King of Devils Island (2010) Poster

King of Devils Island (2010)

  • Rate: 7.4/10 total 2,190 votes 
  • Genre: Drama | Action
  • Release Date: 18 November 2011 (USA)
  • Runtime: 120 min
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King of Devils Island (2010)


King of Devils Island 2010tt1332134.jpg poster

  • IMDb page: King of Devils Island (2010)
  • Rate: 7.4/10 total 2,190 votes 
  • Genre: Drama | Action
  • Release Date: 18 November 2011 (USA)
  • Runtime: 120 min
  • Filming Location: Estonia
  • Budget: NOK 54,000,000(estimated)
  • Gross: $7,166(USA)(5 February 2012)
  • Director: Marius Holst
  • Stars: Stellan Skarsgård, Benjamin Helstad and Kristoffer Joner
  • Original Music By: Johan Söderqvist   
  • Sound Mix: Dolby
  • Plot Keyword: Island | Escape | Boarding House | Escape From Island | Whaling

Writing Credits By:

    (in alphabetical order)

  • Mette M. Bølstad  story
  • Lars Saabye Christensen  story
  • Dennis Magnusson  screenplay
  • Eric Schmid  screenplay

Known Trivia

  • So far the most expensive film to the production company 4 1/2.
  • People from more than 14 countries were represented on the set.
  • Th film was shoot in 54 days.

Plot: Norwegian winter, early 20th century. On the boys home Bastoy, a new inmate leads the boys to a violent uprising against a brutal regime. How far is he willing to go to attain freedom? Full summary » |  »

Story: Based on a true story: Norwegian winter, early 20th century. On the island Bastoy, located in the Oslo fjord live a group of delinquent, young boys aged 11 to 18. The boys daily, sadistic regime is run by the guards and the principal who bestow both mental and physical abuse on them. Instead of the boys being straightened out with education they end up being used as cheap, manual labor. The boys attempt to survive by adapting to their inhumane conditions. One day a new boy, Erling (17), arrives with his own agenda; how to escape from the island. How far is he willing to go in order to get his freedom? After a tragic incident takes place, Erling ends up forced into the destinies of the other boys by leading them into a violent uprising. Once the boys manage to take over Bastoy 150 government soldiers are sent in to restore order.Written by JRN  

FullCast & Crew

Produced By:

  • Antoine de Clermont-Tonnerre known as co-producer
  • Mathilde Dedye known as co-producer
  • Edward A. Dreyer known as executive producer
  • Sanne Glæsel known as line producer
  • Fredrik Heinig known as co-producer
  • Lars Andreas Hellebust known as executive producer
  • Karin Julsrud known as producer
  • Linn Kirkenær known as assistant producer
  • Ewa Puszczynska known as co-producer
  • Alexander Rönnberg known as associate producer: Stockholm
  • Pille Rünk known as unit line producer: Estonia
  • Lars Mathias Semb known as executive producer
  • Stellan Skarsgård known as executive producer
  • Aagot Skjeldal known as executive producer
  • Pål Sletaune known as executive producer
  • Vibeke Windeløv known as executive producer
  • Johannes Åhlund known as co-producer
  • Turid Øversveen known as executive producer
  • Håkon Øverås known as executive producer

FullCast & Crew:

  • Stellan Skarsgård known as Bestyreren
  • Benjamin Helstad known as Erling / C-19
  • Kristoffer Joner known as Bråthen
  • Trond Nilssen known as Olav / C-1
  • Morten Løvstad known as Øystein
  • Daniel Berg known as Johan
  • Odin Gineson Brøderud known as Axel
  • Magnar Botten known as Lillegutt
  • Magnus Langlete known as Ivar / C-5
  • Markus known as Brustad
  • Agnar Jeger Holst known as Arne
  • Tommy Jakob Håland known as Terje
  • Richard Safin known as Eirik
  • Frank-Thomas Andersen known as Bjarne
  • Martin Slaatto known as Harald
  • Ellen Dorrit Petersen known as Astrid
  • Ragnhild Vannebo known as Commitee Chairman
  • Per Gørvell known as Commitee Doctor
  • Kirsti Asskildt known as Nurse
  • Julian Karlsson known as Cabin boy
  • Kimmo Rajala known as Policeman



