Apt Pupil is a 1998 American psychological thriller film based on the 1982 novella of the same name by Stephen King. The film was directed by Bryan Singer and stars Ian McKellen and Brad Renfro. Set in the 1980s in southern California, the film tells the fictional story of high school student Todd Bowden (Renfro), who discovers a fugitive Nazi war criminal, Kurt Dussander (McKellen), living in his neighborhood under a pseudonym. Bowden, obsessed with Nazism and the Holocaust, persuades Dussander to share his stories, and their relationship stirs malice in each of them. Singer has called Apt Pupil "a study in cruelty", with Nazism serving as a vehicle to demonstrate the capacity of evil.
In Southern California in 1984, 16-year-old high school student Todd Bowden discovers that his elderly neighbor, Arthur Denker, is in reality Kurt Dussander— a former Sturmbannführer in the SS who is now a fugitive war criminal hiding from justice. Todd blackmails Dussander by threatening to turn him in to the police. However, the teenager is fascinated with Nazi atrocities perpetrated during World War II, and forces Dussander to share disturbing stories of what it was like working at Nazi extermination camps, and how it felt to participate in genocide.
|award||Critics' Choice Movie Award for Best Actor|
|events||The Holocaust World War II|
|genre||drama horror thriller|
|keywords||air embolism arrest attempts to kill a cat cruelty to animals death camp disturb extermination camp genocide heart attack hide high school student homeless person icarus israel nazi neo-nazis neo-nazism nothing old man school counselor southern california sturmbannführer talk true identity valedictorian war crime war crimes war criminal young boy|
|producer||Bryan Singer Don Murphy Jane Hamsher|
|publisher||Sony Pictures Releasing|
|theme||coming-of-age psychological drama psychological thriller|