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The Devil's Playground (1976)

Fred Schepisi's film, 'The Devil's Playground' is an intimate portrait of Tom, a thirteen-year-old struggling in spirit and body with the constraints of living in a Catholic seminary. It is... See full summary »

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6 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Charles McCallum ...
Brother Sebastian
John Frawley ...
Brother Celian
Arthur Dignam ...
Brother Francine
...
Brother Victor
Peter Cox ...
Brother James
...
Brother Arnold
Gerry Duggan ...
Brother Hanrahan
Thomas Keneally ...
Father Marshall
Sheila Florance ...
Mrs.Sullivan
...
Tom Allen
John Diedrich ...
Fitz
Alan Cinis ...
Waite
Richard Morgan ...
Smith
Rowan Currie ...
Casey
Gary Pixton ...
Tomkin
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Storyline

Fred Schepisi's film, 'The Devil's Playground' is an intimate portrait of Tom, a thirteen-year-old struggling in spirit and body with the constraints of living in a Catholic seminary. It is also the story of the Brothers and how they cope with the demands of their faith. Written by hawkeye

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Australia's most honoured film! See more »

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Drama

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Release Date:

October 1979 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A gonosz melegágya  »

Box Office

Budget:

AUD 300,000 (estimated)
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This picture was one of fifty Australian films selected for preservation as part of the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia's Kodak / Atlab Cinema Collection Restoration Project. See more »

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User Reviews

 
Rather routine but well made drama...
12 May 2012 | by (Salisbury, United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Fred Schepisi's Australian drama from 1976 is a semi-autobiographical quite straightforward movie about the life and growing pains of both Fathers, Brothers and boys at a Roman Catholic boarding school, in 1953. Within Australia, it is considered amongst the top 50 films ever made there.

There are as many personal dilemmas and demons in the Brother's lives as there are in the boy's. Probably more. For someone who is not a Catholic, for me there's always the ever overpowering lecturing on sins of the flesh and such, particularly pertinent with pubescent boys, of course.

However, taking this aside and concentrating on the characters and the individual stories, these are solidly interesting and, thank goodness, the script is suitable for the 15 certificate, so there is no blushing at the natural use of grubby schoolboy banter.

There was also a slightly surprising amount of nudity, the strongest scene of which comes as a dream by one of the Brothers. The acting is uniformly very good, all natural, both boys and adults.

Radio Times said that The Devil's Playground 'takes us no further into the issue than a legion of others have before' and whilst I've far from seen them all, I'd have to agree.

Best bet buying the DVD is the Australian Cinema collection vol 1, a 12 film boxset and that is exactly where I got and saw my copy from.


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