Reviews of The Toy
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On one of his bratty son Eric’s annual visits, the plutocrat U.S. Bates takes him to his department store and offers him anything in it as a gift. Eric chooses a black janitor who has made him laugh with his antics. At first the man suffers many indignities as Eric’s “toy”, but gradually teaches the lonely boy what it is like to have and to be a friend.
A lot of people found this film offensive. It’s about a out of work journalist who ends up working as a night janitor at a toy store who ends up being bought by the store’s owner kid as someone to play with and be his friend. Now of course it’s easy to see the slavery comparisons. Which the film even acknowledges, Not too seriously though. Which is strange as Richard Pryor was someone who sought to kill stereotypes.
I can see where they are coming from now, but when I was a kid I loved this film. I didn’t know about all of that and the comparisons to slavery I just thought it was funny and cute. I wanted to have all the toys the kid had. Plus it has two comedy greats sharing the screen Jackie Gleason and Richard Pryor. Actually Sharing scenes now of course the material isn’t that great and watching it now I can see the haters points, but since I grew up with this film another childhood favorite. When I see the film it is nothing, but nostalgic for me. It’s a fun film that the whole family can watch. It was probably the last kids film Scott Schwartz starred in. So he was at his peak with this film until 10 years later when he began starring in Adult films in non sexual roles. He only had sex on camera once in all the adult movies he made. He has said the hardest thing about making this film was Jackie gleason who would improvise the dialogue in his scenes so much that Scott would fet thrown off and then have Jackie yell at him for blowing the scenes.
I give this film a mild recommendation more for kids as this is when Richard Pryor really went Hollywood. It was one of his biggest pay days, but not really much of him or his material to tell you the truth anyone who was a more physical actor. Could have played the role.
The slavery Aspect does play a big role as he is continuously humiliated though he is a college graduate and journalist he can’t find work and the only job he can get is demeaning and each time he quits they throw more money at him and he accepts because he has no other prospects. So his his dignity is being bought from him.
- Currently 2.0/5 Stars.