Apt Pupil

Apt Pupil

3.0 3
Director: Bryan Singer

Cast: Bryan Singer, Ian McKellen, Brad Renfro, Bruce Davison

     
 

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Bryan Singer directed this Brandon Boyce adaptation of Stephen King's novella about teenager Todd Bowden (Brad Renfro), who discovers Nazi war criminal Kurt Dussander (Ian McKellen) living in his California hometown. Fascinated with Dussender's wartime atrocities, Bowden blackmails the former death-camp commandant by promising to keep his identity a secret in exchange…  See more details below

Overview

Bryan Singer directed this Brandon Boyce adaptation of Stephen King's novella about teenager Todd Bowden (Brad Renfro), who discovers Nazi war criminal Kurt Dussander (Ian McKellen) living in his California hometown. Fascinated with Dussender's wartime atrocities, Bowden blackmails the former death-camp commandant by promising to keep his identity a secret in exchange for Holocaust horror tales, or, as Todd puts it, "everything they're afraid to show us in school." Dussander complies, and as the weeks pass, their tense confrontations become increasingly malevolent. This is the third film to derive from King's 1982 book of four novellas, Different Season. The others are Stand By Me (1986, from "The Body") and The Shawshank Redemption (1994, from Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption, leaving only one remaining unfilmed tale in the book ("The Breathing Method"). Signet felt King's "Apt Pupil" to be so intense and horrifying that editors asked him to leave it out of the 1983 paperback. A 1987 attempt to film "Apt Pupil" (with Rick Schroder and Nicol Williamson) ended when funding ran out. Shown at numerous 1998 film festivals (Venice, Toronto, Chicago, Sitges, Tokyo).

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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Karl Williams
The attempt to turn one of novelist Stephen King's most disturbing stories into a feature film is a chilling character study from director Bryan Singer. While it's an oft-quoted maxim that "the book is always better than the movie," this isn't always true (Jaws (1976) and The Godfather (1972) are superb exceptions). However, Apt Pupil reinforces that stereotype by dropping much of the printed page's development of lead character Todd Bowden (Brad Renfro) as a big man on campus. Singer's film positions Bowden as more of an all-American, average kid, which robs the tale of some of its narrative power, as the symbolism of Bowden's teen success and good looks was paralleled by delusions of superiority entertained by former Nazi and decrepit recluse Kurt Dussander (Ian McKellen. Without this unspoken connection, the relationship that develops between fugitive and teen neighbor, and Dussander's emergence from his protective shell to full-blown monstrosity, is never as uncomfortably compelling as it is in King's tale. The film simply becomes a portrait of two mentally disturbed, homicidal sociopaths, a Thelma and Louise of fascist evil. A nonetheless interesting and provocative film, Apt Pupil is ultimately less so than it should be.

Product Details

Release Date:
12/07/2010
UPC:
0014381684421
Original Release:
1998
Rating:
R
Source:
Image Entertainment
Region Code:
1
Time:
1:51:00

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Ian McKellen Kurt Dussander
Brad Renfro Todd Bowden
Bruce Davison Richard Bowden
Elias Koteas Archie
Joe Morton Dan Richler
Jan Triska Isaac Weiskopf
Michael Byrne Ben Kramer
Heather McComb Becky Trask
Ann Dowd Monica Bowden
Joshua Jackson Joey
David Schwimmer Edward French
Mickey Cottrell Sociology Teacher

Technical Credits
Bryan Singer Director,Producer
Fernando Altschul Asst. Director
Jane Hamsher Producer
Richard Hoover Production Designer
Kathleen M. McKernin Art Director
Don Murphy Producer
Francine Maisler Casting
Tim Harbert Executive Producer
John Ottman Associate Producer,Editor,Score Composer
Geoffrey Lucius Patterson Sound/Sound Designer
Newton Thomas Sigel Cinematographer
Louise Mingenbach Costumes/Costume Designer
Kathryn Eisenstein Casting
Brandon Boyce Screenwriter
Thomas DeSanto Co-producer
David Eckert Set Decoration/Design
Jennifer Herwitt Set Decoration/Design
Jay Shapiro Associate Producer
Amy Shock Set Decoration/Design
Stephen King Source Author

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Scene Index

Side #1 -- Widescreen
0. Scene Selections
1. Start [6:52]
2. Mr. Dussander [2:33]
3. Real Proof [5:12]
4. Gas Leak [4:17]
5. Dinner With Arthur [5:39]
6. Hitting the Showers [4:58]
7. Clothes Make the Man [6:11]
8. Timmy [3:09]
9. Broken Wing [1:43]
10. A Real Problem [2:02]
11. Grandpa Intervenes [5:49]
12. Reality [7:41]
13. Beginning & End [9:30]
14. Practically Neighbors [3:14]
15. Last Call [4:47]
16. "I Need Help." [1:22]
17. In the Cellar [3:56]
18. "I'm Dying." [1:14]
19. Saving Kurt's Life [1:18]
20. Evidence Destroyed [1:00]
21. "I Lied." [2:16]
22. Ben Kramer [4:51]
23. Dr. Isaac Weiskopf [1:58]
24. Graduation Day [1:34]
25. Icarus Speech [3:50]
26. Missing Letter [5:31]
27. Cheating the Hangman [1:59]
28. "Do We Have a Deal?" [6:26]
Side #2 -- Full Screen
0. Scene Selections
1. Start [6:52]
2. Mr. Dussander [2:33]
3. Real Proof [5:12]
4. Gas Leak [4:17]
5. Dinner With Arthur [5:39]
6. Hitting the Showers [4:58]
7. Clothes Make the Man [6:11]
8. Timmy [3:09]
9. Broken Wing [1:43]
10. A Real Problem [2:02]
11. Grandpa Intervenes [5:49]
12. Reality [7:41]
13. Beginning & End [9:30]
14. Practically Neighbors [3:14]
15. Last Call [4:47]
16. "I Need Help." [1:22]
17. In the Cellar [3:56]
18. "I'm Dying." [1:14]
19. Saving Kurt's Life [1:18]
20. Evidence Destroyed [1:00]
21. "I Lied." [2:16]
22. Ben Kramer [4:51]
23. Dr. Isaac Weiskopf [1:58]
24. Graduation Day [1:34]
25. Icarus Speech [3:50]
26. Missing Letter [5:31]
27. Cheating the Hangman [1:59]
28. "Do We Have a Deal?" [6:26]

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Apt Pupil 3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
A movie is great, you cant find another like it. One time classic about nazi and a boy.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I can't give this movie a good review because I read the novella by Stephen King. This movie leaves out so many crucial aspects as far as character development. There are major events that should have happened that don't in this movie. I was very disappointed. This could have been a much better, more disturbing movie that was true to the book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago