The Devil's Playground (1976 film)

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For other uses, see Devil's Playground (disambiguation).
The Devil's Playground
The Devil's Playground 1976 cover.jpg
Video cover
Directed by Fred Schepisi
Produced by Fred Schepisi
Written by Fred Schepisi
Starring Arthur Dignam
Nick Tate
Simon Burke
Music by Bruce Smeaton
Cinematography Ian Baker
Editing by Brian Kavanagh
Studio The Film House
Distributed by Fred Schepisi
Umbrella Entertainment
Release dates 12 August 1976
Running time 107 minutes
Country Australia
Language English
Budget A$306,000[1]
Box office A$334,000 (Australia)

The Devil's Playground is a 1976 semi-autobiographical film by Australian director Fred Schepisi. It tells the story of a boy growing up and going to school in a Catholic seminary. Its focus is on the trials of the flesh and the tensions that arise, for both priests and students, from the religious injunction to control one's sexuality.

Plot[edit]

In August 1953, the 13-year old Tom Allan attends a Catholic seminary in Melbourne, Australia. Students and brothers face individual challenges of faith and self-restraint.

Cast[edit]

Production[edit]

The screenplay was based on Schepisi's own experience attending a Catholic seminary and took him five years to write.[2] The film financing took three years to arrange,[3] eventually coming from the Australian Film Commission ($100,000) and the Film House, Schepisi's own company ($154,000), with the balance coming from private investment.[4]

It was shot in 1975 mostly at Werribee Park near Melbourne.[1]

Recognition[edit]

The film won the 1976 Australian Film Institute Award for Best Film,[5][6] Best Direction,[7] Best Lead Actor for both Simon Burke and Nick Tate, Best Screenplay, Best Achievement in Cinematography, and the Jury Prize.[5]

Box Office[edit]

The Devil's Playground grossed $334,000 at the box office in Australia,[8] which is equivalent to $1,726,780 in 2009 dollars. According to Schepisi, the movie almost got its money back.[4]

Home Media[edit]

The Devil's Playground was released on DVD with a new print by Umbrella Entertainment in November 2008. The DVD is compatible with all region codes and includes special features such as the theatrical trailer, an interview with Fred Schepisi, and audio commentary with Fred Schepisi.[9]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Pike, Andrew; Cooper, Ross (1998). Australian Film 1900–1977: A Guide to Feature Film Production, Melbourne: Oxford University Press, p. 303.
  2. ^ Malone, Peter (22 December 1998). "Fred Schepisi". Signis (interview). Archived from the original on 22 December 2013. Retrieved 22 December 2013. 
  3. ^ Stratton, David (1980). The Last New Wave: The Australian Film Revival, Angus & Robertson. p. 134.
  4. ^ a b Stratton, p.131-132
  5. ^ a b "AFI Award Winners Feature Categories 1958–2009" (PDF). Australian Film Institute Awards (Australian Film Institute). Retrieved 13 December 2013. 
  6. ^ French, Lisa; Poole, Mark (2009). Shining a Light: 50 Years of the Australian Film Institute. Australian Teachers of Media. p. 165. ISBN 1-876467-20-7. 
  7. ^ "Past Winners". AFI.org.au. Archived from the original on July 21, 2008. 
  8. ^ "Film Victoria - Australian Films at the Australian Box Office". Film Victoria. 27 September 2010. Archived from the original on 12 March 2011. 
  9. ^ "Umbrella Entertainment - Devil's Playground, The". Retrieved 8 May 2013. 

External links[edit]