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Plot, Details & Awards

The Toy

99min.
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Plot & Details

In The Toy, director Richard Donner and screenwriter Carol Sobieski update the 1976 Pierre Richard farce Le Jouet as a vehicle for comedian Richard Pryor. Pryor stars as out-of-work journalist Jack Brown, who's hit with the sudden realization that his idle book writing won't pay a 10,000-dollar sum necessary to keep his house from going to auction. Desperate, he is improbably hired as a cleaning lady in the offices of rich businessman and newspaper magnate U.S. Bates (Jackie Gleason). Running afoul of Bates' quick temper, Jack gets the axe, but is later spotted goofing around in a Bates-owned toy store by Bates' bratty son, Eric (Scott Schwartz), who's spending his annual week together with his estranged father. Taking his father's offer that he may have "anything in the store" quite literally, the spoiled kid asks for Jack as his personal toy for the week. Initially unwilling to be treated as a possession, Jack soon agrees after Bates offers to pay him enough to climb out of debt. When Eric's idea of fun includes dumping buckets of booby-trapped oatmeal on Jack's head and riding down the stairs of his father's mansion with Jack riding shotgun in a miniature car, it tests both Jack's patience and his resolve. But Jack discovers that Bates is ignoring Eric, which strengthens the bond between them and prompts them to seek revenge on the big jerk.

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