The Truman Show

The Truman Show (1998)

21 questions

Question: In the beginning of the film, Truman talks about something looking into a mirror. Like, "I'm not going to make it", "You're going to have to go on without me", "You're going to the top of this Mountain, broken legs and all" and so on. What was he doing?

Bunch

Chosen answer: He is daydreaming out loud - acting out a little fantasy in his head. Truman leads a very ordinary, very humdrum, almost totally pre-programmed life. He attempts brief moments of escape, fantasizing about lost love, dreaming of a trip to Fiji, and engaging in small flights of fancy while staring at himself in the mirror. He has another such episode when he draws a space helmet with soap around his reflection, and imagines himself an astronaut.

Michael Albert

Question: Why didn't they just bring Sylvia/Lauren Garland back on set, to stop him finding out about Truman's true nature? It was Sylvia that Truman wanted to go off and go to Fiji with.

Shadow5

Chosen answer: Because she would have revealed the truth to him. That's why she was removed from the set in the first place.

Phixius

Question: The imdb puts red dwarf as one of the Truman shows influences. Anyone have any idea how?

Chosen answer: It says "references" not "influences." This is probably a reference to the Red Dwarf episode, "Back to Reality", in which the crew are tricked into believing that their lives aboard Red Dwarf are all part of a computer game that they've been unknowingly playing. In addition, Lister in Red Dwarf harbors a fantasy of returning from spaceship travel to Earth to settle in Fiji. His knowledge of the real Fiji is as tenuous as Truman's.

Tailkinker

Question: When Christof and his employees examine the basement where Truman is supposedly asleep (just before Marlon is sent there), Christof discovers something under the chair that obviously reveals to them that Truman is gone. What is it that they discover?

Chosen answer: Christof sees Truman's hand as he is sneaking away. This means that he can't be under the blanket.

Greg Dwyer

Question: If Christof didn't want Truman to escape on his boat, rather than trying to kill him with huge waves, why didn't he just leave the water completely flat? With no wind Truman would not be able to reach the edge and leave, but he still would've lived.

Chosen answer: He'd been hoping the waves would discourage Truman and make him turn back. It's a lot easier to agitate water than it is to calm it, so by the time he saw it wasn't working, even if he's thought of that, it would have been too late.

Captain Defenestrator

Question: How does the show account for money? Truman obviously has real money so he doesn't get tipped off that he's living in a fake town, but how do they go about money for everyone else and any change Truman might get when he purchases items? I don't think the director would risk having any movie money (used in TV and movies to stand in for real money) within the world in case Truman should be handed some by accident.

Heather Benton

Chosen answer: The world of "The Truman Show" is created as an actual functioning world. As such, even though Seahaven is a simulation, everything within it is made to seem as "real" as possible. There are actual newspapers and magazines. The snacks Marlon stocks in vending machines are actual snacks. The products in stores are real (and many are available for sale by catalog to the viewing audience). As such, there is every reason to believe that money used in Seahaven is actual legal tender. Why wouldn't it be? Every store and business can be stocked with money for change. Every actor and extra in Seahaven can be provided money for whatever transactions are needed, just as they are provided cars and briefcases and clothes and food. Accountants for the show can track the money just like everything else is probably tracked. The logistics seem overwhelming, but the economic operations of Seahaven have probably developed as the town has developed to meet Truman's needs.

Michael Albert

Question: When Truman is looking at the photo album by himself what is it that he sees in the wedding photo that makes him act oddly around Meryl the next morning?

Chosen answer: In the wedding photo, Meryl has her fingers crossed which means she doesn't agree with what she is doing. Most of the time, when you are lying you cross your fingers. Obviously because she is just an actress, she does not love Truman. The next morning when Meryl leaves, Truman says "I'll cross my fingers for ya" and she looks at him funny.

