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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 ...
Jean Launay ...


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

Sound Mix:

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

An indictment of the military system and its dehumanization
13 February 2001 | by (Palm Springs) – See all my reviews

Faithfully adapted from author Robert Musil, this study of sadism and masochism among students at an Austro-Hungarian boys prep school is a parable of fascism and its origins. Barbara Steele is radiant and splendid as Bozena the prostitute who awakens the nascent sexual nature of the adolescent students. Lovingly photographed in black and white, YOUNG TORLESS evokes the mood and claustrophobic horror of the dehumanizing military system. Matthew Carriere gives an unblemished and heartfelt performance as an innocent caught behind the barbed wire walls of his very soul and the duty to which he has been placed. A must-see for everyone and an advocacy for pacificism. This was Volker Schloendorff's first film, and by admission one of Barbara Steele's favorite roles.

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