The Assault (1986)
"De aanslag" (original title)

PG  |   |  Drama, History, Romance  |  6 February 1986 (Netherlands)
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In January 1945, during the 2nd world-war, the Dutch resistance kills a collaborator in the street where the 12 year old Anton Steenwijk lives. The man was shot in front of his neighbors ... See full summary »



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Title: The Assault (1986)

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Anton Steenwijk
Marc van Uchelen ...
Young Anton Steenwijk
Monique van de Ven ...
Saskia de Graaff / Truus Coster
John Kraaykamp ...
Cor Takes
Huub van der Lubbe ...
Fake Ploeg
Elly Weller ...
Mrs. Beumer
Ina van der Molen ...
Karin Korteweg
Frans Vorstman ...
Father Steenwijk
Edda Barends ...
Mother Steenwijk
Casper de Boer ...
Peter Steenwijk
Wim de Haas ...
Mr. Korteweg
Hiske van der Linden ...
Young Karin Korteweg
Piet de Wijn ...
Mr. Beumer
Akkemay ...
Kees Coolen ...


In January 1945, during the 2nd world-war, the Dutch resistance kills a collaborator in the street where the 12 year old Anton Steenwijk lives. The man was shot in front of his neighbors house, but is moved by them to the house of the family Steenwijk. Because of this, his father, mother and brother are killed by the Germans, and their house is set to fire. During his life, Anton meets several people that tell him more about what really happened on the night of the assault. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | History | Romance | War


PG | See all certifications »




| |

Release Date:

6 February 1986 (Netherlands)  »

Also Known As:

The Assault  »

Box Office


$203,781 (USA)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


(general release)

Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Derek de Lint played in two other Dutch WWII movies, "Soldaat van Oranje" and "Zwartboek". See more »


Featured in The 44th Annual Golden Globe Awards (1987) See more »

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User Reviews

Classic Greek Tragedy
27 June 2001 | by (Coventry, UK) – See all my reviews

This film is based on the Harry Mulisch novel, and both have some distinguishing characteristics that go back - on purpose - to classic Greek tragedy theatre. The incredible co-incidence that carries the story is reminiscent of ancient literary 'vehicles' that carry a story. Thus, you should not look at the chance events as being part of the story, but as being the foundation for the story - they, in themselves, should not really be questioned.

Also, note that every chance meeting is preceded by a meeting with some kind of stone. The Dutch word for dice is 'dobbelsteen', or dicing-stone, so that the simile of dice and chance can be extended to stones and chance. This explains the significance of Anton meeting his first wife while visiting the Stone of Scones.

The book, more strongly than the film, is also constructed as a Greek tragedy, with a prologue, five acts and then an epilogue.

Anton Steenwijk is also interesting himself: he represses the events of the assault, but it keeps coming back at him. But he is an anaesthetist in more than one way - he puts his memories to sleep. Even in the final stages, when the story is already quite clear to him, he uses drugs at his house in Tuscany and seeks to ease a toothache in Amsterdam before going to the Ban the Bomb demonstration.

Personally, I think the book was translated into a film in brilliant fashion. My major qualm with it is the mediocrity of the sound and sound effects. Some pretty good acting and a fantastic storyline make this one well worth the watch.

13 of 15 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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