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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 »

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(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>

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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

 
Kids these days...
8 March 2008 | by (Hellfudge, Pennsylvania) – See all my reviews

By today's standards, a film like "Young Torless" may seem too coy and archly philosophical (and thus pretentious) a take on the corruption of youth, and the sources from which the corruption stems. Its strength, however, lies in the telling: when a student at a preparatory academy robs a peer to pay off a debt, he finds himself enslaved, both psychologically and sexually, by a gang of rogues looking to push him to the breaking point. In the midst of this is Torless (Matthieu Carriere), a student coming to terms with his identity in the midst of this moral dilemma, and whose mental landscape renders him a frustrated, conflicted character who runs the gamut from cold detachment to vague sympathy. While certain aspects of the film (the homosexual subplot, for instance) seem deliberately repressed due to the era, the implication is enough to give the events an additional potency. The black-and-white cinematography is excellent, capturing a specific atmosphere of dread and meditative solitude--German director Volker Schlondorff is not looking to titillate with sensationalist content, but instead spin a story of a young adult's struggle with the evils of an imperfect world. And on that level, "Young Torless" is one of the best films of its kind.


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