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

Director:

Bryan Singer

Writers:

Stephen King (novel), Brandon Boyce (screenplay)
6 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Brad Renfro ... Todd Bowden
Ian McKellen ... Kurt Dussander
Joshua Jackson ... Joey
Mickey Cottrell ... Sociology Teacher
Michael Reid MacKay ... Nightmare Victim
Ann Dowd ... Monica Bowden
Bruce Davison ... Richard Bowden
James Karen ... Victor Bowden
Marjorie Lovett ... Agnes Bowden
David Cooley David Cooley ... Gym Teacher
Blake Anthony Tibbetts Blake Anthony Tibbetts ... Teammate
Heather McComb ... Becky Trask
Katherine Malone Katherine Malone ... Student
Grace Sinden Grace Sinden ... Secretary
David Schwimmer ... Edward French
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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:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA | France

Language:

English | German

Release Date:

23 October 1998 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

El aprendiz See more »

Filming Locations:

Alhambra, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$14,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$3,583,151, 25 October 1998, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$8,838,938, 3 January 1999
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

SDDS (8 channels)| Dolby SR

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In an interview around the time the film was released, Sir Ian McKellen said "I didn't like my character. He didn't seem very deep. He just seemed a representative of evil." See more »

Goofs

Throughout the entire movie, Danker/Dussander's kitchen window is always closed. Except for the exact moment "Timmy" the orange cat needs to escape from being stuffed in the oven, then it's suddenly open. Magic cat anyone? See more »

Quotes

Kurt Dussander: [seeing the SS uniform Todd has bought for him] Mary, Mother of God!
See more »

Connections

Version of Apt Pupil See more »

Soundtracks

Tony's Analysis
Written by Van Alexander
See more »

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User Reviews

Innovative story!
27 November 2007 | by Vic_maxSee all my reviews

I was surprised at how good this movie was. The plot line seemed intriguing, but I was worried that it would eventually fall into one of the standard "bad Nazi war criminal found" plots where you always know the ending. This story was much more inventive.

At its core, the movie is about a high school student who discovers that an old man living in his community is a former Nazi war commander. Instead of turning him in, he approaches the man with a very unusual deal. He'll leave the man alone if he can hear first-hand about all the horrible things that were done. This was the plan at least.

The movie needed intense performances - and it got them from McKellen and Renfro. Both are incredibly captivating and scary in their own ways. Coupled with a suspenseful, unpredictable Stephen King story, the movie succeeds well.

If you're a Stephen King fan or simply enjoy thrillers, this movie is worth checking out.


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