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The Toy


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)

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


Annazette Chase


Tony King


Don Hood


Karen Leslie-Lyttle


Virginia Capers

Ruby Simpson

B.J. Hopper


Linda McCann

Honey Russell

Ray Spruell

Senator Newcomb

Stocker Fontelieu

District Attorney Russell

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
(12 December 1982)

Gross: $47,118,057
(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.
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
in subservient positions, to blatantly expressing that people can still
themselves or be bought out of desperation.