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The Toy (1982)

PG | | Comedy | 10 December 1982 (USA)
An underemployed reporter finds himself literally purchased as a toy for a rich spoiled brat.



(based on a film by), (screenplay)

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Jack Brown
Annazette Chase ...
Don Hood ...
Karen Leslie-Lyttle ...
B.J. Hopper ...
Linda McCann ...
Ray Spruell ...
Stocker Fontelieu ...


On one of his bratty son Eric's annual visits, the plutocrat U.S. Bates takes him to his department store and offers him anything in it as a gift. Eric chooses a black janitor who has made him laugh with his antics. At first the man suffers many indignities as Eric's "toy", but gradually teaches the lonely boy what it is like to have and to be a friend. Written by Paul Emmons <pemmons@wcupa.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


When Jackie Gleason Told His Son He Could Have Any Present He Wanted, He Picked The Most Outrageous Gift Of All... Richard Pryor.




PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

10 December 1982 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Su juguete preferido  »

Box Office


$50,400,000 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Richard Pryor's character Jack says to Eric (Scott Schwartz) at one point: "Truth, justice, and the American Way", which is the motto of the iconic comic-book character "Superman". Pryor would star a year later in Superman III (1983). See more »


Several video game noises heard do not match the video game being shown or played. See more »


Jack Brown: What do you think, Mr. O'Brien?
O'Brien: Forget you know me.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The closing credits are shown aside four toy darts. See more »


Featured in I Love the '80s Strikes Back: 1982 (2003) See more »


I Just Want To Be Your Friend
Performed by Jeffrey Osborne
Music and Lyrics by Trevor Lawrence and Frank Musker
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Important Evidence For How Great The Original Is !

It's nearly a shot-by-shot remake for the French masterpiece (Le Jouet

  • 1976); so much for saying I think !. (Richard Pryor) filled it with

his own buffoonery, and some funny lines, but he couldn't capture the serious sense of the story, he almost dealt with the movie as a toy itself. He was a golden star at the moment, so maybe they left him do whatever he wants. Or maybe that's the taste of his comedy anyway. (Richard Donner) made it fairly but it's still one of his most spiritless movies that lacks the personal touch, he was executing more than creating at this break between the end of the 1970s' (Superman)'s movies, and his works at the mid-1980s : (Ladyhawke), (The Goonies), then (Lethal Weapon).

Of course the comparison isn't for the sake of the American movie. Firstly, there are no changes, they kind of translated the French movie to American the way they translated le jouet to the toy ("The Toy" is what "Le Jouet" means in English). They only added a storyline about racism which suited (Pryor)'s character, and harmonized with the motif (as if slavery still exists, making the poor as the rich people's toy). And also, it utilized somehow the stepmother as a sexual toy herself. But overall nothing could reach to the original's special pace, or exceptional personality.

(Donner), with the 2 scriptwriter, lacked the French director (Francis Veber)'s smart touches while he was transforming his own short story into feature film; for example, at (Le Jouet), the rich man's villa was dark, the silence worked powerfully more than the talking, and it didn't go to repeat the domino's fall, or show off the stepmother's body !. Let alone, how here the adult joking is ruling, there is a purposed kick out of hearing the boy says "Boob", or else familiar matters. (Patrick Williams)'s music was very cute, but not up to (Vladimir Cosma)'s tender memorable score. And nothing can imitate the original's end, which's one of the most touching and expressing cinematic endings I've ever seen.

Have watched the original or not, this one is good, fresh and solid as an afternoon movie. In fact its good condition is a perfect proof of the original's beauty, though it's obvious that (The Toy) couldn't be as "unique" as (Le Jouet).

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