6.8/10
960
10 user 18 critic

The Devil's Playground (1976)

Fred Schepisi's film, 'The Devil's Playground' is an intimate portrait of Tom, a thirteen-year-old struggling in spirit and body with the constraints of living in a Catholic seminary. It is... See full summary »

Director:

Fred Schepisi

Writer:

Fred Schepisi (original screenplay)
Reviews
6 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Charles McCallum Charles McCallum ... Brother Sebastian
John Frawley John Frawley ... Brother Celian
Arthur Dignam ... Brother Francine
Nick Tate ... Brother Victor
Peter Cox Peter Cox ... Brother James
Jonathan Hardy ... Brother Arnold
Gerry Duggan Gerry Duggan ... Brother Hanrahan
Thomas Keneally Thomas Keneally ... Father Marshall
Sheila Florance ... Mrs.Sullivan
Simon Burke ... Tom Allen
John Diedrich John Diedrich ... Fitz
Alan Cinis Alan Cinis ... Waite
Richard Morgan Richard Morgan ... Smith
Rowan Currie Rowan Currie ... Casey
Gary Pixton Gary Pixton ... Tomkin
Learn more

More Like This 

Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A hard-drinking but hard-working gun shearer leads a group of Outback sheep herders into striking after wealthy landowners attempt to drive them from their territory.

Director: Ken Hannam
Stars: Jack Thompson, Max Cullen, Robert Bruning
Biography | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Jimmie Blacksmith, the son of an Aboriginal mother and a white father, falls victim to much racist abuse after marrying a white woman, and goes on a killing spree and finds himself on the run in the aftermath.

Director: Fred Schepisi
Stars: Tommy Lewis, Freddy Reynolds, Angela Punch McGregor
Don's Party (1976)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Don is a schoolteacher living with his wife Kath and baby son in suburban Melbourne. On the night of the 1969 federal election he invites a small group of friends to celebrate a predicted ... See full summary »

Director: Bruce Beresford
Stars: John Hargreaves, Pat Bishop, Graham Kennedy
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Oscar-nominated director Bruce Beresford (Driving Miss Daisy, Tender Mercies) crafts a tender coming-of-age tale that introduces one of Australian literature's most beloved characters to ... See full summary »

Director: Bruce Beresford
Stars: Julia Blake, Dorothy Bradley, Kay Eklund
Newsfront (1978)
Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

In post war Australia the men and women of Cinetone struggle to produce the weekly news reels for the movie going public.

Director: Phillip Noyce
Stars: Bill Hunter, Gerard Kennedy, Wendy Hughes
Puberty Blues (1981)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

The mating rituals of two teenage surf chicks from the southern suburbs of Sydney.

Director: Bruce Beresford
Stars: Nell Schofield, Jad Capelja, Jeffrey Rhoe
Money Movers (1978)
Crime | Action | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

An armoured car company is the target of repeated heists. Company leadership is enforcing new measures in order to tighten security. The biggest danger of a new heist lies from within the company's own ranks.

Director: Bruce Beresford
Stars: Terence Donovan, Tony Bonner, Ed Devereaux
Comedy | Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

The small town of Paris, Australia deliberately causes car accidents, then sells/salvages all valuables from the wrecks as a means of economy.

Director: Peter Weir
Stars: Terry Camilleri, John Meillon, Kevin Miles
Lust for Gold (1949)
Certificate: Passed Adventure | Crime | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Fortune seeker Barry Storm stumbles onto some clues that may lead him to the fabulous Lost Dutchman Mine, but others have tried and been murdered.

Directors: S. Sylvan Simon, George Marshall
Stars: Ida Lupino, Glenn Ford, Gig Young
Certificate: Passed Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

When a notorious tough 'town tamer' is hired by the citizenry to rid of the gunmen driving them off their land, he finds the local saloon madam to be an old friend.

Director: Richard Wilson
Stars: Robert Mitchum, Jan Sterling, Karen Sharpe
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

After the murder of his fiancée, a Wyoming ranch hand sets out to find her killer.

Director: Fritz Lang
Stars: Marlene Dietrich, Arthur Kennedy, Mel Ferrer
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Deals with the issue of crimes committed by Australian Catholic clergy.

Stars: Simon Burke, Don Hany, John Noble
Edit

Storyline

Fred Schepisi's film, 'The Devil's Playground' is an intimate portrait of Tom, a thirteen-year-old struggling in spirit and body with the constraints of living in a Catholic seminary. It is also the story of the Brothers and how they cope with the demands of their faith. Written by hawkeye

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Your body is your worst enemy See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Actor Nick Tate had to make his own way to Australia to shoot the film for his old friend Schepisi; he was currently living in the United Kingdom between shooting seasons of science-fiction series Space: 1999 (1975), in which he was a regular. See more »

User Reviews

 
Rather routine but well made drama...
12 May 2012 | by tim-764-291856See all my reviews

Fred Schepisi's Australian drama from 1976 is a semi-autobiographical quite straightforward movie about the life and growing pains of both Fathers, Brothers and boys at a Roman Catholic boarding school, in 1953. Within Australia, it is considered amongst the top 50 films ever made there.

There are as many personal dilemmas and demons in the Brother's lives as there are in the boy's. Probably more. For someone who is not a Catholic, for me there's always the ever overpowering lecturing on sins of the flesh and such, particularly pertinent with pubescent boys, of course.

However, taking this aside and concentrating on the characters and the individual stories, these are solidly interesting and, thank goodness, the script is suitable for the 15 certificate, so there is no blushing at the natural use of grubby schoolboy banter.

There was also a slightly surprising amount of nudity, the strongest scene of which comes as a dream by one of the Brothers. The acting is uniformly very good, all natural, both boys and adults.

Radio Times said that The Devil's Playground 'takes us no further into the issue than a legion of others have before' and whilst I've far from seen them all, I'd have to agree.

Best bet buying the DVD is the Australian Cinema collection vol 1, a 12 film boxset and that is exactly where I got and saw my copy from.


4 of 5 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 10 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
Edit

Details

Country:

Australia

Language:

English

Release Date:

October 1979 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Devil's Playground See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

AUD300,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

Your Next Binge Watch Awaits

Looking for something to watch? Check out IMDb's "What to Watch" series to find out what's really worth watching.



Recently Viewed