This film is based on a true story about a British teenager who allegedly poisoned family, friends, and co-workers. Graham is highly intelligent, but completely amoral. He becomes ...
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This film is based on a true story about a British teenager who allegedly poisoned family, friends, and co-workers. Graham is highly intelligent, but completely amoral. He becomes interested in science, especially chemistry, and begins to read avidly. Something of a social misfit, he is fascinated by morbid subjects such as poisons and murder. His family environment is intolerable to him and, in particular, his stepmother torments him. He decides to poison those who annoy him, first with antimony and later with thallium. He smugly thinks himself cleverer than all those around him, but nevertheless he is caught and sentenced to 'rehabilitation' at a psychiatric institution. Once there, he undertakes to deceive the new eminent psychiatrist sent there to 'cure' him, thereby securing his release.Written by
Tad Dibbern <DIBBERN_D@a1.mscf.upenn.edu>
The film was not screened at many local cinemas, due to the tone of the film, and out of respect for the surviving victims, and the relatives of the dead. See more »
When Dr. Zeigler visits the institution for mentally unstable criminals in which Graham is hospitalized, the director of the institution says, referred to another patient: "Vulpes pilum mutat, non mores", saying it means "The leopard never changes his spots". Graham corrects him, saying it means instead: "The wolf changes its fur, but not its nature". Actually, "vulpes" means "fox". See more »
This delightfully evil confection should warm the cockles of any mad scientist's heart. Our 14 year old hero dispenses antimony with precision glee and soon graduates to thalium before getting caught. But that's just the beginning really. A preternaturally good perfomance in the lead role, superior period decor of the hideous early sixties, a score to bless Purcell's heart, a cool and steady directorial hand and a wicked sympathy for the young man in question work to maximal effect. This may be the first quality film I've seen that genuinely crosses the line of sympathy for the evildoer; toss in lots of vomit and the best gotcha jump scene ever carried off, and there's lots to shy away from--for the faint of heart. Oliver Sacks sometimes writes about the joys and freedoms for the mind of a young chemistry set owner in the old days before restriction but I don't think he had this in mind. And my girlfriend wonders why I shy away from potluck dinners.
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