Supporting Department

Makeup Department:
  • Veslemøy Fosse Ree known as make up artist: second unit, Norway
  • Louise Hauberg Nielsen known as makeup artist
  • Tina Norup Helmark known as key makeup artist
  • Morten Jacobsen known as special makeup effects artist
  • Tiina Leesik known as makeup artist
  • Merlit Miländer known as assistant makeup artist
  • Daniel Parker known as prosthetics
  • June Pålgard known as make up artist: second unit. Norway
  • Lauge Voigt known as special effects makeup

Art Department:

  • Guillaume Dambrines de Ramecourt known as decorator painter
  • Erki Esna known as carpenter
  • Tom Gammelsrød known as carpenter: second unit: Norway
  • Eva-Maria Gramakovski known as set dresser
  • Ranik Halle known as set dresser assistant
  • Kaido Heinsaar known as construction coordinator
  • Asko Linno known as construction coordinator
  • Asko Linno known as set builder
  • Anders Lunde known as property master: second unit: Norway
  • Mihkel Maasing known as decorator painter
  • Olivier Marcouiller known as decorator painter
  • Olivier Marcouiller known as scenic artist
  • Thomas Nes known as on-set dresser: Norway unit
  • Thomas Nes known as property master: Norway
  • Rein Nettan known as property master
  • Marko Pintmann known as art department assistant
  • Marianne Polski known as greenery leadman
  • Markus Puusild known as props
  • Jaagup Roomet known as set designer
  • Peeter Sepp known as decorator painter
  • Morten Swang known as property master: Norway unit
  • Kalev Säde known as carpenter
  • Viljar Säre known as carpenter
  • Eugen Tamberg known as set designer
  • Karin Tetsmann known as property master
  • Erling Vandel known as buyer




Production Companies:

  • 4 1/2 Film
  • MACT Productions
  • St Paul Film
  • Opus Film

Other Companies:

  • Anders Eide Key Grip  camera dollies
  • Annette Seggert Catering Service  catering
  • Barrandov Studios  costumes supplied by
  • Chimney Pot, The  scanning
  • European Collection Agency  collection account management
  • European Film Bonds,  completion guarantor
  • Lyberg & Partnere  insurance
  • Norwegian Film Institute  funding
  • Riviera – Music, Sound & Post AB  music supervision
  • Soda Aps  special effects
  • Stockholm Post Production AB (sto.pp)  development
  • Storm Studio  special effects
  • Storyline Studios  camera equipment provided by
  • Storyline Studios  digital intermediate
  • Storyline Studios  grip and lighting equipment
  • Storyline Studios  post-production sound services
  • Ziffer  accounting


  • Euforia Film (2010) (Norway) (theatrical)
  • Alamode Filmverleih (2012) (Germany) (theatrical)
  • Alcine Terran (2012) (Japan) (theatrical)
  • Amstelfilm (2011) (Netherlands) (theatrical)
  • Feelgood Entertainment (2011) (Greece) (theatrical)
  • Film Movement (2011) (Canada) (theatrical)
  • Film Movement (2011) (USA) (theatrical) (subtitled)
  • Les Films du Losange (2011) (France) (theatrical)
  • O'Brother Distribution (2011) (Belgium) (theatrical)
  • Paramount Pictures do Brasil (2012) (Brazil) (DVD)



Other Stuff

Special Effects:

  • Panorama film & teatereffekter

Visual Effects by:

