WriterFred Schepisi (screenplay) Release dateAugust 12, 1976 (1976-08-12) Initial releaseAugust 12, 1976 (Australia) CastArthur Dignam (Brother Francine), Nick Tate (Brother Victor), Simon Burke (Tom Allen), Charles McCallum (Brother Sebastian) Similar moviesInterstellar, Saved!, C.R.A.Z.Y., Pitch Perfect 2, Jupiter Ascending, Frozen
The devil s playground trailer
The Devil's Playground is a 1976 Australian semi-autobiographical film written, directed and produced by Fred Schepisi. It tells the story of a boy growing up and going to school in a Catholic seminary. Its focus is on the trials of the flesh and the tensions that arise, for both Brothers and students, from the religious injunction to control one's sexuality.
In August 1953, the 13-year-old Tom Allen attends a Catholic juniorate / (junior seminary) in Melbourne, Australia. Students and Brothers face individual challenges of faith and self-restraint.
Arthur Dignam as Brother Francine
Nick Tate as Brother Victor
Simon Burke as Tom Allen
Charles McCallum as Brother Sebastian
John Frawley as Brother Celian
Jonathan Hardy as Brother Arnold
Gerry Duggan as Father Hanrahan
Peter Cox as Brother James
Thomas Keneally as Father Marshall
Sheila Florance as Mrs Sullivan
John Diedrich as Fitz
Alan Cinis as Waite
Richard Morgan as Smith
Jeremy Kewley as Thompson
The screenplay was based on Schepisi's own experience attending a Catholic seminary and took him five years to write. The film financing took three years to arrange, eventually coming from the Australian Film Commission ($100,000) and the Film House, Schepisi's own company ($154,000), with the balance coming from private investment.
It was shot in 1975 mostly at Werribee Park near Melbourne.
The film won the 1976 Australian Film Institute Award for Best Film, Best Direction, Best Lead Actor for both Simon Burke and Nick Tate, Best Screenplay, Best Achievement in Cinematography, and the Jury Prize.
The Devil's Playground grossed $334,000 at the box office in Australia, which is equivalent to $1,726,780 in 2009 dollars. According to Schepisi, the movie almost got its money back.
The Devil's Playground was released on DVD with a new print by Umbrella Entertainment in November 2008. The DVD is compatible with all region codes and includes special features such as the theatrical trailer, an interview with Fred Schepisi, and audio commentary with Fred Schepisi. This film was released on Blu-ray by Umbrella Entertainment in June 2014, with extras.