Hets (Frenzy) (Torment) (1944) - Rotten Tomatoes

Hets (Frenzy) (Torment) (1944)

Hets (Frenzy) (Torment) (1944)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Hets (Frenzy) (Torment) Photos

Movie Info

The Swedish-language picture Torment (AKA Hets, 1944) marked one of the first credited screenwriting efforts of the then 26-year-old scenarist Ingmar Bergman, and one of the broadest international successes of the gifted Swedish director Alf Sjöberg; it also launched the onscreen efforts of two young Scandinavian actors, Alf Kjellin and Mai Zetterling. This tragic drama concerns the ill-fated romance between student Jan-Erik Widgren (Kjellin) and Bertha Olsson (Zetterling), a slightly older, alcoholic widow who works at a tobacco store, and whom Jan-Erik meets when he discovers her unconscious in the street. The premise of the film finds Jan-Erik struggling valiantly to maintain his ongoing sexual affair with Bertha, while grappling, on the side, with the machinations of a sadistic and abusive professor, Caligula (Stig Jarrel. Events take an ugly turn when Jan-Erik discovers that Bertha is actually Caligula's lover - setting the stage for tragedy on the night of her booze-soaked orgy with the old man. Ultimately, both lovers are relentlessly victimized by the professor's doings. The cast also includes: Olof Winnerstrand, Hugo Bjorne, Stig Olin, Olav Riego, Marta Arbin and Nils Dahlgren. ~ Nathan Southern, Rovi
Art House & International , Drama
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
Criterion Collection


Stig Järrel
as Caligula
Alf Kjellin
as Jan-Erik Widgren
Mai Zetterling
as Bertha Olsson
Olof Winnerstrand
as Headmaster
Hugo Björne
as Doctor
Stig Olin
as Sandman
Olav Riego
as Mr. Widgren
Marta Arbin
as Mrs. Widgren
Jan Molander
as Patterson
Nils Dahlgren
as Police officer
Sten Gester
as Student
Arne Ragneborn
as Student
Gunnar Bjornstrand
as Younger doctor
Olaf Riego
as Mr. Widgren
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Hets (Frenzy) (Torment)

Critic Reviews for Hets (Frenzy) (Torment)

All Critics (6) | Top Critics (3)

Part an antifascist allegory, in part a study in sexual hysteria.

Full Review… | July 30, 2007
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

Emotionally haunting.

July 14, 2007
New York Times
Top Critic

Its harsh pessimism anticipates the spiritually tormented universe of Bergman's own work.

Full Review… | July 14, 2007
Time Out
Top Critic

A dark coming-of-age melodrama.

Full Review… | August 23, 2007
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

This is tense, dense and highly stylised psychological drama. Visuals, dialogue, characters and tone are all expertly judged, and the critical reception launched Bergman's career.

Full Review… | July 14, 2007

The film successfully avoids the trap of creating stereotypical caricatures of its obviously good and evil main characters by fleshing them out sufficiently...

Full Review… | July 9, 2007
Old School Reviews

Audience Reviews for Hets (Frenzy) (Torment)

my score might even go up. the film is emotional, with excellent explorations into powerful themes of sex, dominance, terror, and the loss of innocence. bergman's dialogue is some of his earliest, and some of the best of his career, and sjoberg made stunning direction choices. the film plays out like part hitchcock, part trouffaut, and part "the graduate". an excellent film.

danny d
danny d

Super Reviewer

Nov 2010 - I liked the expressionist style of the movie. The torment that is visible in the pictures, actings and the lights. The story however is not as good as I expected. Caligula is an interesting character and twisted but his portrayal remains suspended between a surrealist aspet of a horror movie and a realistic psychological drama.

Hossein N
Hossein N

I have seen two Ingmar Bergman films to date, so I have decided to start from the beginning of his filmography (his first produced script, not a film he directed) and work through his career. Torment is a surprisingly entertaining piece about a schoolboy who is tormented by his latin professor, and finds solace in an alcoholic clerk girl. The movie is quite fascinating and dark, and hints at the genius that is about to emerge from the young screenwriter (only 26 when this was made).

Jordan Towles
Jordan Towles

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