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Torment (1944)
"Hets" (original title)

 -  Drama  -  2 October 1944 (Sweden)
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 1,966 users  
Reviews: 21 user | 15 critic

An idealistic adolescent, suffering under the thumb of a sadistic schoolmaster, falls in love with a loose girl who is bullied and tormented by another lover.



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Title: Torment (1944)

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Complete credited cast:
Stig Järrel ...
Alf Kjellin ...
Jan-Erik Widgren
Bertha Olsson
Olof Winnerstrand ...
The Headmaster
Gösta Cederlund ...
Hugo Björne ...
Doctor Nilsson
Olav Riégo ...
Mr. Widgren
Märta Arbin ...
Mrs. Widgren
Jan Molander ...
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Hilda Borgström ...
Caligula's Mother (scenes deleted)
Gunnar Carlsson ...
Student (as Lars-Gunnar Carlsson)
Anna Olin ...
Aunt Elisabeth (scenes deleted)


Jan-Erik Widgren is a high-school senior. His Latin teacher, Caligula, is feared by everybody, both teachers and students. Widgren falls in love with Berta, who works in a tobacco store. She tells him that she is harassed by a mean, sadistic man, but does not tell him that it is Caligula himself. Written by Mattias Thuresson

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




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Release Date:

2 October 1944 (Sweden)  »

Also Known As:

Torment  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


The Latin teacher Caligula is based on the Latin teacher Sjögren in Lågor i dunklet (1942) also played by Stig Järrel. See more »


When Caligula and Widgren sit in the window together towards the middle of the film, the boom mic can be seen reflected in the glass above them. See more »


Caligula: Cheating, my good sir, cheating!
See more »


Featured in Bergman Island (2004) See more »

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User Reviews

"Dark, humane and dense..."
24 October 2012 | by (Norway) – See all my reviews

Swedish screenwriter and theatre and film director Alf Sjöberg's seventh feature film was written by Ingmar Bergman, his first screenplay for a feature film, who was also assistant director making it his directing debut. It was shot on locations in Stockholm, Sweden where it also had it's premiere and is a Swedish production which was produced by Swedish screenwriter, actor and director Victor Sjöström (1879-1960). It tells the story about Jan-Erik Widgren, a young student who lives with his father, mother and younger brother. Shortly before his graduation he is given a remark by his teacher who is called Caligula and who likes to humiliate his students. One night on his way home after having been to the cinema with his friend and classmate Sandman, he meets a girl whom he recognizes from the local cigarette store named Bertha Olsson and walks her home to her apartment where she tells him about a man who she is afraid of who has been there and who is spying on her. He stays the night with her and leaves her promising that he'll come again.

Distinctly and precisely directed by Swedish filmmaker Alf Sjöberg (1903-1980), this finely paced fictional tale draws an incisive portrayal of a struggling student's relationship with a lovely girl and a sadistic teacher during a spring in the mid-20th century in Stockholm, Sweden. While notable for it's naturalistic and mostly interior milieu depictions, fine production design by production designer Arne Äkermark, black-and-white cinematography by Swedish cinematographer Martin Bodin (1903-1976), costume design by costume designer Mimmi Törnqvist, editing by film editor Oscar Rosander and use of sound, this character-driven and dialog-driven drama triangle depicts an in-depth study of character and contains a prominent score by organist, concert pianist and the first Swedish modernist composer Hilding Rosenberg (1892-1985).

This somewhat romantic, forebodingly atmospheric, at times humorous and visceral psychological thriller from the early 1940s about a lonely high school student and his classmates' experiences with an inhumane and terrorizing teacher two months before their graduation, is impelled and reinforced by it's cogent narrative structure, subtle character development, colorful characters, mindful dialog and the memorable acting performances by Swedish actor and director Alf Kjellin (1920-1988), Swedish actor and director Stig Järrel (1910-1998), Swedish actress, screenwriter and director Mai Zetterling (1925-1994) and Swedish actor Carl Olof Magnus Winnerstrand (1875-1956). A dark, humane and dense character piece.

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