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Mathematics Goes to the Movies

by Burkard Polster and Marty Ross


The Devil's Wanton (Fängelse) (1949)

Martin Grande is a film director (Hasse Ekman) who introduces Paul (Anders Henrikson) to the actors.
MARTIN: This is Paul, my old math teacher.
Paul proposes an idea for a movie, about Hell on Earth. Later they all laugh about Paul and his idea.
THOMAS (Birger Malmstem): He’s crazy of course.
SOFI (Eva Henning): He must be if he taught math for ten years.

The movie largely consists of the main characters creating their own Hell. Paul appears again at the very end of the movie.
PAUL: Martin, did you think about my idea for a movie?
MARTIN: Yes. It can’t be done. The movie would have to end with a terrible, agonizing question. And such movies shouldn’t be made.