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

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(novel), (screenplay)
6 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Joey
...
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.


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:

El aprendiz  »

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
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Editor / composer John Ottman actually did two cameos in the film, but both were cut. The first was reading the lines of the off-screen teacher, but his voicing of lines was substituted at the last minute by Christopher McQuarrie. He also had a cameo as the music teacher conducting the high-school band in the graduation scene but this was eliminated from the final cut. See more »

Goofs

When Mr. Dussander opens the box containing the Nazi costume, he comments that it is a very good recreation and reads that it is from a costume shop in "Tappan, New Jersey". Tappan, however, is just over the border in New York state. See more »

Quotes

[Todd has brought Dussander a gift - a replica SS uniform]
Todd Bowden: Well, try it on.
Kurt Dussander: Have you completely lost your mind? What on Earth makes you think I'd put something like that on?
Todd Bowden: I thought you would like it.
Kurt Dussander: Like it? You are a bigger fool than I thought. Maybe I'll put it on and do a little shopping, is that what you thought? The indignities I've suffered with you, I should smash you.
Todd Bowden: What you've suffered with me is nothing compared to what the Israelis would do to you. You forget that. And I'll ...
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Connections

Referenced in Angel: Somnambulist (2000) See more »

Soundtracks

Whatever Will Be, Will Be (Que Sera, Sera)
Written by Jay Livingston and Ray Evans
Performed by Ian McKellen
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User Reviews

 
Evil Feeding Evil
26 October 2004 | by (USA) – See all my reviews

Apt Pupil is a movie of symbolism, it is a movie of metamorphosis, it is not a movie to be brushed off, taken lightly, nor is it to be watched if you want anything even remotely uplifting. It is a thoroughly depressing movie about corruption and the very root of evil. You'll find no plot summary here because you can scroll up slightly and find one. I can tell you Ian McKellen is one of the finest actors in the world and even solidifies that unlikely people like Brad Renfro and David Schwimmer can be incredible actors in their own rights. The movie poses several questions, almost none of which it answers and indeed might not have answers. It is, at it's core, about evil feeding into evil. The boy's evil reawakens the old man's evil, the old man's evil stokes the boy's evil and it continues to crescendo throughout coming to an incredible climax. A fascinating and thoroughly challenging movie.


26 of 33 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
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
Brief contrast of this with Shawshank Redepmtion and Stand by Me hcruzado
Is this just a short story or is a novel? jesy-1
Would Todd have gone nuts if he hadn't met Kurt Dussander? Frisky_Kitty2025
Discuss Apt Pupil (1998) on the IMDb message boards »

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