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Flesh+Blood (1985) Poster

(1985)

Trivia

Nastassja Kinski and Rebecca De Mornay were considered for the part of Agnes. De Mornay was rejected because she demanded that her then boyfriend, Tom Cruise, be cast as Steven. Jennifer Jason Leigh was ultimately handpicked by director Paul Verhoeven himself.
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Paul Verhoeven and Rutger Hauer had so many arguments on the set that the crew insisted that they quarreled in English so they could understand what all the discussions were about.
Paul Verhoeven and Rutger Hauer had previously collaborated on five projects. However, tensions rose so high on this movie that they have never worked together since.
The movie was Paul Verhoeven's reaction to the many movies that, in his view, overly romanticized the Middle Ages; he wanted to show it as a period where brutality, disease, poverty and hardship were common, and a natural death was a rare thing.
The production was plagued by adversities. There was great animosity among the Spanish, American and Dutch crew and cast members; actors were using alcohol and drugs on the set, while wind, heavy snowfall and cold often disrupted filming, causing the movie to go over budget. Director Paul Verhoeven would later call it the worst filming experience of his life, one that made him consider quitting making movies altogether.
This was Paul Verhoeven's last project in the Netherlands for two decades. He attended the Dutch film festival, at which the film premiered, and took a plane to the US the very next morning in order to start his American debut, RoboCop (1987).
There was so much competition for screen presence among the actors that some of them started to call the movie "Flesh + Blood + Elbows", in the sense that some cast members would literally use their elbows to push others out of frame.
Jennifer Jason Leigh ("Agnes") has said that the castle they were filming in was so cold that during her numerous nude scenes her hands and feet would actually turn blue.
Paul Verhoeven wanted to explore the idea of a confrontation between two allies who had become enemies, stating that he had always been a bit disappointed that the two enemies in The Wild Bunch (1969) never really met face to face. One of the scenes he had in mind for this movie showed Martin and Hawkwood having a calm conversation in a bathtub, while both conceal a knife. The characters would have a final showdown at the end of the movie. However, the studio wanted a bigger part for the character of Agnes and more focus on the love story, so the audience could better identify with the main characters. The bathtub scene therefore became a love scene, and the feud between Martin and Hawkwood was pushed to the background, much to Verhoeven's later regret.
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Orion Pictures kept asking Paul Verhoeven for a war movie like his previous film Soldier of Orange (1977). Since he did not have one readily available, he and screenwriter Gerard Soeteman hastily produced a brief story outline concerning a medieval group of mercenaries, a project that they had conceived more than ten years before, but abandoned to do other movies.
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The time and place that this motion picture takes place is Western Europe in the year 1501.
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The character named "Hawkwood" was probably named after Sir John Hawkwood (1320-94), who was an actual historical figure. He commanded a band of condottiere--mercenaries--known as "The White Company" in Italy in the 14th century.
Paul Verhoeven decided for the first time not to storyboard the entire movie and adopt a more improvisational style of directing; a decision that he quickly regretted, given the enormously complex nature of the production.
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The movie was greatly inspired by The Wild Bunch (1969) (which also dealt with two former allies who become enemies), Vera Cruz (1954) and The Crimson Pirate (1952). Suggested titles for the movie were "The Mercenaries" and "God's Own Butchers" before settling on "Flesh + Blood" (which was the title of a recent Roxy Music album at the time).
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In this movie, Rutger Hauer commands a band of medieval mercenaries, among them Brion James. In Blade Runner (1982), Hauer commands a band of rebel androids ("replicants"). James is one of them.
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First ever English-language theatrical feature film of Dutch director Paul Verhoeven following his very successful career in Holland (aka the Netherlands) which notably had included Spetters (1980), Soldier of Orange (1977) (aka "Soldier of Orange"), and Turkish Delight (1973) (aka "The Sensualist" aka "Turkish Delight").
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The movie was awarded two prizes at the Dutch Film Festival (Best Picture and Best Director), but several jury members publicly attacked this decision afterwards, stating that the vote had not been unanimous.
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The movie's script was originally a screenplay that developed at The Ladd Company.
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The castle that is featured in this film, the Belmonte Castle in Cuenca, Castilla-La Mancha in Spain, was the one that had been previously used in the classic earlier epic movie El Cid (1961).
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Director Paul Verhoeven wanted music composer Basil Poledouris to compose the music score for Flesh+Blood (1985) after hearing his music score for Conan the Destroyer (1984).
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Dutch director Paul Verhoeven's first American theatrical feature film despite the fact that the picture was mostly filmed in Europe.
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The movie's main cast featured two Australian actors: Jack Thompson and Tom Burlinson.
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This motion picture's opening title card reads: "Western Europe 1501".
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The last [to date, March 2017] collaboration of actor Rutger Hauer and director Paul Verhoeven's film collaborations.
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The picture was a co-production of one American nation and two European countries: Spain, the USA, and the Netherlands.
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One of numerous theatrical feature film collaborations of Dutch actor Rutger Hauer and Dutch director Paul Verhoeven. These included Spetters (1980), Turkish Delight (1973), Katie Tippel (1975), and Soldier of Orange (1977).
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Australian actor Tom Burlinson was cast as Steven after director Paul Verhoeven had seen him in the Australian film Phar Lap (1983).
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Jennifer Jason Leigh was cast as Agnes after director Paul Verhoeven had seen her in the American movie Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982),
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The picture had the biggest budget ever for a Paul Verhoeven film for the time that this movie was made.
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One of numerous collaborations of director Paul Verhoeven and D.O.P. / cinematographer (and later film director) Jan de Bont.
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Director Trademark 

Paul Verhoeven: [religious imagery] Martin's group idolizes the statue of a saint, which "points" them the way forward. In one shot Martin appears to have a halo over his head.
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Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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