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Young Torless (1966)

Der junge Törless (original title)
Approved | | Drama, History, Thriller | 22 July 1968 (USA)
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 »


(novel), (adaptation) | 1 more credit »

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4 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »
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Complete credited cast:
Marian Seidowsky ...
Anselm von Basini
Bernd Tischer ...
Fred Dietz ...
Lotte Ledl ...
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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>

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Release Date:

22 July 1968 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Young Torless  »

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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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First feature film directed by Volker Schlöndorff. See more »


[first lines]
Vater Törless: Beineberg, please keep an eye on my son.
Beineberg: You can count on me, sir.
Vater Törless: That's a relief. I trust you. Something solid and decisive about you won me over instantly. Cigar?
Beineberg: Thank you, sir.
Vater Törless: I wish my boy were more like you. He always seems so insecure, so unbalanced. I have no idea what he'll amount to. I'm glad to have met you all. And knowing our son is with you makes saying goodbye easier. Especially since he's found such good comrades. Gentlemen, please contact us immediately should ...
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Featured in Film Review: International Films (1968) See more »

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User Reviews

future foretold
11 February 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

The movie won an award at the Cannes Film Festival when it was first released and signaled the beginning of a German cinematic revival. The book was written in 1906 and is a tedious read, although thankfully a short book. Homosexuality plays a large role in the book but virtually does not exist in the movie. Torless, a horny teenager in an all boys school, eventually has a torrid sexual affair with one of the students. The movie chooses to ignore this, and maybe for good reason as it was released in I believe in 1966. Filmed in black and white, the lack of color contributes to the atmosphere of German austerity that director uses to his advantage. The final speech by Torless is a brilliant defense for the lack of opposition by the middle class to the rise of Hitler. Most of the teenagers in the movie were not aspiring actors but were chosen almost at random for their roles. But considering the time in which it was produced this is a land mark film, especially for German cinema. The movie is much more entertaining than the book and the director,Volker Schlondorff, did a fabulous job and deserves the awards it was given.

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