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Author Topic: The Chocolate War (1988)
Valley

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"The Chocolate War" is based on a 'Catcher In the Rye" type novel, but the title makes for one awkward sounding 80's flick don't you think?

Set in a Catholic school, the film centers around a group of guys known as the Vigils, who conspire with a corrupt teacher to run the school. Think of them as frat house leaders, setting initiation challenges. Their cushy little system is going fine until they pick on Jerry Renault played wonderfully by Ilan Mitchell-Smith, who decides to rebel against their demands, causing quite the uproar and huge problems for the school's annual chocolate sale.

If you haven't read the book (which I haven't), the above plot outline might seem confusing or at least leave you thinking the whole thing sounds a bit boring. Actually, I really enjoyed this movie. Very intense and emotionally charged at a few points and it is definitely something a bit different than my usual 80's favs..

I will say that this might be like "The Firm" where if you read the novel.. you will probably hate the movie because Hollywood changed it. But since I can't read.. I'll stick with the movie version.

So why should you check "The Chocolate War" out:

1. Ilan Mitchell-Smith - he really didn't make that many 80's movies and most of us enjoyed him in "Weird Science" and "The Wild Life".

2. Adam Baldwin, Jenny Wright, and Wallace Langham in supporting roles.

3. Yaz(oo) - that's right this movie features two incredible tunes written by Vince Clarke.. "In My Room" and "Only You"

4. This movie was the directorial debut of one Keith 'crazy eyes' Gordon. Did you know he is still directing today?

Anyone?

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Helen_S
Hiding behind the shower curtain.....
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Now I need chocolate [Frown]
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Ronnie
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keith gordon directed many episodes of the sho-time original series, Dexter...(which i am patiently waiting for next season to start!)

all this time i thought his name was Ian mitchell smith. i recently watched weird science and saw in the opening credits it said ILAN MITCHELL-SMITH. i thought they messed up his name. [Roll Eyes]

i would have to watch this movie again because i don't remember much of it. i rented the vhs tape many years ago.

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Veronica Sawyer
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I saw this for the first time last summer and really enjoyed it. Great music (especially the Yaz songs), great acting...and I like the fact that it leaves a lot of questions kind of unanswered.

I really liked one of Keith Gordon's other movies, "Waking the Dead" too.

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saturnchick
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I read the book and I enjoyed it. However, I am not a fan of the movie. The entire end of the story was changed in order to provide the "happy ending" for a movie-going audience. Generally speaking, a movie doesn't like up to the book it's been adapted from, but I have a particular distaste for this adaptation because the changes made only serve to completely destroy the theme of the story.
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Logan 5
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Saturn Chick is right; the ending somewhat undermines the points being made throughout the story. However, I don't think the change was as bad as it could've been, and I don't think people coming to it 'blank' will care that much. It's a fairly solid low-budget movie, but even when it came out it felt oddly out of place. It always feels to me like a British TV movie.
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Secret Admirer
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Anyone care to spoil things and tell me how the book ends? Is it much different?

The music is fantastic, and there's some intense performances. Definitely looks and feels British, right, Logan? It kind of keeps you off balance with so much action swirling around Jerry. The downtrodden feel and artistic moments were interesting enough to keep me in it.

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Logan 5
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I think the music and the uniforms give it a non-American feel.

Going from memory, the end of the book is; Jerry has a boxing match with the nasty kid and gets his *** kicked. Jerry loses, and nothing happens to disturb the flow of things.

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Riptide
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I love this movie, just wish I could upgrade to DVD, would love to read the book. Any movie with Jenny Wright and Elan Mitchell Smith and chocolate I'm all over. Wanted to get a campaign a few years ago about getting a remake with the Stroke singer Julian Casablancas cast in the EMS part.
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Logan 5
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quote:
Originally posted by Riptide:
I love this movie, just wish I could upgrade to DVD, would love to read the book. Any movie with Jenny Wright and Elan Mitchell Smith and chocolate I'm all over. Wanted to get a campaign a few years ago about getting a remake with the Stroke singer Julian Casablancas cast in the EMS part.

$4.00:

http://www.amazon.com/Chocolate-War-John-Glover/dp/B000MTFDDS/ref=sr_1_1?s=dvd&ie=UTF8&qid=1294968548&sr=1-1

If you go through a link on the Rewind, it helps support the site.

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Valley

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Riptide.. so cool that you are a fan of this underrated flick.

I totally recommend it even if it is just so that you can hear Yaz tunes in an 80's movie. Plus, for $4 how can you go wrong..

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Valley

Dated Julie From 'Valley Girl' (allegedly!)
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So I splurged and bought "The Chocolate War" on DVD.. haven't seen it in years.. in a word .. Brutal

Very good movie .. incredible tunes.. great performances.. but beyond depressing.

Why did they change the ending from the book for the film?

I'm watching the Keith Gordon speed talking interview right now to see if he explains. He just did, but his answer was the book's ending just didn't work visually for film.

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Valley

Dated Julie From 'Valley Girl' (allegedly!)
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One more reason to watch this movie.. Brent David Fraser will almost freak you out by how much he resembles a young Brendan Fraser .. yet they are not related.
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