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Neighborhood boy Todd Bowden (Brad Renfro) discovers that an old man living on his block named Arthur Denker (Sir Ian Mackellan) is a 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 World War II. Denker agrees and Bowden starts visiting him regularly. The more stories Bowden hears, the more it affects his personality.Written by
Casey Ward <email@example.com>
A 14-year-old extra filed a lawsuit alleging that he was ordered to strip naked for the shower scene (although he declined to do so). Two other boys--one 17 and one 16--made similar claims; one of the boys stated that he complied with the instruction to undress, but did not feel comfortable doing so. Alleging that they had been traumatized by the experience, the boys sought damages from the filmmakers based on claims of infliction of emotional distress, negligence, and invasion of privacy. A sexual crimes task force that included local, state, and federal personnel investigated the incident. While some sources state that the civil case was dismissed due to insufficient evidence, others indicate that it was settled out of court. See more »
A 3-point line is visible on the school's basketball court. The setting of the movie is 1984 and the 3-point line wasn't introduced to the high school game until 1987. See more »
Arthur, I wonder if you'd mind if I asked you a personal question.
Not at all.
What did you do during the war?
[Todd looks at Dussander]
I was in the reserves, as were most young men, Victor. My poor eyesight kept me out of combat, thank God. No, I spent most of the war in a military hospital washing bed linens and nurses' uniforms.
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I read the novella in high school, and I found it scary, disturbing, and a real grabber - I couldn't put it down until I was done.
As for the movie version, I'm sorry to say it doesn't work. While there have been much worse Stephen King adaptations, this is still pretty weak. Someone else here said it's been sugarcoated, and I agree. It's been watered down so much, that character's actions that were easy to understand in the book become "Whaa - why did he do that?" here. The ending is the worst part - though I can understand why they may not have been able to recreate the novella's original ending onscreen, couldn't they have thought of a new ending that was better than the one they used here?
The acting is good, one of the few things that works here.
In short: if you have read the novella, do NOT watch this movie - you'll be horrified in a way the filmmakers didn't intend. The positive comments here seem to come from people who haven't read the novella. I still wouldn't recommend this movie even for non-readers, but if you must watch this movie, I strongly urge you to read the novella after you've seen the movie. It'll really open your eyes (in more ways than one), and you'll see how much better the movie could have been.
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