6.7/10
30,337
250 user 118 critic

Apt Pupil (1998)

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

Director:

Writers:

(novel), (screenplay)

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From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

ON DISC
6 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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...
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Joey
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Sociology Teacher
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Nightmare Victim
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Monica Bowden
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Richard Bowden
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Victor Bowden
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Agnes Bowden
David Cooley ...
Gym Teacher
Blake Anthony Tibbetts ...
Teammate
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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:

Crime | 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:

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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

Ian McKellen said that one of the things that convinced Bryan Singer to cast him as Dussander despite him being British, and considerably younger than the character, was when Singer raved to McKellen about about a performance by an actor he had recently seen in Cold Comfort Farm (1995), and McKellen informed him that he was the same actor he was talking about. See more »

Goofs

Dussander is wearing glasses in the hospital as he falls asleep and Kramer goes and looks him in the face. Later, as he wakes up to find Weiskopf speaking in German, Weiskopf hands him his glasses. He then suddenly discovers Kramer's absence so it was obviously the first time he'd woken up since falling asleep with them on. See more »

Quotes

[Todd is trying to forge his father's signature for a reply to a letter from school]
Kurt Dussander: You're messing things up with that carbon paper.
Todd Bowden: Yeah, what do you know about it?
Kurt Dussander: [slaps his hand down on Todd's shoulder, Todd gets up and Dussander takes his place] Here, out of the way. I was forging documents before your parents were born.
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Connections

Referenced in An Interview with John Ottman (2002) See more »

Soundtracks

Tony's Analysis
Written by Van Alexander
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User Reviews

 
A brilliantly concocted mindgame between a Nazi, a boy, and you.
27 June 1999 | by (NYC, NY) – See all my reviews

This film is not for the light of heart or of mind. The story is about a boy who learns that a Nazi war criminal is living right in his metaphoric backyard. Obsessed with learning more than just what they teach you in school, the boy sets off on a journey to discover "How did it feel?" The writing, based on a novella by Stephen King, takes you through the minds of both the boy and the Nazi. It's a battle of wits with real people being the pawns. This movie will mess with your mind. Do not watch it if you aren't up to the challenge. My hat goes off to Brandon Boyce and Bryan Singer, the writer and director, respectively, who seem to have interwoven the story and the audience. Never have I witnessed such an excellent display of psychological warfare.


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