Apt Pupil (1998)

R  |   |  Drama, Thriller  |  23 October 1998 (USA)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.7/10 from 28,004 users   Metascore: 51/100
Reviews: 250 user | 113 critic | 21 from Metacritic.com

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



(novel), (screenplay)
Watch Trailer
0Check in

On Disc

at Amazon

6 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A big-city reporter travels to the small town where her mother has been arrested for the murder of an elderly woman that she works for as a maid.

Director: Taylor Hackford
Stars: Kathy Bates, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Christopher Plummer
Public Access (1993)
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 X  

Brewster seems to be an almost too perfect example of idyllic small-town America, with everyone living in peace and harmony. So when newcomer Whiley Pritcher starts up his own local cable ... See full summary »

Director: Bryan Singer
Stars: Ron Marquette, Bert Williams, Leigh Hunt
Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A widowed mother and her son change when a mysterious stranger enters their lives.

Director: Scott Hicks
Stars: Anthony Hopkins, Anton Yelchin, Hope Davis
Crime | Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A mysterious new shop opens in a small town which always seems to stock the deepest desires of each shopper, with a price far heavier than expected.

Director: Fraser Clarke Heston
Stars: Max von Sydow, Ed Harris, Bonnie Bedelia
The Dark Half (1993)
Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

A writer's fictional alter-ego wants to take over his life...at any price.

Director: George A. Romero
Stars: Timothy Hutton, Amy Madigan, Michael Rooker
Fantasy | Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

A reporter is on the trail of a vampiric murderer who travels by plane.

Director: Mark Pavia
Stars: Miguel Ferrer, Julie Entwisle, Dan Monahan
Desperation (TV Movie 2006)
Drama | Fantasy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 X  

When a sheriff arrests a writer, a family, a couple, and a hitchiker and throws them in a jail cell in the deserted town of Desperation, they must fight for their lives.

Director: Mick Garris
Stars: Tom Skerritt, Steven Weber, Annabeth Gish
Sleepwalkers (1992)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.1/10 X  

A mother-and-son team of strange supernatural creatures move to a small town to seek out a young virgin to feed on.

Director: Mick Garris
Stars: Brian Krause, Mädchen Amick, Alice Krige
Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.2/10 X  

When a man finds out his mother is dying and tries to hitchike his way to the hospital, he is picked up by a stranger with a deadly secret.

Director: Mick Garris
Stars: Jonathan Jackson, David Arquette, Barbara Hershey
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

The last days of Frankenstein (1931) director James Whale are explored.

Director: Bill Condon
Stars: Ian McKellen, Brendan Fraser, Lynn Redgrave
Firestarter (1984)
Action | Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

A couple who participated in a potent medical experiment gain telekinetic ability and then have a child who is pyrokinetic.

Director: Mark L. Lester
Stars: Drew Barrymore, David Keith, Freddie Jones
The Stand (TV Mini-Series 1994)
Adventure | Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

After a deadly plague kills most of the world's population, the remaining survivors split into two groups - one led by a benevolent elder and the other by a maleficent being - to face each other in a final battle between good and evil.

Stars: Gary Sinise, Molly Ringwald, Jamey Sheridan


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


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


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


Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:







Release Date:

23 October 1998 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El aprendiz  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$14,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

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


$8,838,938 (USA) (1 January 1999)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(8 channels)|



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The film uses names of actual teachers from director Bryan Singer's alma mater, West Windsor-Plainsboro High School South in Central NJ, including Mrs. Fiscarelli and Mr. Weiskopf. See more »


When Todd gives Danker(Dussander) the uniform, he is wearing a blue sweater over a red shirt. Minutes later when Danker comes down stairs wearing the uniform, Todd's sweater is missing and he's just in the red polo. See more »


[last lines]
Edward French: You can't do this, Todd.
Todd Bowden: You have no idea what I can do.
See more »


Referenced in State of Play: Episode #1.4 (2003) See more »


Whatever Will Be, Will Be (Que Sera, Sera)
Written by Jay Livingston and Ray Evans
Performed by Ian McKellen
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Innovative story!
27 November 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I was surprised at how good this movie was. The plot line seemed intriguing, but I was worried that it would eventually fall into one of the standard "bad Nazi war criminal found" plots where you always know the ending. This story was much more inventive.

At its core, the movie is about a high school student who discovers that an old man living in his community is a former Nazi war commander. Instead of turning him in, he approaches the man with a very unusual deal. He'll leave the man alone if he can hear first-hand about all the horrible things that were done. This was the plan at least.

The movie needed intense performances - and it got them from McKellen and Renfro. Both are incredibly captivating and scary in their own ways. Coupled with a suspenseful, unpredictable Stephen King story, the movie succeeds well.

If you're a Stephen King fan or simply enjoy thrillers, this movie is worth checking out.

17 of 20 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Who else felt really bad for the homeless man? arkayenether
A terrible film. jeremy3
For all the people that worry a real cat was harmed in this film... krasnyoktyabr
How much like the book? Gorgeous_Mistake
Is this just a short story or is a novel? jesy-1
I couldn't finish watching it. storey_12
Discuss Apt Pupil (1998) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: