6.1/10
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9 user 25 critic

Child's Play (1972)

At an exclusive boys' school, a new gym teacher is drawn into a feud between two older instructors, and he discovers that everything at the school is not quite as staid, tranquil and harmless as it seems.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Jerome Malley
...
Joseph Dobbs
...
Paul Reis
Ron Weyand ...
Father Mozian
...
Father Griffin
David Rounds ...
Father Penny
Kate Harrington ...
Mrs. Carter
Jamie Alexander ...
Sheppard
Brian Chapin ...
O'Donnell
Bryant Fraser ...
Jennings
Mark Hall Haefeli ...
Wilson
Tom Leopold ...
Shea
Julius Lo Iacono ...
McArdle
Christopher Man ...
Travis
...
Banks
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Storyline

Paul Reis returns to the exclusive Catholic prep school he graduated from nine years earlier as a gym teacher. He is reunited with his former mentor and English teacher, the affable and gregarious Joseph Dobbs, the most popular member of the faculty and advisor to the junior class, and Jerome Malley, a strict disciplinarian and teacher of classical languages, whose old-fashioned methods make him heartily disliked by his pupils. Reis finds himself caught in between the two men in a struggle for the hearts, minds, and souls of the boys. Malley, nicknamed "Lash" by his students has ruled out retirement, and Dobbs, who feels that Malley has lost touch with the students, hopes to inherit the senior class. Even though Malley's mother is dying an agonizing death from cancer, the Latin and Greek teacher refuses to surrender his position as head of the senior class to a man whose motives he questions. The tensions on the faculty are mirrored in the student body, which has endured a rash of ... Written by duke1029@aol.com

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

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You only lose once.


Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
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Release Date:

1 June 1973 (Ireland)  »

Also Known As:

Den dödliga leken  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The original Broadway production of "Child's Play" by Robert Marasco opened at the Royale Theater in New York on February 17, 1970, ran for 342 performances and was nominated for the 1970 Tony Award for the Best Play. Robbie Reed was in both the original stage version and in this filmed production, but portrayed a different character in the film. See more »

Quotes

Father Penny: [Slightly drunk] I don't know if you've noticed. There is the decided smell of brimstone in the air. This may have been the wrong way for me, but I believe in God, and I believe in Satan.
[He drinks and sets his glass down uneasily, only to have it fall]
Father Penny: Now I believe I will go get another drink.
[He walks tipsily out of the room]
See more »

Connections

Referenced in By Sidney Lumet (2015) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A great film.
25 August 2008 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This is an excellent film. Unfortunately the word subtle, which applies to this film, is used as a negative by the only (at this date) other comment on "Child's Play." Subtle it is, and those who like character studies and evocative camera work, a sustained mood and a finely wrought battle between good and evil will be delighted. If you like the garbage that passes for horror in most of today's bloodfests and loud, non-stop, effects-driven films, well - don't bother.

Robert Preston and James Mason, two A-list actors, knew good material and both give performances that rank highly with the best of their careers. This film was directed by the great Sidney Lumet, and reveals what is usually best about Lumet's work: great acting, sustained mood, the ability to confine the action to one setting and exploit it for all it is worth, attention to detail and precise pacing that builds exactly as it should. This unheralded gem deserves a DVD release soon!


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