A cloistered all-male Catholic school forms the backdrop of Child’s Play‘s action, with a plot that focuses on the long-standing rivalry between two of the school’s professors. While literature teacher Joseph Dobbs enjoys his job and is well-liked by the student body and faculty alike, all is not peachy keen in his world. There’s something about fellow professor Jerome Malley, a more tenured Latin instructor, that bugs Dobbs. When we’re introduced to Malley, he’s a tired, easily distracted (his mother is dying) shell of a man who seems to be catching on to the futility of teaching a dead language to a bunch of boys who are merely marking time for class credit. Despite all that, there are students who are loyal to him and his teachings.
Into this tense environment comes a series of unexplained incidents in which the students perform increasingly violent hazing rituals on each other. The boys are marked with blood, humiliated and induced to mutilate themselves to such a degree that a few of them wind up getting hospitalized. They are a source of concern to the clergymen who run the school, but no serious action is taken until the chipper, idealistic Paul Reis is hired to be the school’s new phys ed instructor. A former student at the school, Reis is honored to be working alongside Dobbs and Malley. After witnessing the aftermath of a particularly gruesome hazing incident with the students, however, he becomes drawn into a bizarre situation that ties into the boys’ intense, cult-like loyalty to the Robert Preston character. —DVDtalk.com
Sidney Lumet (born June 25, 1924) is an American film director, with over 50 films to his name, including 12 Angry Men (1957), Serpico (1973), Dog Day Afternoon (1975), Network (1976) and The Verdict (1982), all of which, except for Serpico (1973), earned him Academy Award nominations for Best Director.
According to The Encyclopedia of Hollywood, Lumet is one of the most prolific directors of the modern era making more than one movie per year on average since his directorial debut in 1957. He is especially noted for his ability to draw major actors to his projects. “Because of his visual economy, strong direction of actors, vigorous storytelling and use of the camera to accent themes,” states Turner Classic Movies. “Lumet produced a body of work that could only be defined as extraordinary.”
One of his steady themes during his career has been the “fragility of justice and the police and their corruption,” according to Thomson’s Biographical Dictionary of Film. He can deliver… read more