William Bergquist

Question: How does Christof talk to the actors? They don't look like they have earpieces, and if they do, why didn't that make Truman suspicious earlier?

raph

Chosen answer: It appears that Christof and the control team in the moon did not, in fact, have contact with the actors very often. It is more likely he had contact with people on the ground who could make things happen per his instructions. But there were inconsistencies. For example, how could he create instantaneous traffic jams at a moment's notice, and set up a hazardous spill scene on the outskirts of town to prevent Truman from leaving Seahaven, but he couldn't get anyone to interrupt or vary the cycle of movements by extras that Truman watched in his rear view mirror when he was trying to convince his wife something in their town was amiss - even when he was talking aloud, anticipating the next extra's move before it happened? Christof could arrange for a road race to happen by and to have people almost instantaneously hustle Truman's father onto a bus when he showed up in town as a homeless man, but it took quite some time to get Sylvia's father onto the beach to whisk her away to Fiji, even though Christof knew exactly where they were headed. And when Truman and Meryl were having their major argument in their kitchen, Christof could engineer Marlon to show up with a six pack of beer, but he couldn't communicate with Meryl to provide her advice on how to handle the situation, and she ended up screaming for help into a camera. I think Christof did place some sort of communication/listening device on some actors at critical times. We saw that in a couple of instances (e.g. When Marlon went into Truman's basement looking for an already disappeared Truman, Christof was feeding him direct instructions). But I don't think it was routinely done. And when it was, Christof's surely would have had the technical know-how to create a supremely inconspicuous piece of equipment.

Michael Albert

Question: Why didn't the studio use the camera on Truman's clothes, which is functional later while he is at sea, to locate Truman during or following the basement disappearance?

Chosen answer: There is never any indication that there are any cameras on Truman's clothes. When Truman is at sea, we only see shots of him from the perspective of cameras located (conveniently) on, around, or above the boat. Personally, I always wondered why the director, Christof, would have invested to put not just one, but multiple cameras on a boat where, due to his fear of water, Truman was least likely to be. But, as with many of these questions, the answer is that such plot devices serve to advance the cinematography and the story.

Michael Albert

Question: Just something that has interested me for a while. Did all the people in the town grow up with Truman (eg. his classmates) or are they all different actors? Also do all the actors live on set or do they have lives outside the show?

Heather Benton

Chosen answer: Clearly, in his media interviews, Truman's best friend, Marion, indicates that he did, indeed, grow up with Truman since they met in elementary school. One could extrapolate that his classmates did, as well. A sudden change of actor from one day to the next would be too much of tip-off to Truman. As actors leave the show, there is a story along with it. His father is presumed to have died, and returns later. I'm sure others move away. The main characters (Truman's wife, parents, close co-workers, and other key figures in his life) also appear to live "in world" and have devoted their entire lives to the Truman project. It is not made clear about the extras, though.

Michael Albert

Question: What was behind those rocks Truman was climbing up when he was about 4 and his dad tells him to come down, it's not safe?

Shadow5

Chosen answer: It is never stated directly, but in the background construction sounds can be heard. From this one can gather that parts of the set are being created, and the rock wall is there to keep Truman from seeing it. If he were to climb the wall he would be able to see that the beach behind the rocks immediately ends and becomes an unfinished set.

Question: Is it ever revealed what happened to Truman's real mother and father? Once he left the show, would it have been possible for him to have been able to find them?

Heather Benton

Chosen answer: No, we don't get any information about them in the movie. It's stated that Truman was legally adopted by the corporation that runs the show; that being the case, Truman would probably be able to learn his true mother's identity from the adoption papers and, with any luck, track her down. Truman was an unwanted pregnancy, hence being given up for adoption, which raises the possibility that his biological father may be unknown, or at least no longer in touch with his mother, but depending on the situation, locating his father cannot be ruled out as a possibility. Given Truman's enormous fame, it's quite probable that a number of people may well appear claiming to be his parents after his escape; DNA matches would allow them to weed out the liars, so it's not implausible that one of both of his biological parents might find him, rather than him finding them.

Tailkinker

Question: How could people sneak into the show? It's in a large dome, and I assume there's lots of security.

raph

Chosen answer: A motivated individual can find a way. One could get hired as an extra, or as a crew member. And one could certainly simply elude security. The larger the operation, the easier it is to find holes in the system. We have certainly seen many instances of that in real life, in museums, theme parks, celebrity residences, national landmarks, etc. Why not in a fictional, dome-enclosed town?

