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This film depicts World War II through the eyes of several Dutch students. It follows them through the beginning of the war, the Nazi occupation and the liberation. Written by
Mark Logan <email@example.com>
The explosions in this film were provided not by special effects technicians but by the Dutch Marines. In his DVD commentary on the film, director Paul Verhoeven states that the explosive charges were held in place with metal. When one of the charges was set off, it blew the metal to bits. One of the flying fragments nearly killed star Rutger Hauer. See more »
When Guus goes to Holland for the first time to instruct the resistance group, he is walking in the street with his transmitter in a trunk and in the street he passes a window which displays a poster which says "staking brengt alleen ellende over uw eigen volk". This instruction (which Guus gives) in the movie takes place in 1942, but this poster wasn't issued by the Germans before the winter 1944-1945 as it refers to the great train strike in the winter of 44-45. See more »
Superb dramatization of a dark time in our history.
This is an excellent adaptation of a true story of university students reacting to World War II. The population of Holland lived a naive existence, believing that they were not involved. When the war came to them, they were horribly naive and unprepared. The only possibility was to work with the resistance. By wars end, only two of the original group (Erik and Jack) were still alive. The whole story is there: danger, how people were forced into collaborating, how others willingly collaborated, torture at the hands of the Gestapo, death the penalty for getting caught, how Erik survived.
The best Verhoeven movie readily available in the USA, what a contrast to the trash he turned out in the 1990s. Hauer is in top form as Erik. Krabbe is excellent as the fraternity president Guus, so in charge of the games at the beginning, so naive as to the reality of their situation at the end. Their friendship was at the core of this film. Their relationship with authority throughout was complex and compelling.
There are two subtitled versions, the original is far the best if you can find it. The other subtitled version available is a version of the dubbing script for the US version for those parochial people who have to have it in English because they can't be bothered to increase their cultural horizon and listen to a movie in its original language. Stay as far away from the dubbed in English version as you can.
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