7.3/10
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17 user 22 critic

Young Törless (1966)

Der junge Törless (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama | 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:

Robert Musil (novel), Herbert Asmodi (adaptation) | 1 more credit »
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5 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

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

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Trivia

This film has a 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. 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

Referenced in Filmstunde: Filmstunde 1 (1991) See more »

User Reviews

 
An expertly crafted and involving film
8 February 2013 | by markwood272See all my reviews

I selected this DVD off a library shelf at random. I had never heard of Young Torless. My idle curiosity was well rewarded. The film belongs in the same league with Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner, Zero for Conduct, Lord of the Flies, or other similar works. Perhaps there is allegory here, a foreshadowing of the murderous future of the Germanic peoples. Or maybe a nearer, smaller-scale atrocity: several scenes are as chilling as eavesdropping on a Leopold and Loeb strategy session.

This is expertly crafted film making. Everything – casting, shot composition, editing, plot structure – works. Barbara Steele landed one of the great roles of her career. The music is especially effective. Hans Werner Henze's use of modern tonalities played on ancient instruments functions perfectly, achieving the film score ideal that complements the picture and other sounds, a Greek chorus without words. Aided by Henze's score, some of the scenes in Young Torless brought back with painful clarity many a sad, bleak, cloudy-morning memory of sophomore year in high school.


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Details

Country:

West Germany | France

Language:

German

Release Date:

22 July 1968 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Young Törless See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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