man. Reese Witherspoon is very impressive here for being so young. Oftentimes, young actors are so mature for their ages that they have forgotten how to behave like a kid. Reese is exceptional here! Then there is Emily Warfield. Let me just quote Reese's character by saying, "You're so pretty that it hurts!" She is amazingly beautiful and uses so much subtlety in her performance that when she has to completely breakdown near the end it is truly visceral. Read more ›
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45 of 47 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Tender Story May 23, 2005
Format:VHS Tape
This poignant and tender coming of age story is a small but beautiful film many have not had the opportunity to see. It is set in rural Louisiana during the 1950's and is beautifully photographed and filled with love and tenderness. The focal point of director Robert Mulligan's fine film is a very young Reese Witherspoon. The story of first love and the tragedy that follows will touch you in a way you'll remember for a long time.

Sam Waterson is the kind and gentle husband and father who knows his two daughters are growing up faster than he can blink and has one more on the way. Tess Harper has another fine turn as his loving wife Abigail. There is a very human and peaceful feel to this film that works its way into your heart slowly and remains there long after the closing credits.

Dani (Reese Witherspoon) is the spunky but tender-hearted 14 year old younger sister who is beginning to cross the waters from child to young womanhood. Her adolescent crush on Elvis Presley changes to something real when 17 year old Court Foster (Jason London) enters the picture. They both like to swim in the lake and become something more than friends but something less than a couple. Their relationship is handled in such a sweet and thoughtful manner you find youself embracing this film with your heart early on.

But as much as Court cares about her she is too young for him and when chance brings he and her older sister Maureen (Emily Wakefield) together nature takes its course and someone's heart is bound to break. This is a good and loving family and Dani and her older sister Maureen are close. They bicker as sisters do but Dani secretly worships Maureen and wants to be like her.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Where were you?
What were you doing? good movie! Great start to Witherspoons career. This is a great classic movie with a good meaningful story.
Published 7 hours ago by Uncle Ted
5.0 out of 5 stars Good movie
Never saw the ending coming on this one. Touching movie of the younger sister falling for an older teenager who only has eyes for her older sister. Read more
Published 8 days ago by Annes
5.0 out of 5 stars Man in the Moon
Man in the Moon is a movie that mothers and daughters would love to see. It is worth the cost.
Published 22 days ago by C. A. C.
5.0 out of 5 stars The Man in the Moon
I liked this coming of age tale so much that I finally purchased the DVD for my collection. It's a warm family drama/tragedy. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Jo Ann P. Marcoux
5.0 out of 5 stars great
I just think this movie is one the most romantic and sad as well as a great love story. Loved it
Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars she loves it
Bought it for my daughter for her birthday and she watches it all the time,she loves this movie.I believe you will like it too
Published 2 months ago by BREEZIE
4.0 out of 5 stars A refreshingly simple yet complex coming of age story
Fourteen-year-old Dani Trant (Reese Witherspoon) is at that awkward age that every female must go through. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Joanna Mechlinski
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best coming of age movies
I have always been a big fan of Sam Waterston even before he did "Law & Order". So I rented it. This movie is so relatable since I'm from the south. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Angel
5.0 out of 5 stars Kinda Sad
The movie is pleasant and a good watch. Perhaps when Cort dies, it reminds me of my childhood friend I lost.
Published 3 months ago by JeffBlumenthal
5.0 out of 5 stars Tear Jerker
This definitely had me reaching for the tissues but I love it. I seen it years ago and so when I seen it I remembered how much I had loved it and got it. Read more
Published 3 months ago by K. Graham
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