Young Torless

  • 1966
  • Movie
  • NR
  • Drama

Carriere goes off to boarding school to finish out his senior year. This expensive academy is located on the eastern border of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. He joins his friends Dietz and Tischer, and together they visit Steele, a local waitress who engages in sexual initiation of the schoolboys. When another student (Seidowsky) is caught stealing money...read more

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Carriere goes off to boarding school to finish out his senior year. This expensive academy is located on the eastern border of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. He joins his friends Dietz and Tischer, and together they visit Steele, a local waitress who engages in sexual initiation of the

schoolboys. When another student (Seidowsky) is caught stealing money from Tischer's locker, Dietz promises not to turn him in on the condition that Seidowsky become his personal slave. Seidowsky is subjected to constant abuse from his masters Tischer and Dietz, who get a sadistic joy from their

physical and psychological torture. Carriere becomes fascinated with the process as well, though he doesn't engage in the brutality. When the sadism becomes more than Carriere can bear, he threatens to tell authorities, prompting Tischer and Dietz to blame their schoolmate if he dares to report

their actions. When the two masters hang their slave by his heels in a gymnasium full of students, Carriere is horrified. The school authorities investigate this incident and call in Carriere. He fully owns up to participating in the torture, yet he cannot explain his actions. The film ends with

Carriere leaving school on the recommendation of the headmasters. The film is based on a novel originally published in 1906 that proved strangely prophetic. Director Schlondorff (in his first feature) turns the book's tale into an allegory of what happened to the German people during WW II. The

story is filmed in stark black and white, with a deliberately muted aura around the unfolding events. The boys themselves are clad in uniforms devoid of any personality. In many ways YOUNG TORLESS recalls the pre-Hitler era German film MADCHEN IN UNIFORM with its theme and tone. Though not the

classic that the previous film is, this film is certainly powerful in its own right. Schlondorff would later deal with the German people under Hitler's rule in his film version of THE TIN DRUM.

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  • Rating: NR
  • Review: Carriere goes off to boarding school to finish out his senior year. This expensive academy is located on the eastern border of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. He joins his friends Dietz and Tischer, and together they visit Steele, a local waitress who engages… (more)

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