  • Steven Elvesæter known as digital compositor
  • Camilla Fossen known as visual effects producer
  • Kjetil Haugen known as online editor
  • Marius Andre Jacobsen known as matchmove artist
  • Morten Jacobsen known as digital compositor
  • Henrik Karlsson known as generalist
  • Samuel Karlsson known as digital compositor
  • Nikolai Lockertsen known as matte painter
  • Morten Moen known as digital compositor
  • Espen Nordahl known as cg supervisor
  • Magnus Pettersson known as effects technical director
  • Stig Saxegaard known as matte painter
  • Otto Thorbjørnsen known as visual effects supervisor
  • Monica Østbø Østgård known as visual effects coordinator

Release Date:

  • Norway 17 December 2010
  • Sweden 28 January 2011 (Göteborg International Film Festival)
  • Sweden 17 June 2011
  • Poland 24 July 2011 (New Horizons Film Festival)
  • Canada 25 September 2011 (Edmonton International Film Festival)
  • Germany 6 October 2011 (Hamburg Film Festival)
  • South Korea 7 October 2011 (Pusan International Film Festival)
  • Belgium 20 October 2011 (Gent International Film Festival)
  • USA 21 October 2011 (Tallgrass Film Festival)
  • Estonia 28 October 2011
  • Greece 1 November 2011 (Panorama of European Cinema)
  • France 5 November 2011 (Arras Film Festival)
  • USA 18 November 2011
  • France 23 November 2011
  • Netherlands 7 December 2011
  • Greece 8 December 2011
  • Belgium 21 December 2011
  • Hungary 2 February 2012
  • Germany 29 March 2012
  • Poland 30 March 2012
  • Japan 28 April 2012
  • Australia 3 May 2012



Filmography links and data courtesy of The Internet Movie Database

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Posted on March 29, 2012 by Harry in Movies | Tags: , , .


  1. JvH48 from Netherlands
    29 Mar 2012, 7:28 pm

    Very strong drama with also very believable acting, taking place on aprison island, from which no one ever has escaped. The strongdiscipline, the pecking order between inmates, harsh punishments whenviolating the rules, the religious beliefs of the governor, it is allthere to support the main theme.

    The newcomer takes the lead in the story very quickly, thereby guidedwith fantasies a la Moby Dick (Melville), about a whale that strugglesnearly a day in spite of three harpoons. He has not learned to read orwrite, but finds a fellow inmate to take notes. Throughout the film wereturn to this theme several times. The way he describes the strugglingwhale, works like a metaphor and is very compelling.

    Near the end I expected a destructive finale like in IF (1968, byLindsay Anderson), but this time they found something different to wrapup the story, more in line with a Greek tragedy. Very well done. Do notexpect a happy ending, as you won't get any. The final music, however,allowed me to leave the theater with a positive feeling, regardless ofthe foregoing nearly 2 hours without any happy events.

  2. OJT from Norway
    29 Mar 2012, 7:28 pm

    Kongen av Bastøy is based on actual events happening on the Bastøycorrectional facility for difficult boys, back in 1915. The Norwegianisland Bastøy is located in the Oslo fjord, between Horten and Moss,about an hours drive south of Norway's capitol, what until 1919 wascalled Christiania before changing name back to original Oslo.

    Marius Holst has made another good film about young boys coping withcoming of age. This time he has gone to the core of coping withmisplaced childhoods. Well acted, and very true to it's time frame,Kongen of Bastøy, is very believable story made with a 10 milliondollar budget. Stellan Skarsgård, Kristoffer Joner, Benjamin Helstadand Trond Nilssen does the very best of method acting of theircharacters.

    The story is both sore, dramatic and tragic, as well as true. It triesto both tell Norwegian history back when the country was poor, and whenit was likely to be sent on a whaling ship, being a youngster fromdifficult background. So why is this film not a 10 out of 10. so manyof these heart-wrenching stories easily make you get tears in youreyes.

