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Apt Pupil (1998)

 -  Drama | Thriller  -  23 October 1998 (USA)
6.7
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 25,058 users   Metascore: 51/100
Reviews: 244 user | 114 critic | 21 from Metacritic.com

A boy blackmails his neighbour after suspecting him to be a Nazi war criminal.

Director:

Writers:

(novel), (screenplay)
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Title: Apt Pupil (1998)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Joey
Mickey Cottrell ...
Sociology Teacher
...
Nightmare Victim
...
Monica Bowden
...
Richard Bowden
...
Victor Bowden
Marjorie Lovett ...
Agnes Bowden
David Cooley ...
Gym Teacher
Blake Anthony Tibbetts ...
Teammate
...
Becky Trask
Katherine Malone ...
Student
Grace Sinden ...
Secretary
...
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Storyline

Neighborhood boy Todd Bowden (Renfro) discovers that an old man living on his block named Arthur Denker (Mackellan) is Nazi war criminal. Bowden confronts Denker and offers him a deal: Bowden will not go to the authorities if Denker tells him stories of the concentration camps in WWII. Denker agrees and Bowden starts visiting him regularly. The more stories Bowden hears, the more it affects his personality. Written by Casey Ward <ward@citizen.infi.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

If you don't believe in the existence of evil, you've got a lot to learn.

Genres:

Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for scenes of strong violence, language and brief sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

|

Release Date:

23 October 1998 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Apt Pupil  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$14,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$3,583,151 (USA) (23 October 1998)

Gross:

$8,838,938 (USA) (1 January 1999)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(8 channels)|

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Ian McKellen admitted he was surprised to be asked to play 75-year-old Kurt Dussander, since he was only 57 at the time of filming. See more »

Goofs

Todd's shoes are different when he's riding toward Kurt Dussander's house from when he actually arrives. See more »

Quotes

Kurt Dussander: Boy, be careful. You play with fire.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Siskel & Ebert: Episode dated 24 October 1998 (1998) See more »

Soundtracks

Take Me Out to the Ball Game
(uncredited)
Written by Jack Norworth, Albert Von Tilzer
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User Reviews

If you read the novella, don't bother
19 April 1999 | by (Victoria, BC) – See all my reviews

I read the novella in high school, and I found it scary, disturbing, and a real grabber - I couldn't put it down until I was done.

As for the movie version, I'm sorry to say it doesn't work. While there have been much worse Stephen King adaptations, this is still pretty weak. Someone else here said it's been sugarcoated, and I agree. It's been watered down so much, that character's actions that were easy to understand in the book become "Whaa - why did he do that?" here. The ending is the worst part - though I can understand why they may not have been able to recreate the novella's original ending onscreen, couldn't they have thought of a new ending that was better than the one they used here?

The acting is good, one of the few things that works here.

In short: if you have read the novella, do NOT watch this movie - you'll be horrified in a way the filmmakers didn't intend. The positive comments here seem to come from people who haven't read the novella. I still wouldn't recommend this movie even for non-readers, but if you must watch this movie, I strongly urge you to read the novella after you've seen the movie. It'll really open your eyes (in more ways than one), and you'll see how much better the movie could have been.


45 of 67 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
A terrible film. jeremy3
How much jail time would Todd have done if the police found out he KNEW cristina0121
How much like the book? Gorgeous_Mistake
For all the people that worry a real cat was harmed in this film... krasnyoktyabr
Is this just a short story or is a novel? jesy-1
I couldn't finish watching it. storey_12
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