Cinema: Tonio Kroger

The hero of this German movie, based on an autobiographical short story by Thomas Mann, is a boy with a 19th century-style identity crisis. Father is a rich and rigid businessman of the North; Mother is a warm-blooded romantic from the South who plays the mandolin and could hardly care less that Tonio fritters away his time writing bad poems and getting bad marks at school. Tonio appreciates this permissiveness but disapproves of it; his father's strictness seems more dignified: "After all, we are not gypsies living in a green wagon."

Tonio (Jean-Claude Brialy) agonizes deliciously over his unrequited love for blue-eyed...

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