    Well, I'm afraid to say that this is a true story's dilemma. Making thebest possible story come out in a film, you have to love of eel for thecharacters. The young boys on this facility is not the ones easy tolove. They are brutal, uneducated, cheeky, unable to show affection andvictims of a difficult past. Though Marius Holst tries to make usunderstand and feel affection for both the kids and the "wardens" inthis boys home, I simply can't really start to like any of thecharacters.

    Well acted, well written, but does director Holst really make us care?He has shown he know how to do this in the great story of "Cross myheart and hope to die", In Norwegian: "Ti kniver i hjertet" and"Mirsush" or "Blodsbånd", and succeeded well there. In Kongen av Bastøywhich is a story of 10 years in progress, the trouble is that he had toface reality.

    Telling a story on difficult boys, obviously has to show the boys howthey are. And Marius Holst is no "tears-seeker". Neither is his leadingactor in this. He obviously has felt this story has to be told. And asa historic manuscript on how one solved this cases of difficult boysback then, it functions very well. Just don't expect to really care.Maybe this makes the film even better. It should, but I'm afraid Istill feel it lacks this. To really be able to touch a movie-goer, thefictional adding would have done the trick. making the film an evenbetter story, but less true. That's the dilemma of telling a truestory. If you want the story to be loved, you gotta add the elements ofheart and soul, even if it would be untrue to the story told.

    So for this cold bastard, I'm afraid this is just a good told story,and not a classic as I'd like it to be, and maybe also therefore notthe possible box office hit it would have been, if made as a heartwrenching story.

    Making a film like this loved, really need us to identification. Thisis the only true trouble with an otherwise great film.

    Bastøy correctional facility was closed down in the fifties, whenNorway was recovering from the 2nd World war. Now there's a prison outthere. I'm sure a lot of kids was growing up hating Bastøy. Bastøystill have a negative sound for Norwegians, well deserved.

  3. Sindre Kaspersen from Norway
    29 Mar 2012, 7:28 pm

    What an achievement from the director of amongst others "Cross my heartand hope to die" (1994) and "Dragonflies" (2001), who deservedlyreceived the Amanda prize for the best Norwegian film of the year, butunfortunately was not chosen as our submission to the 85th AcademyAwards in the best foreign language film category.

    This dark chapter in Norwegian history which was adapted for the screenby writers L.S.Christensen, M.M.Bølstad, E.Schmid and D.Magnusson isdarkly and beautifully visualized by M.Holst and the great crew who hasmade a cold, rigorous and riveting humanistic drama about coming ofage, friendship, injustice and power abuse within a reform school foryoung boys in South Norway. The period is well captured by theproduction design and costume design, and the photography creates amood which is enriched by the visceral sounds of Sigur Ros.

    The second most expensive Norwegian film production since "Max Manus"(2008) is an engagingly told study of character about a young man whorefuses to be subdued by exploitative authority figures. The overallacting is as authentic as it could be in a film i consider alongside"Nine lives" (1957), "Pathfinder" (1988), "Troubled water" (2008), "MaxManus" (2008) and "The Angel" (2009) as one of the great Norwegianfilms.

  4. kjetilsj from Norway
    29 Mar 2012, 7:28 pm

    It's such a shame the Norwegian Committee did not choose this film asthe contender for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.

    The acting is top notch from all the main characters. Kristoffer Jonerand Stellan Skarsgård's characters really gives you the chill, but theactors that really surprised was the newcomers Trond Nilssen andBenjamin Helstad characters. They delivered the best dialogs and veryconvincing acting.

    If you are a sucker for true stories about injustice, mental andphysical abuse and uprising against a brutal regime, then go watch thisfilm now! Forget about The Troll Hunter, this is probably one of thebest Norwegian films from the last decades.

  5. gradyharp from United States
    29 Mar 2012, 7:28 pm

    KING OF DEVIL'S ISLAND (Kongen av Bastøy) is an experience more than afilm. It dares to take the viewer where all is black and white,emotionally and visually, and while the film is shot in color, the onlymoment of color in this dark, atmospherically eerie snow bound islandboys prison is the occasional blood and fire that creates even more ofan impact because of the bleak screen that serves as background for thestory. Based on a true story by Mette M. Bølstad and Lars SaabyeChristensen and adapted for the screen by Dennis Magnusson and EricSchmid, the fine cast is directed by Marius Holst.

