5.9/10
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41 user 12 critic

The Toy (1982)

PG | | Comedy | 10 December 1982 (USA)
An underemployed reporter finds himself literally purchased as a toy for a rich spoiled brat.

Director:

Richard Donner

Writers:

Francis Veber (based on a film by), Carol Sobieski (screenplay by)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Richard Pryor ... Jack Brown
Jackie Gleason ... U.S. Bates
Ned Beatty ... Mr. Morehouse
Scott Schwartz ... Eric Bates
Teresa Ganzel ... Fancy Bates
Wilfrid Hyde-White ... Barkley
Annazette Chase ... Angela
Tony King ... Clifford
Don Hood ... O'Brien
Karen Leslie-Lyttle ... Fraulein
Virginia Capers ... Ruby Simpson
B.J. Hopper B.J. Hopper ... Geffran
Linda McCann Linda McCann ... Honey Russell
Ray Spruell Ray Spruell ... Senator Newcomb
Stocker Fontelieu Stocker Fontelieu ... District Attorney Russell
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Storyline

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. Written by Paul Emmons <pemmons@wcupa.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

When Jackie Gleason Told His Son He Could Have Any Present He Wanted, He Picked The Most Outrageous Gift Of All... Richard Pryor.

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | German

Release Date:

10 December 1982 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Toy See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$17,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$6,322,804, 12 December 1982

Gross USA:

$47,118,057

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$47,118,057
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The mansion in the movie was Charbonnet House near Baton Rouge, Louisiana. It covered 34,000 square feet (3,158 square meters) on 500 acres (202 hectares) of manicured grounds. It had two lakes, one of which covers more than 200 acres (81 hectares) and included fish, herons, and exotic ducks. See more »

Goofs

Jack is shown wearing slippers as Barkley delivers his breakfast. After Eric pulls Jack's breakfast off the cart and Jack begins to give Eric a spanking, he is no longer wearing slippers. See more »

Quotes

Eric Bates: I know what I want.
Morehouse: He wants the Wonder Wheel,
[he and other business men get into a huddle]
Eric Bates: The black man!
Morehouse: He wants one in black, so all we do is...
Eric Bates: The black *man*!
Morehouse: He wants the black man. Huh? Oh no. No. No tomorrow. No next week. No next month. No next year.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The closing credits are shown aside four toy darts. See more »


Soundtracks

I Just Want To Be Your Friend
Performed by Jeffrey Osborne
Music and Lyrics by Trevor Lawrence and Frank Musker
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Important Evidence For How Great The Original Is !
7 December 2008 | by elshikh4See all my reviews

It's nearly a shot-by-shot remake of the French masterpiece (Le Jouet - 1976). So much for saying I think !

The comparison isn't for the sake of the American movie, since the latter didn't change anything. They kind of translated the French movie to American the way they translated Le Jouet to the toy ("The Toy" is what "Le Jouet" means in English!). The only added thing was a storyline about racism which suited (Richard Pryor)'s character, and harmonized with the motif; as if slavery still exists, making the poor as the rich people's toy.

But overall nothing could reach to the original's special pace, or exceptional personality. For example, in (Le Jouet), the rich man's villa was dark, and the silence worked powerfully more than the talking. Here, forget any of that. Instead, they leaned to weak, cheap, tricks like repeating the domino's fall, showing off the stepmother's body, and aiming at the adult joking (there was a purposed kick out of hearing the boy says dirty words !).

(Pryor) filled it with his own buffoonery, and some funny lines, however couldn't capture the serious sense of the story, dealing with the movie as a toy itself. He was a golden star at the moment, so maybe they left him do whatever he wants. Or maybe that's the taste of his comedy anyway. (Patrick Williams)'s music was very cute, but not up to (Vladimir Cosma)'s tender memorable score of the original. And nothing can imitate (Le Jouet)'s end, which's one of the most touching and expressing cinematic endings I've ever seen.

Director (Richard Donner), with the 2 scriptwriter, lacked the French director (Francis Veber)'s smart touches while he was transforming his own short story into feature film. Yes, (Donner) made it fairly, but it's still one of his most spiritless movies that lacks the personal touch. He was executing more than creating at this break between the end of the 1970s' (Superman)'s movies, and his movies at the mid-1980s: (Ladyhawke), (The Goonies), and (Lethal Weapon).

Have watched the original or not, this one is good, fresh and solid as an afternoon movie. In fact, its good condition is a proof of the original's beauty. Though, it's obvious that (The Toy) couldn't be as unique as (Le Jouet). I believe this is the habit of Hollywood that loves to "toy" with older movies, or TV shows, making them mostly easier and slighter !


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