IMDb > The Chocolate War (1988)
The Chocolate War
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The Chocolate War (1988) More at IMDbPro »


Overview

User Rating:
6.9/10   1,575 votes »
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Up 24% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writers:
Robert Cormier (novel)
Keith Gordon (written by)
Contact:
View company contact information for The Chocolate War on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
18 November 1988 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Plot:
A surreal portrait of a Catholic Private School and its hierarchy. A new student must submit to the... See more » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
2 nominations See more »
NewsDesk:
(8 articles)
User Reviews:
Much darker and more interesting than you think See more (37 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

John Glover ... Brother Leon

Ilan Mitchell-Smith ... Jerry

Wallace Langham ... Archie (as Wally Ward)

Doug Hutchison ... Obie
Corey Gunnestad ... Goober

Brent David Fraser ... Emile Janza (as Brent Fraser)
Robert Davenport ... Brian Cochran

Jenny Wright ... Lisa

Bud Cort ... Brother Jacques

Adam Baldwin ... Carter

Ethan Sandler ... Caroni
Wayne Young ... Gregory Bailey
Kurt Bloom ... Impressed Kid on Bus
Wyeth Orestes Johnston ... Senior 'Environment' Kid
Landon Wine ... Frank Bollo
Matthew Burke ... Porter
Douglas A. Forsyth ... Johnson
Peter Boyack ... McClosky
Sean Hagerty ... Perkins (as Sean K. Hagerty)
Colin Mitchell ... Crane
Max Dixon ... Coach
Rick May ... Doctor
John Sudol ... Priest
Roger Tompkins ... Jerry's Father
Elizabeth Yoffe ... Jerry's Mother

Robert Munns ... Brother Eugene
Jason Hrdlicka ... Young Jerry
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
John English ... Darryl (uncredited)

Jason McKibbin ... Extra (uncredited)

Directed by
Keith Gordon 
 
Writing credits
Robert Cormier (novel)

Keith Gordon (written by)

Produced by
Ron Diamond .... line producer
Jonathan D. Krane .... producer
Simon R. Lewis .... co-producer
William J. Rouhana Jr. .... executive producer (as William Rouhana)
Susan Sprivak .... associate producer (as Susan I. Spivak)
 
Cinematography by
Tom Richmond (director of photography)
 
Film Editing by
Jeff Wishengrad 
 
Production Design by
David Ensley 
 
Set Decoration by
Melissa Matthies  (as Melissa Mathies)
 
Costume Design by
Elizabeth Kaye 
 
Makeup Department
Robin Knutson .... assistant hair stylist
Robin Knutson .... assistant makeup artist
Omi .... hair stylist
Omi .... makeup artist
 
Production Management
Ron Diamond .... production manager
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Lynn Iffland .... second assistant director
Ginger Montague .... second second assistant director
Elisa Sansalone .... second second assistant director
Michelle Solotar .... first assistant director
 
Art Department
Kate Allen .... storyboard artist
Charles Armstrong .... construction coordinator
Antoinette A. Ensley .... property mistress (as Antoinette Ensley)
Geoff Harper .... carpenter
Thomas D.G. Johnson .... swing gang
Lachlin Loud .... painter
Jonathan Saturen .... props assistant
Rob 'Rich' Taylor .... painter
 
Sound Department
Sally Aberg .... apprentice sound editor
Mark Berger .... sound re-recording mixer
Mary Jo Devenney .... sound mixer
Francesca Dodd .... apprentice sound editor
Patrick Dodd .... supervising sound editor
Steve Itano .... boom operator
Mark Levinson .... assistant sound editor
Douglas Murray .... sound effects editor
Robert Shoup .... sound effects editor
Vanessa Theme Ament .... foley artist (uncredited)
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Martin Bosworth .... electrician: best boy
Mike Commins .... grip
Jim Hicks .... grip
Mark Lorge .... dolly grip
Shaun Madigan .... gaffer
Matthew Neal McVay .... still photographer
Richard Miller .... first assistant camera (as Rich Miller)
Carl Morgan .... key grip
Ryan Purcell .... grip
Keehn Thomsen .... best boy grip
Peter J. Vogt .... electrician
Bob Webeck .... second assistant camera
 
Casting Department
Rachel Griffin .... special casting
Jeff Williams .... extras casting assistant
Elizabeth Yoffe .... extras casting
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Deborah Barnes .... seamstress
Destiny Itano .... assistant costumer
Lynne Elann Morrow .... seamstress
 
Editorial Department
Anita Fendrich .... color timer
Clara Frame .... apprentice editor
David Frame .... assistant editor
Tim Heyen .... negative cutter
R. Orlando Duenas .... assistant editor (uncredited)
 