    In 1915 on the island Bastøy, located in the Oslo fjord, live a groupof delinquent, young boys aged 11 to 18 in the Bastøy Boys ReformSchool. The boys daily, sadistic regime is run by the guards andGovernor Bestyreren (Stellan Skarsgård) who is stern but seemingly fairin his management of the reform school (his wife lives with him in anopulent manner). But the Housemaster, a smarmy pedophile names MasterBråthen (Kristoffer Joner), is cruel and malicious and bestows bothmental and physical abuse on the boys: the boys are used for cheapmanual labor rather than being schooled and 'corrected' to return tosociety. The boys attempt to survive by adapting to their inhumaneconditions. One day a new 17 year old boy, Erling who is assigned the'name' C19 (Benjamin Helstad), arrives with his own agenda: how toescape from the island. How far is he willing to go in order to get hisfreedom? There is a stalwart lad Ivar/C5 (Magnus Langlete) who is duefor release and a rather frail lad Olav/C1 (Trond Nilssen) who fallsvictim to the Master: these lads are C19's colleagues. After a tragicincident takes place, Erling ends up forced into the destinies of theother boys by leading them into a violent uprising. Once the boysmanage to take over Bastøy 150 government soldiers are sent in torestore order. How he maneuvers the escape fantasy brings a surprisingending to the story.

    The acting is first rate from a fine group of young actors. Thecinematography is by John Andreas Andersen and the haunting musicalscore is by Johan Söderqvist. In Norwegian with English subtitles. Amoody, deeply moving work. Grady Harp, February 12

  6. paulkazee
    29 Mar 2012, 7:28 pm

    This is a very solid film. I do not understand why one of the otherreviewers felt the boys were not sympathetic. Only one of the kidsappears to have committed a serious crime. The others are there forpetty things like stealing change from a church collection basket. Thatsaid, as good as the film is, it is not clear how much of it is reallyhistory, and how much just conjecture. I've read elsewhere that theonly part of the film that is known to be true is that there was arevolt and that soldiers responded from the mainland (one of only twotimes the Norwegian government has trained its guns on its owncitizens). The reasons behind the revolt are said to be mereconjecture.

  7. kluseba from Chicoutimi, Canada
    29 Mar 2012, 7:28 pm

    This is a solid drama about true events that happened in a working andcorrection camp of young criminals on a lost island of Norway. Thestory tells the acts of rebellion, vengeance and escape of young malesin 1915 when a paedophile supervisor comes back to the camp after anincident that the camp directions officially ignores because thesupervisor holds evidences of bribery against them and uses them to notbe betrayed or send home for his unspeakable acts.

    The movie is quite touching and authentic. The acting is very good andthe events are intriguing enough to entertain you for around two hours.Especially the ending is dramatic, tragic and truly gripping. Thelocations, the grey but exotic locations and the use of lighttechniques and camera angles create a blackened mood and make thisflick a mixture of a drama and something like a film noir which israther intriguing.

    On the other side, the story offers nothing new or surprising and Ihave seen better and more intense prison movies in the last years. Thiskind of film could have hit harder two decades ago or so but nowadaysthe topic feels a little bit worn out. The movie also takes too muchtime to kick off and has a couple of lengths at some points. The moviecould have also explained what happened to the island and its horribleinstitution after the tragic events of 1915 and the ending leaves us alittle bit unsatisfied for this reason.

    In the end, this movie is a solid and interesting flick. It's nothingspectacular but surely worth your attention if you stumble over this orif this movie will be released in the cinemas or video shops of yourcountry during the next months. Let's conclude that the atmosphere andthe acting are the strong points in here in comparison to the slowpaced and rather mediocre story which is the weak point in here.

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