[33], When Bowden gives Dussander an SS uniform to wear and in which to march under Bowden's orders, the student's demands are more heightened in the film as "more dominant and voyeuristic", according to Picart and Frank. The scene is "the figurative and literal turning point in the film". Kubritz sought to revive production, but when the opportunity came a year later, Schroder had aged too considerably for the film to work. After being confronted by his father about his grades, he forges his report cards before giving them to his parents. This is Stephen King doing his creepy, nasty thing. Basically Todd becomes engrossed in Dussander's terrible war crime stories and goes over to his house frequently. Singer has called Apt Pupil "a study in cruelty", with Nazism serving as a vehicle to demonstrate the capacity of evil. After finishing his second novel, ‘Salem’s Lot, he popped out The Body (Stand By Me) just to cool down. 1983 He instead pursued Apt Pupil: "It was a very dark subject matter, and it was something that came from passion." Now we're not mind reader, and weren't part of the production, but we're left to wonder: Why would Singer choose that specific ending? By giving us so much character inner monologue and rationalization, King forces us to face up to the evil that must exist in all of our natures. Dussander, suffering from his own nightmares, has also taken to killing the homeless for essentially the same reason as Todd, burying the bodies in his basement. In the beginning, when Todd is laying down the rules, there's a certain repetitive thematic idea you hear. This thread is archived. [51], Jay Carr of The Boston Globe called Apt Pupil "most compelling for its moral dimension", enjoying the "duet between Renfro's smooth-cheeked latter-day Faust and McKellen's reawakened Mephistopheles". No? [ Taglines Rather than turning Dussander over to the proper authorities, Todd asks to hear highly detailed stories about his crimes, having recently become interested in the Holocaust. The scene was filmed at Eliot Middle School in Altadena, California on April 2, 1997, and two weeks later, a 14-year-old extra filed a lawsuit alleging that Singer forced him and other extras to strip naked for the scene. Wait, no, that's not the film at all. By 1987 production on the film began with Nicol Williamson cast as Kurt Dussander, and 17-year-old Rick Schroder was cast as Todd Bowden. Though history becomes alive for Bowden, he perceives it through the perpetrators (namely Dussander) and not through the victims, characterizing Bowden as "apt" in the sense of "a natural tendency to ... undesirable behavior". They are given dinners, Keys to the City, free tickets to pro football games.” He toasted his glass in Todd's direction. [5] Unlike in the novella, animosity toward Jews was not explicitly displayed by the characters in the film. When Dussander has a heart attack, he calls Todd, who finishes the job, cleans up, and calls an ambulance for Dussander. Knowing that Todd has been doctoring his report cards and knowingly socialized with a war criminal, Dussander blackmails him into spending his visits studying. His morbid curiosity entices him to blackmail the Nazi to tell him more about the war. I had to stop reading this one after the cat baking scene. [49], Kathleen Murphy of Film Comment called McKellen and Renfro's performances "skin-crawling" but felt that it did not complete the film. Apt Pupil (1998) Trivia. by Warner. His school, his parents, his environment weren't doing it for him. I hit the microwave scene, and...note to self, no Stephen King at meals. As talented and imaginative as Mr. King is, not every paragraph is gold, and he needs someone to remind him of that fact. Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men and women? In turn, the Nazi blackmails the young boy into studying to restore his grades, threatening to expose the boy's subterfuge and his dalliance with Nazism to his parents. Todd blackmails Dussander by threatening to turn him in to the police. That's Stephen King's 1982 novella on which the film is based. At the hospital, Dussander hears a group of Neo-Nazis demonstrating outside the hospital; realizing his identity has been hopelessly compromised, he commits suicide by giving himself an air embolism. [8] While Schwimmer was known for his comedic role on the television show Friends, Singer was impressed by the actor's performance in a Los Angeles stage production and decided to cast him as the counselor. Menu. I hit the microwave scene, and...note to self, no Stephen King at meals. This article is about the novella. I thought Todd Bowden could of ended better than "They shot him down six hours later" 6 comments. Todd Bowden is a great student, who has mastered many of his classes at school. Parents Guide. You're almost done. Todd graduates as his school's valedictorian and gives a speech about Icarus, saying, "All great achievements arose from dissatisfaction. Parts of his childhood were spent in Fort Wayne, Indiana, where his father's family was at the time, and in Stratford, Connecticut. His later novels, somewhere after The Dead Zone, suffer from bloat and could use the editing prowess of a Maxwell Perkins. The movie ending and the novella ending are drastically different. Movies. The fact he writes like a demon on speed. Todd explains that he knows Dussander is not who he purports to be, but rather a Nazi war criminal hiding in plain sight. It's a weird short story but also quite apt. The Los Angeles District Attorney's office determined that there was no cause to file criminal charges,[16] stating, "The suspects were intent on completing a professional film as quickly and efficiently as possible.

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