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Playing with Fire (1985)

TV Movie  |   |  Crime, Drama  |  14 April 1985 (USA)
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Unintentionally hilarious made-for-TV film starring a not-so-young Gary Coleman as a teenage arsonist. The authorities, friends, and neighbors warn his absentee parents until it is too late.


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Title: Playing with Fire (TV Movie 1985)

Playing with Fire (TV Movie 1985) on IMDb 6.3/10

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Carol Phillips
Steve Phillips
Fire Chief Walker
Pamela Fredericks
Tom Fridley ...
Mike Harris
Dr. Becker
Richard McKenzie ...
Principal Sweeney
Arthur Burghardt ...
Jacque Lynn Colton ...
Miss Somerhalter
Fireman Goodwin
Fireman Wilson
Eileen Phillips
Wesley Pfenning ...
Mrs. Williams


Unintentionally hilarious made-for-TV film starring a not-so-young Gary Coleman as a teenage arsonist. The authorities, friends, and neighbors warn his absentee parents until it is too late. Written by Doug Mosurak <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama





Release Date:

14 April 1985 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

Gary Coleman?
3 January 2004 | by (Germany) – See all my reviews

People have said that this film is unintentionally hilarious and preachy, just another "disease of the week" tv film this one with Gary Coleman as a teenage arsonist. There is nothing funny about pyromania. A few years ago, Malcom X's widow Betty Shabazz was burned to death in an apartment fire that her young grandson set. Its just that Gary Coleman was such a sucky actor! I wish there was a nice way to say this but there is not. I am sorry about the terrible health problems that he has had to live with all his life. (His kidney condition and treatments stunted his growth). Its just a little bit of him goes a very long way. I admit I liked to watch Diffrent Strokes as a kid, but what is that the poet says, "As a man I put away childish things". What I remember about this film is how stupid Coleman's parents were they didn't even realize what an evil little s#$t he was! Its like he could have burned the house down and they wouldn't have said boo. Cicley Tyson and Yaphet Kotto as a fire chief who tries to help Coleman give able support and Coleman makes a nice PSA at the end about arson, but this film is really unintentionally funny in a lot of ways. I remember when it was first shown on NBC, they had one of those "parental discretion advised" warnings at the beginning and I couldn't understand why after seeing it.

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