- 1 hr 51 min
Apt Pupil is a psychological thriller film based on a novella of the same name by Stephen King. The film tells the story of the main character, Todd Bowden, played by Brad Renfro. Todd seems to be a normal high-school boy. He gets decent grades in his classes and has a girlfriend. However, Todd has a dark side. He is secretly obsessed with Nazis and the crimes against humanity that they committed. Todd’s secret comes spilling out when he discovers that his neighbor, an older man named Arthur Denker, is actually Kurt Dussander. Dussander, played by Ian McKellen, is actually a Nazi war criminal who has been in hiding for some time and is living a quiet life in the hope that he can evade justice forever. When Todd discovers Dussander’s secret, he decides to blackmail the older man. Todd demands that Dussander tell him all about the horrific acts Dussander committed during his years as a Nazi. He also purchases a Nazi uniform and forces Dussander to wear it. The recounting of the terrible stories begins to take its toll on both Dussander and Todd. Dussander begins to remember more and more about the past that he thought he had locked away. As the nightmares resurface, Dussander attempts to quell them in any way he can. This leads to very destructive and often dangerous behavior. In addition, Todd becomes obsessed with the stories and can no longer focus on anything else. His grades begin to decline and he starts to ignore his girlfriend. Afraid that someone will discover their secret, Dussander threatens Todd, forcing him to bring his grades back up. He also masquerades as Todd’s grandfather in order to meet with Todd’s school. However, the lies and secrets begin to pile up. Dussander and Todd both know that their dangerous way of life can’t continue forever.