6.9/10
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The Devil's Playground (1976)

Fred Schepisi's first feature is this lushly photographed period drama detailing a young boy's coming-of-age in a strict Catholic seminary in 1950s Australia.

Director:

Fred Schepisi

Writer:

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

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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 ... Waite
Richard Morgan Richard Morgan ... Smith
Rowan Currie Rowan Currie ... Casey
Gary Pixton Gary Pixton ... Tomkin
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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:

Australia's most honoured film! See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This picture was one of fifty Australian films selected for preservation as part of the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia's Kodak / Atlab Cinema Collection Restoration Project. See more »

Connections

Featured in Century of Cinema: 40,000 years of dreaming (1997) See more »

Soundtracks

Gymnopédie No. 1
(uncredited)
Written by Erik Satie
[played on the piano by Brother Francine in the staff lounge]
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User Reviews

 
A thought provoking "coming of age" film about a teenage boy at a Catholic Boarding School run by monks
23 April 2007 | by harland-nclSee all my reviews

This was a very thought provoking film for me and after several years I'd love to see it again (I've seen it twice on TV). The young hero was so natural I felt I knew him, and he had a very likable personality. The two monks in mufti enjoying a night on the town were more down to earth and likable than most of the other monks at the Catholic boarding school and after successfully picking up two women in a pub they got cold feet! It was interesting to see how another monk who seemed very emotionally cold dealt with a trip to a mixed gender public swimming baths, and the amazing erotic dream he had afterwards. The subjects of troubled adolescence and religious repression were well explored. The film hasn't dated at all. I hope someone brings this out on a DVD.


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Details

Country:

Australia

Language:

English

Release Date:

October 1979 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Devil's Playground See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

AUD300,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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