Ingmar Bergman’s first produced screenplay was for the great Swedish filmmaker Alf Sjöberg’s Torment, a dark coming-of-age drama about a boarding-school senior, Widgren, terrorized by his sadistic Latin teacher. When Widgren falls for a troubled local girl, Bertha, he finds himself caught up even further in a web of emotional mind games. —The Criterion Collection
Stage actor and director who made an impressive silent film debut in 1929 with “The Strongest”, a wrenching, documentary-like portrayal of seal hunters. Sjoberg became disillusioned with the film medium after the advent of sound and returned to working in the theatre until the 1940s, when he helped revive the Swedish cinema with such fine films as the pacifist “They Staked Their Lives” (1940), the haunting allegorical fantasy “The Road to Heaven” (1942) and the powerful Ingmar Bergman-scripted “Torment” (1944), starring Alf Kjellin and future director Mai Zetterling. Sjoberg reteamed the romantic leads from the latter film for the poignant love story, “Iris and the Lieutenant” (1946).
Over the course of forty years Sjoberg made almost twenty films; busiest from 1940 to 1956 he became one of the finest and most important directors in the history of Scandinavian film. Sjoberg’s greatest film is generally held to be his striking version of August Strindberg’s play, “Miss Julie”… read more
I really enjoyed this film. And, especially enjoyed it's similarity (story-wise and thematically at least) its similarities to David Lynch's Blue Velvet... (it also has a piece of dialogue that has strong echoes of the later film: "when you lift up a large stone in the garden, don't be surprised when you find bugs" - or something like that).