7.5/10
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Kongen av Bastøy (2010)

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?

Director:

Marius Holst

Writers:

Mette M. Bølstad (story), Lars Saabye Christensen (story) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Benjamin Helstad ... Erling / C-19
Trond Nilssen ... Olav / C-1
Stellan Skarsgård ... Bestyrer Håkon
Kristoffer Joner ... Husfar Bråthen
Magnus Langlete Magnus Langlete ... Ivar / C-5
Morten Løvstad Morten Løvstad ... Øystein (as Morten Strøm)
Daniel Berg Daniel Berg ... Johan
Odin Gineson Brøderud Odin Gineson Brøderud ... Axel
Magnar Botten Magnar Botten ... Lillegutt
Markus Brustad Markus Brustad ... Jan
Agnar Jeger Holst Agnar Jeger Holst ... Arne
Tommy Jakob Håland Tommy Jakob Håland ... Terje
Richard Safin Richard Safin ... Eirik
Frank-Thomas Andersen Frank-Thomas Andersen ... Gårdsgutt Bjarne (as Frank-Thomas H. Andersen)
Arne Brønstad Arne Brønstad ... Husfar Kjell
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

Based on an extraordinary true story. See more »

Genres:

Action | Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official site | See more »

Country:

Norway | France | Sweden | Poland

Language:

Norwegian | Swedish

Release Date:

17 December 2010 (Norway) See more »

Also Known As:

King of Devil's Island See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

NOK 54,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$554, 16 December 2011, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$7,166, 5 February 2012
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (Extended Edition)

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

So far the most expensive film to the production company 4 1/2. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Erling: Let me go, let me go...
See more »

Soundtracks

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

 
Dour, downbeat...and utterly compelling
10 October 2013 | by Leofwine_dracaSee all my reviews

Another piece of Norwegian greatness. KING OF DEVIL'S ISLAND (great title, incidentally) is one of those based-on-a-true-story-you've-never-heard-of movies, charting the brutality of life inside a remote and wintry island-based borstal during the early 20th century.

Coming across as a Norwegian version of the hard-hitting British SCUM, KING OF DEVIL'S ISLAND is great whichever way you look at it. The technical qualities are excellent, as is the acting from a mostly no-name cast whose one main star is Stellan Skarsgard, as miserable and burly as he's ever been. It's the developing relationship between Benjamin Helstad and Trond Nilssen that really makes this involving viewing, despite the distasteful elements of the subject matter and the general feeling that this isn't going to have a happy ending.

In any case, I absolutely loved this film and want to see more like it. The Scandinavian countries seem to be turning out hit after hit at the moment, both in television and film, and it's a shame Britain and the USA couldn't follow some of their cues. If you want a lesson in how to make an exceptional bit of drama then you could do a lot worse than checking out KING OF DEVIL'S ISLAND.


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