Based on the short story "The Palace Thief" by Ethan Canin, Kevin Kline stars as a passionate Classics
professor who finds himself drawn into a turbulent battle of wills with a new student (Emile Hirsch) who challenges his authority. Their
conflict results in a series of compromises on the part of the teacher who's trying to befriend the student, and finally to a fateful
decision that has a profound influence on both their lives. Also with Embeth Davidtz, Joel Gretsch and Rob Morrow. [1:49]
SEX/NUDITY 3 - A group of young men row across water to reach a girls' school on the other shore; they approach three young
women sitting on a pier, they flirt back and forth, talk about skinny dipping and begin to remove their clothes (we see a boy bare-chested
and two girls open their blouses exposing cleavage and part of their bras). A young man opens a footlocker that is stocked with
pornographic magazines, one boy begins to look at them and says "these show hair"; the covers show nude women with private parts
strategically covered and we are shown a centerfold who is holding a pillow over her bare breasts. A young man and a young woman kiss
briefly. A man kisses a woman on the cheek. We see young women dressed in cheerleading outfits that expose their bare thighs, and a
woman's evening gown exposes cleavage and bare shoulders. A man and a woman seem to be attracted to each other, but the woman is married.
VIOLENCE/GORE 1 - A man talks about when his father died. A man bats a baseball that crashes through another man's car
window. A man speaks abusively to his son. A boy spits on the ground and snorts a couple of times. A man urinates (we hear a trickle).
PROFANITY 4 - 3 scatological terms, 6 anatomical terms, 4 mild obscenities, 12 religious exclamations. [profanity glossary]
DISCUSSION TOPICS - History, the Greek and Roman periods, greed, consequences, Democracy, preparatory schools, bravado,
conscience, pressure to succeed, cheating, moral leadership, virtue.
MESSAGE - A man's character is his fate. Conquest without contribution is without significance. The worth of life is not
determined by a single success or failure.
(Note: People are shown smoking cigarettes and cigars, and drinking alcohol.)