Michael Albert

Question: In the scene where Christof touches the large green screen on which Truman is shown sleeping, what is the name of the piece of music that is played by the man on the keyboard to the left of Christof?

Chosen answer: It's just a piece from the soundtrack. I think it's called "Truman Sleeps".

David Mercier

Question: When Truman's father shows up for the first time, was it set up by Christoph? if so, why was he dragged away by people that work there? can someone please explain what's going on there? Also, is Truman's father his real biological father?

dan coakley..

Chosen answer: No. Christoph did not plan his return, that is why he is dragged off, the others are trying to protect the project. No, he is not.

MasterOfAll

Question: Given that Truman is being watched (by multiple cameras) 24/7, how does he manage to escape from his house and get out to "sea" on a boat without any of the crew seeing him?

Chosen answer: As the film depicts the control room during the overnight hours, while Truman typically sleeps, the crew is greatly reduced, and not paying very close attention. By that point in the film, Truman had moved into the basement of his home, having separated from his wife. He managed to sneak out of his house while the crew thought he was asleep. Truman had configured his sleeping area to look like he was in it, and had added a recording of himself snoring. We must suspend a bit of disbelief to imagine he could pull this off without anyone, crew nor devoted viewing audience, noticing. But presuming he was able to accomplish the deception, he was able to escape out to sea because nobody was paying attention to any of the thousands of other cameras in town, as all of the focus was on the allegedly sleeping Truman.

Michael Albert

Question: At the start of the film, where the stage light falls from the 'sky', it says Sirius on it. Are we meant to presume that this stage light lit up the place in the sky where the star Sirius would be in real life?

Chosen answer: That would seem like a logical deduction, yes. The light was presumably on some sort of track to allow it to simulate the movement of the heavens caused by the rotation of the Earth.

Tailkinker

Question: What is the song that is played during Truman's high school dance, when he sees Sylvia get replaced?

Chosen answer: It's a cover of T-Rex's Twentieth Century Boy, performed by Big 6.

William Bergquist

Question: There seems to be a major plot hole in this film. A big deal is made about dissuading Truman from leaving the town. If he was raised and educated in the studio, surely they could have simply taught him that there was nowhere to run to, that the town where he lived was all that existed. Is the answer to this ever explained in the film?

Chosen answer: Truman is a natural explorer, the only way you could convince him of this would be to say he is living on a colony on another planet, which would make for a much different show. Truman is also an explorer, so unless he believes that going out will kill him, he's not going to be dissuaded.

Grumpy Scot

Question: If Cristoff wanted to get rid of Lauren/Sylvia, then why does he continue to show flashback scenes of her?

Chosen answer: For ratings. He took her off to keep her from telling the secret of Truman being in a fake world. Knowing that Truman has feelings for her, Cristoff uses this to make the audience connect more with Truman because everybody feels his pain of losing his first true love.

T Poston

Question: While Truman is performing the closing act in the film, we see him being watched all over the world by various people. Two security guys in a car park are watching when a guy taps on the window. The guard says something like "Just leave it in the car." What's he referring to?

Chosen answer: Money to pay the fare for parking. They work in a car park.

David Mercier

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Quotes

Truman Burbank: Good morning! And in case I don't see you, good afternoon, good evening, and good night!

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Mistakes

When Marlon stocks the vending machine, the camera (inside the back of the machine) shows him stocking the 1st row with brown-wrapper candy bars. He starts stocking the 2nd row with yellow-wrapper bars; Truman interrupts him for a minute (during which Marlon doesn't touch the bars at all). When Marlon continues, the yellow bars have changed to something darker (it's not just a different camera view; even barcodes are different). After another brief interruption, Marlon continues again, and the yellow bars are back.

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Trivia

The motto on the double archway in the Seahaven town center is UNUS PRO OMNIBUS, OMNES PRO UNO: "One for all, all for one" in Latin, thus fitting the premise of the Truman Show.

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