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Young Torless (1966)
"Der junge Törless" (original title)

Not Rated  |   |  Drama, History  |  22 July 1968 (USA)
7.4
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 1,395 users  
Reviews: 16 user | 16 critic

At a boarding school in the pre-war Austro-Hungarian Empire, a pair of students torture one of their fellow classmates, Basini, who has been caught stealing money from one of the two. The ... See full summary »

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(novel), (adaptation), 1 more credit »
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Title: Young Torless (1966)

Young Torless (1966) on IMDb 7.4/10

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4 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview:
Mathieu Carrière ...
Marian Seidowsky ...
Anselm von Basini
Bernd Tischer ...
Beineberg
Fred Dietz ...
Reiting
Lotte Ledl ...
Gastwirtin / Innkeeper
Jean Launay ...
Mathematiklehrer / Maths Teacher
...
Bozena
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Storyline

At a boarding school in the pre-war Austro-Hungarian Empire, a pair of students torture one of their fellow classmates, Basini, who has been caught stealing money from one of the two. The two decide that rather than turn Basini in to the school authorities, they will punish him themselves and proceed to torture, degrade, and humiliate the boy, with ever-increasing sadistic delight. As each day passes, the two boys are able to justify harsher treatment than previously given. Torless is a passive member of the group but observes rather than participates and frustrates the tormentors by dryly analyzing their behavior. Written by Dean Harris <gershom@earthlink.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | History

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

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Language:

Release Date:

22 July 1968 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Young Torless  »

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

First feature film directed by Volker Schlöndorff. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Filmstunde: Filmstunde 1 (1991) See more »

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User Reviews

 
An expertly crafted and involving film
8 February 2013 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I selected this DVD off a library shelf at random. I had never heard of Young Torless. My idle curiosity was well rewarded. The film belongs in the same league with Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner, Zero for Conduct, Lord of the Flies, or other similar works. Perhaps there is allegory here, a foreshadowing of the murderous future of the Germanic peoples. Or maybe a nearer, smaller-scale atrocity: several scenes are as chilling as eavesdropping on a Leopold and Loeb strategy session.

This is expertly crafted film making. Everything – casting, shot composition, editing, plot structure – works. Barbara Steele landed one of the great roles of her career. The music is especially effective. Hans Werner Henze's use of modern tonalities played on ancient instruments functions perfectly, achieving the film score ideal that complements the picture and other sounds, a Greek chorus without words. Aided by Henze's score, some of the scenes in Young Torless brought back with painful clarity many a sad, bleak, cloudy-morning memory of sophomore year in high school.


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