The Man in the Moon (1991)

If you create a user account, you can add your own review of this DVD

Released 9-Jun-2004

Cover Art

This review is sponsored by

Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Drama Theatrical Trailer
Rating Rated PG
Year Of Production 1991
Running Time 95:34
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (52:39) Cast & Crew
Start Up Language Select Then Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Robert Mulligan

Starring Sam Waterston
Tess Harper
Gail Strickland
Reese Witherspoon
Jason London
Emily Warfield
Bentley Mitchum
Ernie Lively
Dennis Letts
Earleen Bergeron
Anna Chappell
Brandi Smith
Sandi Smith
Case ?
RPI $19.95 Music James Newton Howard

Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
German Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
French Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Italian Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.85:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English for the Hearing Impaired
German for the Hearing Impaired
Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

     You may be interested to know that the director of The Man In The Moon was the person responsible for presenting us with the fantastic To Kill A Mockingbird back in 1962. Robert Mulligan seems to have a particularly deft hand when it comes to capturing life in the American South, which is interesting, considering his own origins are from New York's The Bronx. Regardless, he seems to have a penchant for portraying that hot and quirky part of the world, where manners are quaint and genteel, and folk have their own oddball ways.

     He also seems to have a particular knack for spotting young talent, this time creating a vehicle for the cinematic debut of young Reese Witherspoon. The Baton Rouge, Louisiana native was just 14 at the time of making this film, but her confidence and subtle delivery belied that lack of experience.

     The story is a simple, uncluttered coming-of-age tale which is not confused by over-emotionalised treatment, resulting in a sweet and satisfying viewing experience. Dani Trant (Witherspoon) and her older sister Maureen (Emily Warfield) live a disciplined, well-ordered life with their parents Abigail and Matthew (Tess Harper and Sam Waterston respectively). Maureen is the town belle and has many admirers, but Dani is just a little young for such diversions.

     That is, until the Fosters return to live next door. Newly widowed Marie (Gail Strickland) has come home to try to remake a life for herself and her three sons - two tearaway twin boys, and 17 year old Court (Jason London). Court invades Dani's private swimming hole and also her every waking thought.

     As she struggles to make sense of these new emotions, Court has his own battles to face - both with his own sense of propriety and with becoming the man of the family, charged with making his family's land productive again. Things are further complicated when Court and Maureen meet for the first time.

     All of them will be forever changed by a momentous event that makes them see life through new eyes and re-evaluate the value of love and loyalty.

     This is a gentle film that steers away from being over sentimental and provides us with some remarkably subtle performances. The cast functions well as an ensemble piece and the photography is lavish and beautiful.

     A little gem.

Don't wish to see plot synopses in the future? Change your configuration.

Transfer Quality


     This transfer is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.85:1 16x9 enhanced which is its original aspect ratio.

     The presentation is quite sharp, with good highlight and shadow detail and no low level noise. The contrast levels are consistent throughout and, with the exception of some very fine grain and the hint of compression occasionally, the transfer is of high quality.

     The colour range is lush, lavish and deeply saturated, making the most of some tenderly shot cinematography. Skin tones are consistently excellent throughout, and the colours hold in both interior and exterior shots.

     This presentation is largely artefact free with the exception of some very minor aliasing and a bit of a nasty patch of dust spots around the end of Chapter 15. This clears very quickly, and overall the disc is fairly pristine.

     This is a dual layered disc, with the layer change at 52:39, but it presents no disruption at all.

Video Ratings Summary
Shadow Detail
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts


     The soundtrack is delivered in English Dolby Digital 2.0, German Dolby Digital 2.0, French Dolby Digital 2.0, Italian Dolby Digital 2.0 and Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0 and is crisp, clean and distortion free.

     The dialogue is excellent throughout and the audio sync presents no problems. The subtitles are clean, clear and easy to read.

     The film score is particularly charming, with original music provided by James Newton Howard.

     There is some sense of direction in the soundscape, although there is little subwoofer activity.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use



     The menu is static and silent.


R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

      Both the R4 and R1 versions appear identical, so I'm taking the PAL version thanks.


     The simple things in life are often the best, as this delicate little charmer goes to show. It deals with life, love and growing up without overly cloying sentiment, and manages to avoid the trap of demonising or eulogising any of its characters. It may even moisten the eye of the more sentimental viewers. Good stuff.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Mirella Roche-Parker (read my bio)
Sunday, October 24, 2004
Review Equipment
DVDSinger SGD-001, using S-Video output
DisplayTeac 76cm Widescreen. Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationTeac 5.1 integrated system
Speakers fronts-paradigm titans, centre &rear Sony - radio parts subbie

Other Reviews NONE
Comments (Add) NONE