The Toy

December 10th, 1982


The Toy

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An underemployed reporter finds himself literally purchased as a toy for a rich spoiled brat.

Release Year: 1982

Rating: 5.3/10 (5,144 voted)

Director: Richard Donner

Stars: Richard Pryor, Jackie Gleason, Ned Beatty

On one of his bratty son Eric's annual visits, the plutocrat U.S. Bates takes him to his department store and offers him anything in it as a gift. Eric chooses a black janitor who has made him laugh with his antics. At first the man suffers many indignities as Eric's "toy", but gradually teaches the lonely boy what it is like to have and to be a friend.

Writers: Carol Sobieski, Francis Veber

Richard Pryor - Jack Brown
Jackie Gleason - U.S. Bates
Ned Beatty - Mr. Morehouse
Scott Schwartz - Eric Bates
Teresa Ganzel - Fancy Bates
Wilfrid Hyde-White - Barkley
Annazette Chase - Angela
Tony King - Clifford
Don Hood - O'Brien
Karen Leslie-Lyttle - Fraulein
Virginia Capers - Ruby Simpson
B.J. Hopper - Geffran
Linda McCann - Honey Russell
Ray Spruell - Senator Newcomb
Stocker Fontelieu - District Attorney Russell

Taglines: When Jackie Gleason Told His Son He Could Have Any Present He Wanted, He Picked The Most Outrageous Gift Of All... Richard Pryor.

Release Date: 10 December 1982

Filming Locations: Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA

Opening Weekend: $6,322,804 (USA) (12 December 1982)

Gross: $47,118,057 (USA) (21 February 1983)

Technical Specs


Did You Know?

The framed picture seen behind Mr. Morehouse in his office is actually actor Ned Beatty's high school graduation photograph.

Revealing mistakes: Articles in the newspaper "The Toy" do not correspond to the pictures. Specifically, the paragraph that begins "The man in the middle is chief counsel for the committee." repeats many times.

Jack Brown: For 18 months I've been trying to get a job on your newspaper, but the only black people you hire do windows, mop floors and kiss ass. I don't like it, I've tried it.

User Review

Good on more than one level.


This film can be enjoyed by children due to it's obvious subject matter. But it also has a subtheme about racial and class divisions. Depending on the scene, the film's racial connotations range from depicting the use of blacks in subservient positions, to blatantly expressing that people can still sell themselves or be bought out of desperation.


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