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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 »

Writers:

(novel), (adaptation) | 1 more credit »
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4 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Mathieu Carrière ...
Marian Seidowsky ...
Anselm von Basini
Bernd Tischer ...
Beineberg
Fred Dietz ...
Reiting
Lotte Ledl ...
Gastwirtin
Jean Launay ...
Mathematiklehrer
...
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


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

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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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Did You Know?

Trivia

First feature film directed by Volker Schlöndorff. See more »

Quotes

[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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Connections

Featured in Film Review: International Films (1968) See more »

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User Reviews

removal of the original gay theme
19 August 2008 | by (london) – See all my reviews

What's interesting about this film is the way it unapologetically removes the true and original gay content from the story. Torless has a passionate gay affair in the original. In the film gayness is alluded too as perhaps a contributing factor to the corruption of innocents via the pursuit & discovery of knowledge & experience. As a gay person with a broad understanding of the systematic exclusion and removal of gay people from history, the main theme of the film, re: the brutality , sadism and masochism & manifestation of fascism is somehow deeply compromised by the idea that it is excusable, if not absolutely impossible to reveal Torless's gay self as a positive and actual fact of his boyhood because it would offend European bourgeoisie taste of the 60s. So the sensationalism of fascism is portrayed and the recent anti-Semitic WW11 history of Austria 'allowed' as an allusion to it's part in Nazi history, but homosexuality is still being demonised and censored in a film which purports to be about anti-fascism. I don't buy that - and we've all been robbed of the true story - where Torless , far from being a dried up , cold 'acceptably' moral and suggestively straight prude, in the real story embraces the presence of gay feelings rampant in the original story and which contribute to the whole process of his crisis about morality which the film hijacks to portray a censored and acceptable message of it's own.


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