Child's Play

Overview

Leon Prochnik adapted the evocative Robert Moresco play Child's Play for the screen, with Sidney Lumet assuming directorial duties. Beau Bridges stars as a young teacher at an exclusive Catholic boy's boarding school named Paul Reis. An outbreak of violence and brutality among the students has Reis perplexed. He suspects that one of the older professors is responsible for inciting the mayhem. The two most likely suspects, played by James Mason and Robert Preston, are long-standing rivals who blame each other for ...
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Overview

Leon Prochnik adapted the evocative Robert Moresco play Child's Play for the screen, with Sidney Lumet assuming directorial duties. Beau Bridges stars as a young teacher at an exclusive Catholic boy's boarding school named Paul Reis. An outbreak of violence and brutality among the students has Reis perplexed. He suspects that one of the older professors is responsible for inciting the mayhem. The two most likely suspects, played by James Mason and Robert Preston, are long-standing rivals who blame each other for the student turmoil. One of the old enemies goes so far as to discredit the other -- but his motives are at great odds with the religious doctrine taught within the school's walls.
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Craig Butler
Child's Play is deeply flawed, but there's something about this horror flick/psychological thriller that will attract many viewers. They'll ultimately leave confused and unsatisfied, but will have found the journey kind of weird but kind of fun. Child's Play would be a much better film if Sidney Lumet had made up his mind about a lot of things -- primarily about whether this is about the supernatural or the psychological. The main thread is explained away as psychological, but too many of the subsidiary supernatural questions raised are not resolved. The film and Lumet want to have it both ways, but they don't set up the groundwork necessary to make ambiguity acceptable in this context. Lumet also goes in for far too many obvious horror-movie clich├ęs -- the soundtrack drives home what is already blatant and obvious, and the lighting seems to come from a fright flick from ten years earlier. Granted, he's working from a screenplay that lacks sufficient subtlety and nuance, but one still expects more from a director of his skill. Even with these flaws, Child's Play has moments that fascinate and enthrall, and the basic setup can't help but draw a viewer in, at least for a while; whether one stays engrossed depends upon the individual. Fortunately, the film has a captivating James Mason turn, as well as a skillful Robert Preston performance, to keep interest alive. At fade-out, viewers may feel a bit cheated by the resolution, but they may also find themselves thinking back over moments and images and shuddering with delight.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 9/4/2012
  • UPC: 887090039604
  • Original Release: 1972
  • Rating:

  • Source: Olive Films
  • Presentation: Color
  • Time: 1:40:00
  • Format: Blu-ray
  • Sales rank: 17,690

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
James Mason Jerome Malley
Robert Preston Joseph Dobbs
Beau Bridges Paul Reis
Ron Weyand Father Mozian
Charles White Father Griffin
Paul Alessi Student
Anthony Barletta Student
Kevin Coupe Student
Christopher Hoag Student
Stephen McLaughlin Students
Robert D. Randall Medley
Robbie Reed Class President
David Rounds Father Penny
Jamie Alexander Sheppard
Brian Chapin O'Donnell
Bryant Fraser Jennings
Mark Hall Haefeli Wilson
Kate Harrington Mrs. Carter
Julius Lo Iacono McArdle
Thomas Leopold Shea
Christopher Man Travis
Paul O'Keefe Banks
Technical Credits
Sidney Lumet Director
Joanne Burke Editor
Gerald Hirschfeld Cinematographer
David Merrick Producer
Hank Moonjean Associate Producer, Asst. Director
Leon Prochnik Screenwriter
Philip Rosenberg Production Designer
Michael Small Score Composer
Edward Warschilka Editor
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