Other crew
Virginia Bogert .... production coordinator (as Virginia Berta Bogert)
Jim Bouvet .... production assistant
Bradley Cox .... production assistant
Lora Goncharoff .... production assistant
Lynette Goto .... production assistant
Rachel Griffin .... assistant to director
Kelly Johnson .... script supervisor (as Kellie Johnson)
Lynne Elann Morrow .... craft service
Elijah Muied .... security officer
Olivia Nagel .... production auditor
Sally Oien .... production assistant
Michael Perman .... production assistant
Pete Rupert .... production assistant
Cathy Sarkowsky .... production assistant
Wade Smith .... production assistant
Chriss Strauss .... completion bond company representative
 
Thanks
Billy Van Zandt .... thanks
 
Crew believed to be complete


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Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
100 min
Country:
Language:
Color:
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Certification:

Did You Know?

Trivia:
Both Ilan Mitchell-Smith (Jerry Renault) and John Glover (Brother Leon) later starred in Superman prequel television series: Renault played Andy McAlister in "Superboy" (1988) while Glover played Lionel Luthor in "Smallville" (2001).See more »
Quotes:
Archie Costello:You've disobeyed the Viglis once already Jerry. This calls for punishment. Now, we the Vigils don't believe in physical violence, but we've found it necessary to have a punishment code. The punishment is usually worse then the assignment. We can make your life sad. But we're letting you off easy Jerry. Tomorrow, we're simply asking you to sell the chocolates.
Bill Carter:We're not asking Archie, we're telling!
See more »
Movie Connections:
Featured in The Celluloid Closet (1995)See more »
Soundtrack:
Running Up That Hill (A Deal with God)See more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
18 out of 22 people found the following review useful.
Much darker and more interesting than you think, 22 September 2003
Author: Mean_Joe_Weeks from United States

I went into this film expecting yet another inspirational story about an individual triumphing over the oppressive system. Instead, this film is a lot deeper than that... and a lot darker. It is at once a film about the horror of conformity and the deadening pointlessness of resistence.

Our young protagonist, Renault, still agonizing over the death of his mother, is given a right-of-passage style task by his school's secret society, run by the calculating and elagantly power-hungry Archie : To refuse to sell chocolates to boost school income for 10 days (an activity Brother Leon, the equally power-hungry John Glover, is pushing on the students with unexpected zeal). But when his ten days are up, he still refuses to bend to the will of a system that wants only to use him as a tool. Both Archie and Brother Leon then use every method in their power to keep this rebel without a cause from toppeling them from power.

Simple enough, but this, as I said, is not a simple film about fighting the powers that be. The protagonist actually has little to say about his own action: he's so opaque that it seems even HE doesnt know exactly what he's rebelling against, just that he can't give up. He doesnt really know what he's doing, and as his life is made more and more awful by Archie and Brother Leon, it becomes increasingly clear he doesn't enjoy it either. He simply feels compelled to, and stoically refuses to give in, despite the obvious pointlessness of his rebellion and the cruel consequences that ensue. But this makes for a very hard hero to identify with and root for.

In fact, most of the film revolves around Archie and his attempt to break Renault's will. Archie is very talkative, and in fact the camera seems oddly attracted to his mercilessness, elegance and charisma, even as we assume we're supposed to revile him. Even creepy John Glover plays his villain very straight, giving only a vague, intangible sense of menace. By creating a hero we can't understand and villians we gravitate towards, the film subtly creates a situation where we can't really take sides, and can only observe the pathetic hopelessness of both situations. After all, this is all about selling CHOCOLATES. This throws the entire proceedings into an almost absurdist light. Light touches of humor (including a brief but spot-on perfect cameo by "Harold and Maude"'s Bud Cort) reinforce this classification and keep the proceedings from ever becoming bogged down in their gloominess.

All in all, though, The Chocolate War is a very dark, slightly surreal tale of the emptiness of life, for winners or losers. It suggests that, fight the system or succeed with it, you're still just a tool of larger forces, unflinchingly puppeteering smaller lives for their own banal ends. It offers no solutions and no salvations, not for anyone. Just hubris and humiliation, and perhaps a grim chuckle or two along the way. Its this demenor that makes it a truly overlooked and rather unique cinema gem, well - worth some time and thought.

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Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for The Chocolate War (1988)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
'And... Renault' NinjaJoe
Kinda cool.. shazu
Soundtrack mistermycroft
Why change the book? jasonay
Loved the movie ! - Should I read the book? vash_da_stampede
Finally a DVD date! runamokprods
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