Book Vs. Movie “The Chocolate War”

The Chocolate War (1986) Robert Cormier, Ilan Mitchell-Smith, John Glover, Keith Gordon & Kate Bush – Book Vs Movie Podcast

Book Vs. Movie: The Chocolate War Robert Cormier 1974 YA Novel Vs. The 1988 Keith Gordon Film This September, the Margos are going to cover books that have been placed on “Banned Books” lists at sc

Book Vs. Movie: The Chocolate War

Robert Cormier 1974 YA Novel Vs. The 1988 Keith Gordon Film

This September, the Margos are going to cover books that have been placed on “Banned Books” lists at schools and libraries in America over the last 100+ years, starting with The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier, which has consistently been banned in high schools for language, religious questioning, and sexual imagery since its publication.  

The story of Jerry Renault, a lonely high school freshman at a Catholic school mourning the loss of his mother and trying to figure out how to find his way in life while maintaining his individuality. The main high school clique, the Vigils, run by creepy Archie, wants Charlie to refuse to sell chocolates to make him stand out (badly) to Brother Leon. Leon needs to sell 20,000 boxes of chocolates because he borrowed too much cash ahead of time and the school administration is close to finding this out. 

When Jerry is “allowed” by the Vigils to sell the chocolates, he continues to refuse to cause an escalation of destabilization and violence at the school. Was it worth it for him to “disturb the universe?”  

The film, directed by Keith Gordon, was made for a tiny budget (used mostly for the kickass 80s soundtrack featuring Kate Bush and Yaz) and made little impact at the time. It is now having a revival due to the popularity of Bush’s Running Up That Hill feature on the Netflix show Stranger Things

So between the book and the film, which did we like better?

In this ep, the Margos discuss:

Clips used:

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