Greatest Film Scenes
and Moments

The Truman Show (1998)


Written by Tim Dirks

Title Screen
Movie Title/Year and Scene Descriptions

The Truman Show (1998)

In director Peter Weir's existentialist, biting social satire about reality TV:

  • the premise of the prophetic, thought-provoking story that a person - a good-natured insurance adjuster named Truman Burbank (Jim Carrey) - was adopted by a TV network to film his entire life 24 hours a day without his knowledge over a period of 30 years ("An entire human life recorded on an intricate network of hidden cameras, and broadcast live and unedited, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to an audience around the globe")
  • the massive town-film set called Seahaven Island ("enclosed in the largest studio ever of only two man-made structures visible from space")
  • the manipulation of the title star Burbank's life by the megalomaniac network owner/producer Christof (Oscar-nominated Ed Harris) - who delivered an opening speech about the world being bored by fake human emotions while expounding the virtues of Truman TV: ("We've become bored with watching actors give us phony emotions. We're tired of pyrotechnics and special effects. While the world he inhabits is, in some respects, counterfeit, there's nothing fake about Truman himself")
  • the fake opening credits for the show itself (Truman Burbank as himself, created by Christof, Hannah Gill as meryl, etc.)
  • Truman's happy catchphrase: "Good morning...Oh, and in case I don't see ya, good afternoon, good evening, and good night!"
  • the magical moment when Truman began to realize the world revolved around his actions - stopping traffic with a wave of his hand
  • Truman's attempt to escape via sailboat (Santa Maria) and Christof summoning a torrential storm to try to prevent it (nearly drowning Truman)
  • the moment that Truman reached the end of the fabricated, enclosed set of his make-believe world (bounded by canvas), when his schooner-sailboat pierced the 'edge of the world' - he touched and then pounded on the wall, ascended stairs to escape through a door, and asked Christof: "Who are you?"
  • the allegorical scene in which Christof spoke to Truman with a "voice of God" speech, identifying himself: "I am the creator of a television show that gives hope and joy and inspiration to millions"
  • Truman's rejection of Christof's plea to remain in the artificial world (where he had "nothing to fear" - "You belong here with me") rather than venturing into the real world (with "the same lies, the same deceit")
  • in the conclusion, Truman's beatific smile at the camera, sarcastic utterance of his cheerful catchphrase: "In case I don't see ya, good afternoon, good evening, and good night!" and a deep farewell bow before exiting from the massive set through the stage door to freedom (to the sounds of Philip Glass' stirring "The Opening from Mishima") and a new existence
  • after TV's Truman Show ceased transmission, two chubby, pizza-eating security guards conversed together about changing the channel (- "What else is on?" - "Yeah, let's see what else is on?" - "Where's the TV Guide?")


Greatest Scenes: Intro | What Makes a Great Scene? | Scenes: Quiz
Scenes: Film Titles A - H | Scenes: Film Titles I - R | Scenes: Film Titles S - Z