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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 »


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




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


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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Not Rated | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


Luchino Visconti had previously tried to set up a version of " Young Torless " with Romy Schneider starring. 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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User Reviews

Left Elbow Index
13 November 2009 | by eldino33See all my reviews

The Left Elbow Index considers seven elements in judging films--acting, production sets, plot, character, dialogue, artistry, and continuity--on a scale of a high of 10 to a low of 1. Concerning acting, one finds it steady and slightly above average. The seem to be no substantial dramatic high points, although there is opportunity for some. Then again, there are no troubling low points either. Probably "even" would best describe, resulting in a rating of 7. The production sets rate an 8, mostly due to the nature of the school building and the isolated town on the Austria-Hungarian border. The indoor sets, with the exception of the gym, appear mundane and just sort of there. Costumes are not really a factor since school uniforms are the order of the day. The plot is a typical coming of age one, with the positive added ingredient of morality, thereby resulting in a 6 rating. Character suffers (a rating of 5) seeming because the personalities of the principles are fixed when they arrive at the school, with the minor exception of Torless who challenges recognition, but retreats. The dialogue seems uninspiring, although appropriate and controlled. It rates a 5, but that may be too high. The artistry is good (an 8). Great camera angles, the elements of the New German Cinema, and the implied preface to Hitlerism, all in black and white, have merit. The continuity is also good (another 8). The film maintains a tone of terror, in which, as writer-director Schlondorff claims, evil becomes natural. There is a minor problem with films of this type in that it is not difficult to predict the rise of National Socialism after it has already come. The film time is 1910, the movie was made in 1966, and Hitler's time is sandwiched in between. Fortunatly, this is not a history movie, it is a philosophical one which implies that the roots of National Socialism were in place in Germany decades before the rise of Hitler, who, ironically, was Austrian. The film is in some ways prophetic in that cultural terror seems always an undercurrent. The film is well worth seeing, even if the Left Elbow Index rank is 6.71, overall.

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West Germany | France



Release Date:

22 July 1968 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Young Törless See more »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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