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King of Devil's Island (2010)

Kongen av Bastøy (original title)
Not Rated | | Action, Drama | 17 December 2010 (Norway)
Norwegian winter, early 20th century. On the boys home Bastoy, a new inmate leads the boys to a violent uprising against a brutal regime. How far is he willing to go to attain freedom?



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Erling / C-19
Trond Nilssen ...
Olav / C-1
Magnus Langlete ...
Ivar / C-5
Morten Løvstad ...
Daniel Berg ...
Odin Gineson Brøderud ...
Magnar Botten ...
Markus Brustad ...
Agnar Jeger Holst ...
Tommy Jakob Håland ...
Richard Safin ...
Frank-Thomas Andersen ...
Nils-Fredrik Tveter ...


Based on a true story: Norwegian winter, early 20th century. On the island Bastoy, located in the Oslo fjord live a group of delinquent, young boys aged 11 to 18. The boys daily, sadistic regime is run by the guards and the principal who bestow both mental and physical abuse on them. Instead of the boys being straightened out with education they end up being used as cheap, manual labor. The boys attempt to survive by adapting to their inhumane conditions. One day a new boy, Erling (17), arrives with his own agenda; how to escape from the island. How far is he willing to go in order to get his freedom? Written by JRN

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Action | Drama


Not Rated | See all certifications »

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Release Date:

17 December 2010 (Norway)  »

Also Known As:

King of Devil's Island  »

Box Office


NOK 54,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$554 (USA) (16 December 2011)


$7,166 (USA) (3 February 2012)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (Extended Edition)

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


Director Marius Holst spent a year setting up camps and workshops for boy actors to help him find the right recruits to play convict children in his film. See more »


The movie grossly exaggerates the size of the lead ship of the Norwegian Navy at the time.

As the boys are trying to escape the island, at about 1 hour 34 minutes, the Battleship "Norge" appears in the fog. The "Norge" was a small 300 ft pre-dreadnought - significantly smaller than modern day Frigate. If one assumes that the men seen on deck, are about 1.7 meters tall, the ship in the movie is more than 3 times as large as the actual "Norge" - comparable to a modern day Aircraft Carrier. See more »


Erling: Where are you going now? Manager's galley boy.
Olav: Don't blame me that you broke the rules.
Erling: Was it easier for you to read me the rules than to tell the manager what Bråthen does with Ivar in the laundry room? Or the rules are like that too?
Olav: You promised me, you devil.
Erling: Or do you dare not say anything, now that you're about to get your signature?
See more »


Sigur 1 (Untitled)
Performed by Sigur Rós
Music & Lyrics by Kjartan Sveinsson, Jon Thor Birgisson, Georg Holm, Orri P. Dyrason
Universal Music Publishing Scandinavia AB
(P) 2002 FatCat Records
See more »

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User Reviews

When religious chastity and austerity were considered as a correctional measure...
12 April 2013 | by (Estonia) – See all my reviews

Based on true events, this one of the most expensive Norwegian (+Swedish, Estonian) film was shot primarily in my home country - thus, apart from a good film experience, I had a joy of recognition vis-a-vis places and actors (although Estonian ones had mute or 1-2 word roles only). Anyway, the Norwegian background and spirit with gloom and misery in a closed penal institution were well captured, and all the leading characters were skillfully elaborated and performed (especially Stellan Skarsgård as Håkon, Benjamin Helstad as Erling "C19", Trond Nilssen as Olav "C1"). Most of the screenplay is focused, however, on the "normal" routine in the establishment, boys versus staff, the rebellion itself and its consequences are shown in a limited time and space (I would have liked to know what happened to the revolting boys, and how the usual living was restored).

Nevertheless, Kongen av Bastøy is a strong drama, giving food for thought long after the credits disappear.

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