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I recall being terribly upset by one of the more realistic episodes of Floris when I first saw the series as a little boy. Since then the series has been programmed a couple of times during the last 40 years on Dutch television. My own kids loved it even with the relative slow pace and the B/W presentation. A shame really as I own 3 publications that contain Color pictures from the series. The closest in comparison may be Ivanhoe (1959) featuring Roger Moore which is obviously filmed with at least 10 times more budget, though also in B/W. Perhaps I am being a little chauvinistic here, but 'Floris' comes across as a grittier, more realistic medieval depiction. It also has great chemistry between it's leads and a hauntingly good opening theme. Unfortunately for posterity the production went way over the proposed budget and the NTR (responsible for the TV programming) decided that this type of programs was not it's primary goal. Rutger Hauer made it pretty big in Hollywood (at least for Dutch standards) whereas Sindala (Jos Bergman) was never heard of again. Some years ago the Floris concept was ineffectively transferred to the big screen in a Dutch film version focusing on 'the grandson of..' Actually never met anyone who has seen this or willing to admit to it..
One of the first Middle Age series ever, the stories of the adventures of Floris in medieval Holland are also among the most funny tv-series ever. The budget was very low, which can be seen, but the interaction between the actors is nothing less but wonderful. Floris and his trusty companion Sindala is in best Robin Hood style, but with the addition of Eastern magic to the swordfighting skills and sheer strength (and luck) of our hero. Of course, it was also the start of two glorious careers, Paul Verhoeven and Rutger Hauer, who together moved on to US and greener pastures after this. The fact that the series is in b/w actually helps, no need to mess around with anything when somebody's wounded. If you can locate the tapes, watch it. Highly recommendable for an enjoyable evening or two.
I grew up with Floris, it's one of the first things we ever had on tape at home. Even now, every time I watch the series, I see new things and laugh at the same jokes. It's a romanticised version of the Middle-Ages, and it has it all: a dashing nobleman (Rutger Hauer, who else), his sidekick, a love interest, an arch-enemy and all the swash-buckling they can cram into an half an hour show. It's all very funny, especially the scenes where Sindala shows that he's the brains in the outfit. It's really too bad that the tapes are only available in black and white, even more so, because they were filmed in color. The color-tapes were then reprinted to B/W, and the originals were lost. Even so, the B/W gives a nice feeling of age, and it's not bothersome or boring. Everyone should just watch it for themselves!
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