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Torment (1944)
"Hets" (original title)

 |  Drama  |  2 October 1944 (Sweden)
7.5
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 2,258 users  
Reviews: 21 user | 17 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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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Stig Järrel ...
Caligula
Alf Kjellin ...
Jan-Erik Widgren
...
Bertha Olsson
Olof Winnerstrand ...
The Headmaster
Gösta Cederlund ...
Pippi
Hugo Björne ...
Doctor Nilsson
Olav Riégo ...
Mr. Widgren
Märta Arbin ...
Mrs. Widgren
Jan Molander ...
Pettersson
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)
Edit

Storyline

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

Genres:

Drama

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Details

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Release Date:

2 October 1944 (Sweden)  »

Also Known As:

Torment  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

As assistant director, Bergman directed the final scenes of the film. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Caligula: Mr.Widgren is lazy, he ignores me and my homeworks.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Three Scenes with Ingmar Bergman (1975) See more »

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User Reviews

 
dark screenplay by Ingmar Bergman
16 May 2015 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

"Torment" from 1944 is a Swedish film directed by Alf Sjoberg with a screenplay by Ingmar Bergman. Bergman also directed the last scenes, which were put in later when the producer rejected the original ending.

Jan-Erik Widgren (Alf Kjellin) is a young student under the thumb of a sadistic Latin teacher, known by all the students as Caligula. Everyone is afraid of him. Interesting that this is based on some of Bergman's own experiences, as he hated school and hated the institution of school.

Jan-Erik believes that one day he will meet a chaste woman with whom to share his life, though his friend tells him it's impossible, all girls are tramps.

He starts talking with a pretty young woman (Mai Zetterling) who works in a nearby store. That night he sees her drunk on her way home, and he helps her. They have an affair, but she has another lover - she fears him and she's apparently afraid to leave him because of that fear. He's also a terrible bully.

Meanwhile, graduation is drawing near, and as Jan-Erik has his affair and tries to study, his chances for graduation aren't looking all that good. Then something happens that nearly destroys him.

Very good film, exquisitely photographed in black and white. Also, there is not a ton of dialogue. It almost could be a silent. I found the last scene absolutely beautiful.

I remember the star, Alf Kjellin, as an older character actor on shows like "Mission Impossible." Here he is very striking, tall with high cheekbones and an angular face. Mai Zetterling, who is only about 19 and very pretty in this film, is excellent as the tormented woman. She had a good career doing stage work in her native Sweden and then making films in Sweden, Britain, and America. When she turned to directing, her films were sexually liberated and were met with some controversy. She had big affairs with Tyrone Power and Herbert Lom. Her biography is fascinating.

Both give strong performances.

Stig Jarrel as Caligula was a very versatile, fine actor, and here he plays a real demon. He's frightening, like a snake poised to strike. His last scene is extremely powerful.

This film is definitely worth seeing, even though it's not perfect and not a masterpiece. Still, it's effective, with some strong images.


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