Traveling salesman Tim bumps into his old mate Bodde, who persuades him to join him for a couple of hustles and cons. Along the way they pick up a young girl, Aafke, who soon takes to the ... See full summary »
Traveling salesman Tim bumps into his old mate Bodde, who persuades him to join him for a couple of hustles and cons. Along the way they pick up a young girl, Aafke, who soon takes to the world of hustling. They also meet a couple of competitors, Kwint & Dolores. All the while, Tim keeps calling home to his wife and children trying to explain what's keeping him from coming home. Written by
Long before the term 'Road Movie' was known in the low countries, Frans Weisz adapted Heere Heeresman's novel "Geef Die Mok Eens Door, Jet" (which translates as 'Pass the mug, Jet') And in case you were wondering, Jet is an old fashioned Dutch girls name. Produced by Rob Du Mée, it was retitled "Heb Medelij, Jet (Pitty me, Jet) after the old song of the same title (which is of course used in the film). It was slated to star comedy duo Johnny & Rijk (Kraaykamp & De Gooijer) but Rijk pulled out and was replaced by Piet Römer. According to some sources the director had wanted to pair Rijk de Gooyer with then unknown Peter Faber but the producer refused. Also rumored to have been in the running were Piet Bambergen and Rudi Carrell (might have been a hit in Germany with the latter in the lead).
Kraaykamp stars as Tim, a traveling salesman on his way back home to his wife (Jet) and children. At the train station he notices his old buddy and former partner in cons Bodde (Römer), who persuades him to join him for a night of fun and games for old times sake. That one night soon turns into a trip across Zeeland and Brabant as the pair of them swindle a wedding party out of their brand new cutlery, pose as land measurer's and make a profit on a pig at the local market. They also pick up a young girl, Aafke (Elsje de Wijn) on her way to her grandmother in Breda and Tim shows her he can sell a toaster as a music-box with a profit margin of 355 guilders. Of course he also has to keep calling home to Jet at every payphone they pass with a new excuse as to his delayed arrival.
After reaching Aafke's granny, the young girl decides she'd rather come along with Bodde & Tim instead. Bodde, having already gotten to know Aafke a bit more personally, feels obliged to show off during a demonstration of the local sport 'Fieljeppen' and ends up in a bar fight. Meanwhile Tim ends up beginning to fall for the much younger (not to mention single) Aafke. Bodde's next scam involves a truck full of what he refers to as 'church-statues'. But it soon turns out the police is on the look out for another pair of swindlers, Kwint (Ton van Duinhoven) & Dolores (Ronny Bierman). From that point on it is only a matter of time before the two teams meet, try to con each other over an expensive dinner before teaming up. As they watch Aafke help Kwint & Dolores perform their 'Hutchinson Cosmetics' scam, it all turns sour for Bodde and especially Tim, who by now has started to admit he's getting to old for this kind of thing.
Heb Medelij Jet features some great looking cinematography that manages to make the flat Dutch countryside look interesting. Adding to this is a pleasant country style score by Ruud Bos. Unfortunately, director Weisz managed to exceed his budget at such an alarming rate that producer Du Mée went bankrupt and never made another picture. The film is not exactly well remembered these days, although it does serve as a nice time capsule and a chance to see Johnny, Piet and Elsje (not to mention a bunch of other familiar faces in one scene parts) in their younger days.
7 out of 10
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