General Question

Nevada83's avatar

What year would you say the movie "Matilda" took place in?

Asked by Nevada83 (825points) March 20th, 2016

I know they made the movie in 1996, but I would say it took place earlier than that.

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5 Answers

PriceisRightx26's avatar

I would guess late nineties, but it’s been so long since I’ve seen the movie. Her dad works in a car lot, right? I’d base it off of the models they’re selling.

Lightlyseared's avatar

I always thought 50’s or 60’s. It’s filmed in away to make it timeless.

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

Haven’t seen the film. But it’s pouring rain out and I’m just bored as hell, so I’ll play detective for awhile.

From stillshots, I can see that director DeVito wanted to give the film a kind of modern gothic feel to it and that might be throwing you off.

It is stated that Miss Trunchbull competed in the Olympics in shot put, javelin, and hammer throw. According to her jersey those were the 1972 Olympics. So, we now know the story was set after the 1972 Olympics.

But the hammer throw wasn’t added as an Olympic event for women until the year 2000, representing a film trivia anachronism. So, in this respect, this 1996 film is prescient.
—Info from IMDB, Matilda (1996), Trivia, Goofs.

”‘Matilda’ was written by British author Roald Dahl (illustrated by Quentin Blake) and first published in Great Britain by Jonathan Cape Ltd in 1988.” (IMDB, Matilda, FAQs). But this doesn’t necessarily mean that director DeVito went to the trouble to make the film set in 1988. That would be a lot of trouble for only an eight-year difference in time.

Time to check the stills for cars used in the film.

The cars in this still shot on set are contemporaneous of the mid-1990’s. I believe the red one is a 1991 Chrysler LeBaron. Here’s another shot of it in Matilda’s driveway. Here is a picture of a red 1991 Chrysler LeBaron convertable with a white top, like the one in Matilda’s driveway.

My bet is that the film setting is contemporaneous of 1995, the year the film was actually in production.

Welcome to Fluther.

NerdyKeith's avatar

Possibly late 80s, since this is when the book by Roald Dahl was published

Here2_4's avatar

Danny put the movie together with his wife. They both thought the book was really neat, and they agreed somebody should make a movie from it.
They had no ambitions to make the movie true to an era.
I haven’t read the book; weird, because I like Roald Dahl. If I remember, Dahl likes to keep times obscure, probably so the story won’t be dated.

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