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The Majestic

4.0 5
Director: Frank Darabont, Jim Carrey, Bob Balaban, Martin Landau

Cast: Frank Darabont, Jim Carrey, Bob Balaban, Martin Landau


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Director Frank Darabont created this Frank Capra-inspired drama based on a screenplay by his friend and one-time schoolmate Michael Sloane. Jim Carrey stars as Pete Appleton, a screenwriter in the Hollywood of the 1950s. Pete's on top of the world with his first motion picture "Sand Pirates of the Sahara" just released to theaters and his romance with a beautiful


Director Frank Darabont created this Frank Capra-inspired drama based on a screenplay by his friend and one-time schoolmate Michael Sloane. Jim Carrey stars as Pete Appleton, a screenwriter in the Hollywood of the 1950s. Pete's on top of the world with his first motion picture "Sand Pirates of the Sahara" just released to theaters and his romance with a beautiful starlet (Amanda Detmer) heating up. However, his triumph turns to dismay when he's called before the commie-hunting House Un-American Activities Committee and advised by a studio lawyer and his agent to play ball with the witch hunters. Depressed by the film industry's weak-kneed reaction to the hearings, Pete gets drunk and drives his car north along the California coast, where he crashes from a bridge and wakes up on shore the next morning suffering from amnesia. Wandering into the nearby small town of Lawson, Pete is mistaken for Luke Trimble, a lost hero of World War II who, like most of the area's young men, never returned from the war a decade earlier. "Luke" has soon reunited with both his father (Martin Landau) and his one-time girlfriend (Laurie Holden), and finds that his reappearance has given the citizens of Lawson an emotional boost that's sorely needed. When he refurbishes and reopens his family's decrepit movie theater, the Majestic, Luke revitalizes Lawson just as his memory of his true identity begins to reassert itself. Sloane's original script for The Majestic (2001) was entitled The Bijou.

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Ed Hulse
Very much in the tradition of Frank Capra, The Majestic celebrates the virtues of America’s small towns and the innate goodness of the people who inhabit them. Unapologetically nostalgic, the film is another tour de force for screen funnyman Jim Carrey, who is deeply affecting as blacklisted Hollywood screenwriter Peter Appleton. Appleton, suffering from amnesia after crashing his car along the California coast in 1951, wanders into a community and is immediately mistaken for Luke Trimble, a decorated soldier presumed lost in Europe during World War II. The passage of years and Peter’s amazing resemblance to Luke mislead just about everyone, including the boy’s father, Harry (played by Martin Landau), and his former girlfriend, the beautiful Adele Stanton (Laurie Holden). The local movie theater of the title serves as screenwriter Michael Sloane’s central metaphor: Shuttered since the war and in poor repair, the Majestic -- operated by Harry in happier days -- becomes the focal point of the reinvigorated community, once again filled with hope upon the unexpected return of its favorite son. Director Frank Darabont (The Green Mile), obviously influenced by such cinematic paeans to Americana as It’s a Wonderful Life, paints his characters with familiar Capra-esque strokes; there's the crusty old-timer, the benevolent doctor, the kindly cop, and the wisecracking waitress, among other timeworn archetypes. Carrey is extremely impressive, dominating scene after scene by underplaying his role and becoming a lightning rod for the emotions of other characters. It’s a marvelous performance in a generally outstanding movie that harks back to Hollywood’s Golden Age. The DVD edition includes the full-length Sand Pirates of the Sahara sequence -- the movie-within-the-movie that plays an important part in the plot -- as well as an assortment of deleted scenes.
All Movie Guide - Karl Williams
Despite a deftly understated performance from leading man Jim Carrey, this fable from writer Michael Sloane and director Frank Darabont too self-consciously apes the work of Frank Capra and Preston Sturges, while giving in to Darabont's penchant for inflated running times. It's a shame that, given the picture's nearly three-hour length, many of the characters' emotional connections don't play realistically. Especially unconvincing is the burgeoning romance between Carrey and his leading lady, Laurie Holden, which happens at a lightning pace; after she makes a few comments about needing to be convinced of his identity, she's speedily frolicking with him in a sunset-dappled field and helping him scale a picturesque lighthouse. It's all handled with so much precious, gauzy triteness that the film's more serious themes don't resonate and its emotional beats aren't convincing. A tighter story structure and swifter pacing might have helped things considerably: Audiences want to like sweet, patriotic tales such as this and are willing to check their cynicism at the theater door if the film doesn't bluntly pummel them with treacle and phony melodrama. Despite his hefty paychecks, Carrey is fast becoming one of the cinema's most underrated leading men, but unfortunately, he's not likely to help his cause with the subtlety and naturalism of his performance here. Like his fellow thespian Tom Cruise, he's advanced his craft to the point of making it look too easy. If the rest of this material displayed his same mastery of tone and subtext, The Majestic (2001) would have been a nostalgic winner. Instead, it's a potent reminder that Capra, while not taken seriously by many in his lifetime, was truly a master of his homey, flag-waving idiom.
San Francisco Chronicle
I think Americans are in the mood today for a sentimental movie about their values, and, frankly, it's wonderful to see people get teary-eyed over the First Amendment. Bob Graham
New York Observer
Carrey gets the best role of his own career -- and plays it with tenderness, valor, bravery and deeply moving conviction. I find him positively captivating. Rex Reed

Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
Warner Home Video
Sales rank:

Special Features

Deleted scenes; Movie within the movie: Sand Pirates of the Sahara-the complete sequence; Theatrical trailer

Related Subjects

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Jim Carrey Peter Appleton
Bob Balaban Majority Counsel Elvin Clyde
Martin Landau Harry Trimble
Gerry Black Emmett Smith
Brent Briscoe Sheriff Cecil Coleman
Karl Bury Bob Leffert
Jeffrey DeMunn Ernie Cole
Catherine Dent Mabel
Amanda Detmer Sandra Sinclair
Shawn Doyle Federal Agent Saunders
Allen Garfield Leo Kubelsky
Hal Holbrook Congressman Doyle
Laurie Holden Adele Stanton
Brian Howe Carl Leffert
Ron Rifkin Kevin Bannerman
Chelcie Ross Avery Watt
David Ogden Stiers Doc Stanton
Daniel Von Bargen Federal Agent Ellerby
James Whitmore Stan Keller
Matt G. Wiens Spencer Wyatt
Bruce Campbell Roland the Intrepid Explorer
Susan Willis Irene Terwilliger
Cliff Curtis The Evil but Handsome Prince Khalid
Garry Marshall Studio Executive
Paul Mazursky Studio Executive
Sydney Pollack Studio Executive
Carl Reiner Studio Executive
Rob Reiner Studio Executive
Matt Damon Luke Trimble
Earl Boen Newsreel Announcer
Frank Collison Subpoena Server
Bill Gratton Daley
Ken Magee Coastal Engineer
Larry Cox Grauman's Usher
April Ortiz Vera
Michael Sloane Kindly Old Professor Meredith
Mario Roccuzzo Jerry the Bartender
Bob Wells Reverend
Scotty Leavenworth Boy on Beach
Csilla Horvath Nurse Muriel
Kevin DeMunn Western Union Man
Julie Richardson Grauman's Bon-Bon Girl
Grant Vaught Boy on Beach
Ginger Williams Louise

Technical Credits
Frank Darabont Director,Producer
Deborah Aquila Casting
Jim Behnke Executive Producer,Production Manager
Dotan Bonen Stunts
Charlie Brewer Stunts
Heather Broccoli Stunts
Brian Callahan Costumes/Costume Designer
Judy Mathai Carlson Makeup
Chris Caso Stunts
N. Kristine Chadwick Makeup
K.C. Colwell Asst. Director
William Corso Makeup
David Emmericks Camera Operator
Linda Fields-Hill Producer
Anna Gray Garduno Producer
Joe Gareri Executive Producer
Scott Herbertson Set Decoration/Design
Mark Isham Score Composer
Vincent Lapper Costumes/Costume Designer
Julia Levine Set Decoration/Design
Margaux Mackay Executive Producer
Gregory Melton Production Designer
Bernadene Morgan Costumes/Costume Designer
Bill Myer Makeup
David Page Costumes/Costume Designer
Jim Page Editor
John Van Ness Philip Stunts
Natalie Pope Set Decoration/Design
Phillip Romano Stunts
Kathie Rowe Stunts
Michael Sloane Associate Producer,Screenwriter
Sharonne Solk Animator
David Tattersall Cinematographer
Gilda Texter Costumes/Costume Designer
Mark Ulano Sound/Sound Designer
Karyn Wagner Costumes/Costume Designer
Terri Walsh Art Director
Tom Walsh Art Director


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The Majestic 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I loved this movie. Not caring much for slap-stick comedy, I have never been a Jim Carrey fan, but he won me over on this one. He was terrific - and romantic. A side I had not expected. I can't add much to the review provided but agree with all that was said. This is a movie you don't want to miss. It leaves you feeling good about life and the goodness of people.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I'm very picky about purchasing movies to include in home library. But this movie certainly meets the criteria. A wonderful story with a feel-good ending. Something that we as Americans could use a little more of.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This film would be great incorporated into a 1950s unit. It has a little bit of everything: Hollywood black lists, the restoration of an old theatre, some excellent scenes on the Constitution and Constitutional rights, fallen war heroes and the important roles they played in our freedom today, music of the period, and best of all a strong female supporting role. Oh, and no sex and very few minor vulgarities. What more could anyone want! And, although I'm not a huge Jim Carrey fan, I loved him in this movie. Definitely one to own.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago