5.8/10
10,118
37 user 14 critic

The Toy (1982)

An underemployed reporter finds himself literally purchased as a toy for a rich spoiled brat.

Director:

Richard Donner

Writers:

Francis Veber (based on a film by), Carol Sobieski (screenplay by)

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1 win. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Richard Pryor ... Jack Brown
Jackie Gleason ... U.S. Bates
Ned Beatty ... Mr. Morehouse
Scott Schwartz ... Eric Bates
Teresa Ganzel ... Fancy Bates
Wilfrid Hyde-White ... Barkley
Annazette Chase ... Angela
Tony King ... Clifford
Don Hood ... O'Brien
Karen Leslie-Lyttle ... Fraulein
Virginia Capers ... Ruby Simpson
B.J. Hopper B.J. Hopper ... Geffran
Linda McCann Linda McCann ... Honey Russell
Ray Spruell Ray Spruell ... Senator Newcomb
Stocker Fontelieu Stocker Fontelieu ... District Attorney Russell
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Storyline

On one of his bratty son Eric's annual visits, the plutocrat U.S. Bates takes him to his department store and offers him anything in it as a gift. Eric chooses a black janitor who has made him laugh with his antics. At first the man suffers many indignities as Eric's "toy", but gradually teaches the lonely boy what it is like to have and to be a friend. Written by Paul Emmons <pemmons@wcupa.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

When Jackie Gleason Told His Son He Could Have Any Present He Wanted, He Picked The Most Outrageous Gift Of All... Richard Pryor.

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | German

Release Date:

10 December 1982 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Su juguete preferido See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$17,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$6,322,804, 12 December 1982

Gross USA:

$47,118,057
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

All the pies in the pie fight sequence were supplied by bakeries in the surrounding Louisiana area. See more »

Goofs

When Jack Brown is on the phone in Master Bates's room, you can see that the phone has no cord going into the phone jack See more »

Quotes

Jack Brown: Come back here, the game's not over.
Eric Bates: I don't feel like playing anymore.
Jack Brown: Are you upset because I was winning? You hate to lose?
Eric Bates: I just don't wanna play anymore.
Jack Brown: What if I tell your father?
Eric Bates: He won't care.
Jack Brown: Your father doesn't care that his son is a quitter?
Eric Bates: He doesn't care what I am, so long as I stay out of his way.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The closing credits are shown aside four toy darts. See more »


Soundtracks

I Just Want To Be Your Friend
Performed by Jeffrey Osborne
Music and Lyrics by Trevor Lawrence and Frank Musker
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Pryor is the main reason to this film.
20 May 1999 | by Rid.XSee all my reviews

I've seen this movie more times than I'd ever admit to, and the thing that keeps me watching is Pryor. He shines in just about every scene he's seen, especially when he's paired with the Wonder-Wheel. It's just that the rest of the film isn't on the level.

That's not to say it's a bad film; it's just not a solid one. This remake of a Francis Veber film (the name escapes me) finds Pryor as Jack Brown, an unemployed writer who seeks a job with a newspaper. He arrives at Bates Industries, run by the powerful industrialist U.S. Bates (Jackie Gleason). He works a variety of odd jobs, incl. a janitor in a department store, where he is spotted by U.S. Bates' spoiled son, Eric, during the afforementioned Wonder-Wheel fiasco. Eric wants Jack as a toy, and this leads to a movie that blends the comedic with the sentimental, and works about half of the time.

The movie does take it's time to illustrate the goings-on in the Bates home. Eric spends much time tormenting Jack; during their first night, he shoots firecrackers at him, among other things. The two of them play air-hockey, and when Jack is beating Eric, the boy quits. Jack questions the boy if his father knows that his son is a quitter, to which Eric replies, "He doesn't care what I am, as long as I stay out of his way." That scene illustrates Eric's m.o.; he's frustrated at the neglect and inattentiveness he receives from his father, and expresses it in rebellious behavior.

That's all good and well, and that scenario does have a positive resolution, but the movie is burdened with unnecessary elements that don't belong in a movie like this. The movie has a racist subtext: Jack essentially allows himself to be bought, even though he says he can't. There's also a subplot towards the end dealing with the Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan that serves no purpose other than to wreck a party. And U.S. Bates' wife, Fancy, is a poorly-drawn character; she comes along with an impressive bust and an annoying voice, and does little that is humorous, aside from her pronounciation of "U.S."

Still, the main reason to see the film is Pryor. See it for no other reason than to see a legend doing what he does best.


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