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The Preppie Connection (2015)

R | | Crime, Drama | 18 March 2016 (USA)
2:10 | Trailer
A student at a private school uses his connections to establish a drug trafficking network there.


Joseph Castelo
2 wins. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Thomas Mann ... Tobias Hammel
Lucy Fry ... Alexis Hayes
Logan Huffman ... Ellis Tynes
Guillermo Arribas ... Fidel
Amy Hargreaves ... Ingrid
Bill Sage ... Mike Hammel
Dylan Blue ... Dennis
Robert Gorrie ... Ben
Jessica Rothe ... Laura
Sam Page ... Mr. Jennings
Hemky Madera ... Raul
Nat DeWolf ... Mr. Gaines
Tom Tammi ... Dr. Fielding
Doug Plaut ... Chuck
Cilda Shaur ... Peg Atherton


Based on a true story of a prep school student who smuggled $300k of uncut cocaine into the US in 1984. THE PREPPIE CONNECTION chronicles the exploits of a group of private school students who ran a drug distribution operation in the early 1980s. The story centers on Toby, the lower-class scholarship student, who uses his street cred and access to drugs to make friends with the popular kids, eventually allowing him to cultivate a drug trafficking network. Toby gets in far over his head as he leads his friends into the dangerous world of Colombian drug cartels.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Crime | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for drug use, language throughout, sexuality/nudity and some violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »



Puerto Rico | USA


English | Spanish

Release Date:

18 March 2016 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Conexão de Elite See more »

Filming Locations:

Puerto Rico See more »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$5,576, 20 March 2016

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs




Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Based on a true story. See more »


the $100 bills used to buy the cocaine during the bidding war are newbie prints/modern bills. See more »

Crazy Credits

There is a snippet with Ed Bradley interviewing Derek Oatis during the end credits. Derek Oatis was the real life drug smuggler that this story is based upon. See more »


Edited from 60 Minutes (1968) See more »


I'm So Inspired
Written by Chris Pickering and Future Punx
Performed by Future Punx
Courtesy of Dull Tools
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User Reviews

A not so convincing film about a student smuggling cocaine. I've seen far better drug related documentaries.
12 May 2016 | by peterp-450-298716See all my reviews

"Stay invisible. Stay out of sight. That was the plan."

Lots of years ago I saw "Christiana F. - Wir Kinder vom Bahnhof Zoo" (including a masterful German version of "Heroes" by Bowie). After watching it, I was immediately afraid of heroin. The impact this film had on me was indescribable and I decided I'd never start experimenting with it in my life. The image I had of cocaine after seeing "The preppie connection" was that this is just an innocent party drug. It looks like a not so dangerous but a costly drug. To be honest concluding this terrified me a bit. That's pretty much my feeling about this film: an average film based on a true story that left no lasting impression.

Everything revolves around Tobias (Thomas "Me and Earl and the Dying Girl" Mann), a teenager from a not so wealthy family who, forced by his mother (Amy Hargreaves), starts his school career at an elite school. His fellow students are the more privileged types who aren't worrying about their study results. If your parents own a well-stocked bank account and you're brought to school in an expensive limo, this is the last thing you worry about. I suppose subtly promised sponsorship by the wealthy family will help eventually. Tobias feels like an outsider. A parasite without money who dares to mingle with the bourgeoisie. The day he helps a bunch of those rich buggers so they don't get expelled from school, his reputation changes drastic. And with the (unintentional) cooperation of the son of a Colombian ambassador (Guillermo Arribas), he sees an opportunity to earn a spot among the wealthier youngsters by smuggling cocaine from Bogota. At the same time he's trying to conquer the heart of Alex (Lucy Fry) and the trust of her boyfriend Ellis (Logan Huffman), a spoiled rich jerk.

The film is based on the true story of Derek Oatis who went to school in similar circumstances. He attended Choate Rosemary Hall, an elite private school where John F. Kennedy once went to school. You can find part of the real story here. Perhaps the facts are a bit distorted and sugarcoated, but what I definitely liked was that '80s atmosphere. When "Just like honey" by The Jesus and Mary Chain echoed through the room, this couldn't go wrong. Maybe that's because I am a huge fan of music from the 80's. The soundtrack may have been a pleasant surprise, but the film on its own wasn't.

Not that it was boring, but it wasn't really intriguing. The clash of social classes in a school environment and the way individuals must assert to be accepted, is a subject that has already been used several times. And drug-related films are also in abundance. Besides, I didn't know it was so dead simple to smuggle drugs in those day. Book a trip to Bogota in Columbia and wander around aimlessly (preferably in the slums) so you can get in touch with some local dealers who keep packets of cocaine in their storage cellar. And in the end you walk calmly through customs. This seemed a little bit too easy to me.

Also the performances were fairly superficial. At first I thought the way Thomas Mann acted in "Me and Earl and the Dying Girl" was purely because of the script. Now I'm convinced that this is just his true nature, because he acts the same way here. A timid, somewhat nerdy look and at the same time a humble attitude. He wants to be rebellious, but always decides to keep a low profile. Lucy Fry has the appropriate appearance to act as a toy for the rich boyfriend and also played in other nondescript teen movies (such as "Lightning Point" and "Mako Mermaids"), but her character is essentially a necessary prop. The one who impressed me the most was Logan Huffman. Exactly the same psychopathic empathy as his character in "Final Girl". A brilliant rendition that shows how a drug like cocaine affects your personality and can make you utter schizophrenic. However, when you like to have a quality movie night about these subjects, a combination of "The Breakfast Club" with "Trainspotting" would be a far better option.

More reviews here : http://bit.ly/1KIdQMT

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