Review: ‘The Devil’s Playground’

The Devil's Playground is a Roman Catholic boys' boarding school where the pupils are seen at their everyday work, play and worship. Stressed are the problems of puberty in such a community, and the evils of succumbing to self-abuse; one boy for instance is chastised for taking off his bathers whilst under a shower.

The Devil’s Playground is a Roman Catholic boys’ boarding school where the pupils are seen at their everyday work, play and worship. Stressed are the problems of puberty in such a community, and the evils of succumbing to self-abuse; one boy for instance is chastised for taking off his bathers whilst under a shower.

The more sensitive boys take such things to heart, others merely shrug it off and go their own way. In one quarter it breeds a cell where boys indulge in homosexual, masochistic and sadistic practices while the teachers react in different ways.

Film, almost like a factual documentary at times, has obviously been made with great sincerity. Lensing is fine, with some superb outdoor photography. The direction is always competent and most of the scenes involving the boys, organized and natural.

The Devil's Playground

Australia

Production

Film House. Director Fred Schepisi; Producer Fred Schepisi; Screenplay Fred Schepisi; Camera Ian Baker; Editor Brian Kavanagh; Music Bruce Smeaton

Crew

(Color) Available on VHS. Extract of a review from 1976. Running time: 107 MIN.

With

Arthur Dignam Nick Tate Simon Burke Charles McCallum John Frawley Jonathan Hardy
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