6.9/10
1,780
38 user 21 critic

The Chocolate War (1988)

R | | Drama | 18 November 1988 (USA)
A surreal portrait of a Catholic Private School and its hierarchy. A new student must submit to the bizarre rituals of his peers and the expectations of the school's administration by ... See full summary »

Director:

Writers:

(novel),
Reviews

On Disc

at Amazon

2 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

Add Image Add an image

Do you have any images for this title?

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

This WW2 psychological drama plays out at Christmas. US GIs hold an isolated cabin in the Ardennes against a handful of Germans cut off from their main force. Combat-weary and short of rations, both sides are determined to survive.

Director: Keith Gordon
Stars: Peter Berg, Kevin Dillon, Arye Gross
Weird Science (1985)
Comedy | Romance | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Two high school nerds attempt to create the perfect woman, but she turns out to be more than that.

Director: John Hughes
Stars: Anthony Michael Hall, Ilan Mitchell-Smith, Kelly LeBrock
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

The story of hard-luck Melvin E. Dummar, who claimed to have received a will naming him an heir to the fortune of Howard Hughes.

Director: Jonathan Demme
Stars: Paul Le Mat, Jason Robards, Elizabeth Cheshire
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 1.7/10 X  

A rapper finds himself possessed by the soul of a dead fashion designer; frequently switching personalities.

Director: Melvin Van Peebles
Stars: Mario Van Peebles, Glenn Athaide, Rick Aviles
Mother Night (1996)
Drama | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

An American spy behind the lines during WWII serves as a Nazi propagandist, a role he cannot escape in his future life as he can never reveal his real role in the war.

Director: Keith Gordon
Stars: Nick Nolte, Sheryl Lee, Alan Arkin
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

An ex-boxer is drifting around after escaping from the mental hospital. He meets a widow who convinces him to help fix up the neglected estate her ex-husband left. Her Uncle talks them both... See full summary »

Director: James Foley
Stars: Jason Patric, Rachel Ward, Bruce Dern
Drama | Mystery | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A congressional candidate questions his sanity after seeing the love of his life, presumed dead, suddenly emerge.

Director: Keith Gordon
Stars: Billy Crudup, Bill Haugland, Nelson Landrieu
Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 2.8/10 X  

Young people exploring a cave in Hawaii fall into a hole, wind up in the lost city of Atlantis.

Directors: Rusty Lemorande, Albert Pyun
Stars: Nicola Cowper, Ilan Mitchell-Smith, Paul Carafotes
Nightbreed (1990)
Action | Fantasy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A troubled young man is drawn to a mythical place called Midian where a variety of monsters are hiding from humanity.

Director: Clive Barker
Stars: Craig Sheffer, David Cronenberg, Anne Bobby
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Brother Leon
...
...
Archie (as Wally Ward)
...
Obie
Corey Gunnestad ...
Goober
...
Emile Janza (as Brent Fraser)
Robert Davenport ...
Brian Cochran
...
Lisa
...
Brother Jacques
...
Carter
...
Caroni
Wayne Young ...
Gregory Bailey
Kurt Bloom ...
Impressed Kid on Bus
Wyeth Orestes Johnston ...
Senior 'Environment' Kid
Landon Wine ...
Frank Bollo
Edit

Storyline

A surreal portrait of a Catholic Private School and its hierarchy. A new student must submit to the bizarre rituals of his peers and the expectations of the school's administration by selling chocolates. Written by Brooke <soylent@ican.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

18 November 1988 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Guerra do Chocolate  »

Box Office

Gross:

$303,624 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Contrary to popular belief, this is not Doug Hutchison's first movie. He stated his film debut was as Sproles in Fresh Horses (1988). See more »

Quotes

Bill Carter: What about Renault?
Archie Costello: Don't worry about Jerry Renault.
Bill Carter: But I do, Archie! The guy's making pansies out of us!
Archie Costello: Trust me. The Renault thing will take care of itself. Before the sale is over, Renault will be wishing with all his heart that he should have sold the chocolates... and the school will be glad that he didn't.
See more »

Connections

Featured in The Celluloid Closet (1995) See more »

Soundtracks

Running Up That Hill (A Deal with God)
Written and Performed by Kate Bush
Used with permission of Kate Bush Music Ltd.
Courtesy of EMI-Manhattan, a division of Capitol Records, Inc.
Special Markets Division
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
This ain't "Ferris Bueller"
1 August 2000 | by (Tennessee) – See all my reviews

Dark, strange, slightly amateurish yet oddly compelling, "The Chocolate War" is an excellent antidote to the happy-go-lucky teen films made popular by John Hughes in the 1980's. Based on the popular book by Robert Cormier, the story concerns Jerry Renault (Ilan Mitchell-Smith, "Weird Science"), a bright but sad young man coping with his mother's untimely death (which has also turned his father cold and distant). Jerry is a student a prep school known as Trinity, where he clashes with a sadistic "secret fraternity" known as the Vigils and the oh-so-slightly-mad acting headmaster Brother Leon (played to perfection by John Glover). At first by order of the Vigils, and then on his own, Jerry refuses to participate in the annual fund-raising chocolate sale, which not only angers Brother Leon but also causes an assortment of other problems. Yes, this is a rather simplistic summary, but going into great detail will not only take a lot of time but will also spoil the viewing experience.

"The Chocolate War" is the directorial debut of actor Keith Gordon ("Christine," "Back to School"), who also wrote the screenplay. The film is a fairly faithful adaptation of Cormier's novel, but the ending is changed significantly. Fans of the book argue that Gordon's ending for the film is too "tidy" or "happy," but in it's own way the film ends on a rather despairing note, with no easy answers or solutions.

Obviously filmed on a shoestring budget, "The Chocolate War" still boasts wonderful performances by its young cast. Mitchell-Smith is quite good as Jerry Renault, as well as the previously mentioned John Glover. Wally Ward (better known today as Wallace Langham of "Veronica's Closet") is very good as the Vigils' evil "assigner" Archie, and Bud Cort ("Harold and Maude") has a funny cameo as another teacher. Sometimes the pacing is slow, and sometimes the director attempts to be a little too "artistic" in his style; the film also suffers from a soundtrack that was dated even when the movie was made (the music comes from such new-wave dinosaurs as Yaz and Kate Bush). But "The Chocolate War" is a very thoughtful, well acted, compelling piece of work, and that is a cinematic rarity. Barely seen at the time of release and sometimes hard to find in video stores, "The Chocolate War" is well worth watching...and also well worth reading.


9 of 14 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?