The Chocolate War

1988

Drama

99
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 82%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 67%
IMDb Rating 6.7 10 1,953

Synopsis


Downloaded times
March 21, 2020

Director

Cast

Adam Baldwin as Deputy Bobby Brody Jr.
Bud Cort as Brother Jacques
Doug Hutchison as Bristol
John Glover as Detective Gillespie
720p.WEB 1080p.WEB
958.99 MB
1280*720
English 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
100 min
P/S N/A / N/A
1.74 GB
1920×1080
English 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
100 min
P/S N/A / N/A

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by vertigo_14 9 / 10 / 10

In the face of intimidation, who is the last one standing?

In my book there are about five political films (as of this writing) that I revere as the best that I've ever seen (and though some may argue with my choice, don't forget that I have not seen every political film ever made). One of those five is Kieth Gordon's, The Chocolate War. Actually, I found myself watching this film when searching out titles starring Ilan Mitchell Smith who portrays Wyatt Donnelly in Weird Science. And, I walked away being a new fan of Keith Gordon-directed films. (For those of you who don't recognize the name, Keith played the lead in John Carpenter's Christine). His talents as a director far exceed his acting abilities. And, for those of you who have enjoyed the Chocolate War, I recommend watching Gordon's film from the early '90s drama, A Midnight Clear, another adaptation. I never got through the Chocolate War on the first try. It was a little too gloomy for my liking. But after a full viewing on the second try, I came to love this film. It's based on the fantastic Robert Cormier novel of the same title, which was once censored reading for some public schools. It is a nearly word-for-word adaptation, but has a different ending. Mitchell-Smith portrays Jerry Renault, a student at a private all boy's school. The acting headmaster, played the very excellent John Glover, decides that because the school is running out of money, they will hold a chocolate sale to boost the revenues. Renault doesn't want to participate, for his own reasons. But, he's the only one. And before Renault's influence can spread to the rest of the boys and cost the school their needed profits, the headmaster employs the services of a vindictive and influential secret society at the school known as The Vigils, headed by Archie (Wally Ward). Thus, the test comes down to this: in the face of intimidation, who will break? Filmed on what looked like the dreariest days in Washington state, this is a very gloomy movie, but nonetheless presents a powerful psychological study of what people will do under pressure when alone or when in groups. I thought everyone in the movie did a fantastic job (and surprise--nearly everyone--except for maybe Adam Baldwin--looked like they were actually high schoolers). Like other commentors have posted, it is not your usual feel good eighties fun fest. Gordon changes the ending, but does not make it a happy-ending. Instead, the vicious cycle of inhumane power-wielding structures continue to exist, but in hero-less manner different than imagined by Cormier (as it had to be, since Cormier developed a sequel to the book). It is one of the most intelligent political films and well worth watching.

Reviewed by deejay_bill 8 / 10 / 10

This ain't "Ferris Bueller"

Dark, strange, slightly amateurish yet oddly compelling, "The Chocolate War" is an excellent antidote to the happy-go-lucky teen films made popular by John Hughes in the 1980's. Based on the popular book by Robert Cormier, the story concerns Jerry Renault (Ilan Mitchell-Smith, "Weird Science"), a bright but sad young man coping with his mother's untimely death (which has also turned his father cold and distant). Jerry is a student a prep school known as Trinity, where he clashes with a sadistic "secret fraternity" known as the Vigils and the oh-so-slightly-mad acting headmaster Brother Leon (played to perfection by John Glover). At first by order of the Vigils, and then on his own, Jerry refuses to participate in the annual fund-raising chocolate sale, which not only angers Brother Leon but also causes an assortment of other problems. Yes, this is a rather simplistic summary, but going into great detail will not only take a lot of time but will also spoil the viewing experience. "The Chocolate War" is the directorial debut of actor Keith Gordon ("Christine," "Back to School"), who also wrote the screenplay. The film is a fairly faithful adaptation of Cormier's novel, but the ending is changed significantly. Fans of the book argue that Gordon's ending for the film is too "tidy" or "happy," but in it's own way the film ends on a rather despairing note, with no easy answers or solutions. Obviously filmed on a shoestring budget, "The Chocolate War" still boasts wonderful performances by its young cast. Mitchell-Smith is quite good as Jerry Renault, as well as the previously mentioned John Glover. Wally Ward (better known today as Wallace Langham of "Veronica's Closet") is very good as the Vigils' evil "assigner" Archie, and Bud Cort ("Harold and Maude") has a funny cameo as another teacher. Sometimes the pacing is slow, and sometimes the director attempts to be a little too "artistic" in his style; the film also suffers from a soundtrack that was dated even when the movie was made (the music comes from such new-wave dinosaurs as Yaz and Kate Bush). But "The Chocolate War" is a very thoughtful, well acted, compelling piece of work, and that is a cinematic rarity. Barely seen at the time of release and sometimes hard to find in video stores, "The Chocolate War" is well worth watching...and also well worth reading.

Reviewed by jerseyexit10 8 / 10 / 10

The Chocolate Score

This film was not along the same lines as the ordinary (David conquers Goliath) high school film of the 80's. And for that respect was probably appreciated by anyone who had experiences of being bullied when they were growing up. Though it has been said that the film was not as good as the actual book, I think the adaption made its point and the lesson was learned. Many of the young people in this world who are fornunate enough to see it, even if by accident, will understand that they are not alone. There are others who are having an even harder time as they grow up, and that "their own life" isn't so bad after all !!!

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