The Devil's Playground (1976)

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Released 3-Nov-2008
Best Version
Region 4

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Fred Schepisi’s celebrated first feature is a lushly photographed period drama detailing a young boy’s coming-of-age in a strict Catholic seminary in 1950s Victoria.

A semi-autobiographical retelling of the director’s own training for the priesthood, the story follows 13-year-old Tom Allen (Simon Burke), a serious, likable boy whose calling for the church is complicated by guilt associated with his masturbation and sinful thoughts. While the ascetic Brother Francine (Arthur Dignam) prowls the school's corridors looking for evidence of 'the undisciplined mind', the hard-drinking Brother Victor (Nick Tate) refutes the harsh discipline that scars the hearts and minds of the students - though each battle a desire to consummate the pleasures of the flesh.

This Australian film classic cemented the rise of director Fred Schepisi (The Chant of Jimmy Blacksmith, Evil Angels) when it won six AFI awards including Best Film and Best Director, and made a breakthrough screening at the Cannes Film Festival in 1976.
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Steve C
Nil known
Arthur Dignam
Simon Burke
Nick Tate
Charles McCallum
John Frawley
Jonathan Hardy
Gerry Duggan
Peter Cox
Thomas Keneally
John Diedrich
Sheila Florance
Richard Morgan
Directed by
Fred Schepisi
Bruce Smeaton
Genre Year Running Time Format Region Coding Dual
Drama 1976 94:57 576i (PAL) 1 2 3 4 5 6
Widescreen 1.78:1, 16x9 Enhanced
English Dolby Digital 2.0 (256Kb/s), English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Main Menu Audio & Animation, Audio Commentary-Director, Fred Schepisi, Featurette-The Devil's Playground - Filmmaking By Faith, Featurette-Fred On Filmmaking, Gallery-Photo-Fifty-five Images, Theatrical Trailer-The Devil's Playground, Teaser Trailer-Umbrella Trailers
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