6.1/10
662
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
Paul O'Keefe ...
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

Taglines:

You only lose once.


Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

1 June 1973 (Ireland)  »

Also Known As:

Den dödliga leken  »

Company Credits

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Marlon Brando originally signed for the role of Joseph Dobbs (Robert Preston), but quit the production before principal photography commenced. According to Bob Thomas's "Brando: Portrait of the Artist as a Rebel", Brando quit the production when he realized that James Mason had the better role, and that his flagging career would soon be revitalized by the The Godfather (1972). Preston, a fine actor, received poor reviews for his performance from Pauline Kael, among others. Brando subsequently was sued by producer David Merrick. 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]
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User Reviews

 
Subtle and not very good
6 July 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I haven't seen this in years but here's what I remember.

Dull horror film about the strange behavior of students at an all boys school. James Mason as a teacher thinks Robert Preston (another teacher) is trying to drive him out (or crazy). Beau Bridges tries to figure it all out.

You think that a film which has young students attacked (one is blinded, another is tied up and hung from a statue) might at least be disturbing...but it's not. It's dull, slow and it's pretty obvious who the villain is (he's always lit to look evil). Also, for a PG film, this is pretty grim stuff. It all leads to an unsatisfying ending which never truly explains what's going on. Also Preston, Mason and Bridges are at their worst. I caught this on TV years ago and had trouble staying awake! A rightfully forgotten horror film. Skip it.


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