A Must-Have For Latinists?

Next Tuesday, the Criterion Collection will be coming out with a five-DVD collection of Ingmar Bergman’s earliest movies. Here’s the IMDB plot summary of the earliest of all, Hets or Torment (1944):

Jan-Erik Widgren is a high-school senior. His Latin teacher, Caligula, is feared by everybody, both teachers and students. Widgren falls in love with Berta, who works in a tobacco store. She tells him that she is harassed by a mean, sadistic man, but does not tell him that it is Caligula himself.

Here’s a user comment:

The brilliance of Stig Järrel needs to be mentioned. He is so convincing in his performance that when you’re leaving the movie-theater you might just see him coming around the corner with his wooden ruler . . .

According to IMDB, this was a reprise of a previous performance as a sadistic Latin teacher in a non-Bergman movie, not available on DVD. I hope my local Border’s has the Bergman set in stock on the day of release, since that’s also the last day of Teacher Appreciation Weekend (March 22-27).

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