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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 1,385 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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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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Release Date:

22 July 1968 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Young Torless  »

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Aspect Ratio:

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

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User Reviews

 
Left Elbow Index
13 November 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

The Left Elbow Index considers seven elements in judging films--acting, production sets, plot, character, dialogue, artistry, and continuity--on a scale of a high of 10 to a low of 1. Concerning acting, one finds it steady and slightly above average. The seem to be no substantial dramatic high points, although there is opportunity for some. Then again, there are no troubling low points either. Probably "even" would best describe, resulting in a rating of 7. The production sets rate an 8, mostly due to the nature of the school building and the isolated town on the Austria-Hungarian border. The indoor sets, with the exception of the gym, appear mundane and just sort of there. Costumes are not really a factor since school uniforms are the order of the day. The plot is a typical coming of age one, with the positive added ingredient of morality, thereby resulting in a 6 rating. Character suffers (a rating of 5) seeming because the personalities of the principles are fixed when they arrive at the school, with the minor exception of Torless who challenges recognition, but retreats. The dialogue seems uninspiring, although appropriate and controlled. It rates a 5, but that may be too high. The artistry is good (an 8). Great camera angles, the elements of the New German Cinema, and the implied preface to Hitlerism, all in black and white, have merit. The continuity is also good (another 8). The film maintains a tone of terror, in which, as writer-director Schlondorff claims, evil becomes natural. There is a minor problem with films of this type in that it is not difficult to predict the rise of National Socialism after it has already come. The film time is 1910, the movie was made in 1966, and Hitler's time is sandwiched in between. Fortunatly, this is not a history movie, it is a philosophical one which implies that the roots of National Socialism were in place in Germany decades before the rise of Hitler, who, ironically, was Austrian. The film is in some ways prophetic in that cultural terror seems always an undercurrent. The film is well worth seeing, even if the Left Elbow Index rank is 6.71, overall.


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