7.8/10
63,279
238 user 235 critic

Black Book (2006)

Zwartboek (original title)
R | | Drama, Thriller, War | 18 May 2007 (USA)
In the Nazi-occupied Netherlands during World War II, a Jewish singer infiltrates the regional Gestapo headquarters for the Dutch resistance.

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ON DISC
Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 13 wins & 21 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Ronnie
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General Käutner
Dolf de Vries ...
Notary Wim Smaal
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Van Gein
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Rob
Ronald Armbrust ...
Tim Kuipers
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Kees
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Joop
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Theo
Xander Straat ...
Maarten

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Storyline

Israel 1956. Rachel, a Jew, rather unexpectedly meets an old friend at the kibbutz where she is working as a teacher. It brings back memories of her experiences in The Netherlands during the war, memories of betrayal. September 1944. Rachel is in trouble when her hiding place is bombed by allied troops. She gets in contact with a man from the resistance and joins a group of Jews who are to be smuggled across the Biesbosch by boat to the freed South Netherlands. Germans from a patrol boat murder them all however. Only Rachel is able to escape. She is rescued by a resistance group under the leadership of Gerben Kuipers. When Kuipers' son is captured after trying to smuggle weapons, he asks Rachel to seduce SS-hauptsturmführer Ludwig Müntze. Soon she will find out the attack in the Biesbosch wasn't a coincidence. Written by Arnoud Tiele (imdb@tiele.nl)

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

To fight the enemy, she must become one of them.

Genres:

Drama | Thriller | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some strong violence, graphic nudity, sexuality and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

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Language:

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Release Date:

18 May 2007 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Black Book  »

Box Office

Budget:

$21,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£166,362 (UK) (19 January 2007)

Gross:

$4,398,392 (USA) (17 August 2007)
 »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Matthias Schoenaerts, who played Joop, a member of the Dutch Resistance in this film, made a reference to RoboCop (1987) (another film directed by Paul Verhoeven), years later in the French film Rust and Bone (2012), when his character, Ali, nicknames Stéphanie (Marion Cotillard) "RoboCop". In 2012 Schoenaerts was also considered by director José Padilha for the title role in the remake RoboCop (2014), but he dropped out because he thought he wasn't prepared for a big movie like that yet. See more »

Goofs

The Holland scenes ostensibly take place in April, 1945. By that time, most of Holland had already been liberated by the Allied forces. There is mention of British forces being defeated at Arnhem, which was in Sept, 1944, and the subsequent preparation for Hitler's birthday would mark the date as close to April, 1945. See more »

Quotes

Rachel Stein aka Ellis de Vries: They're working off a list. Of Jews with money. They murder them.
Gerben Kuipers: How do you know all this?
Rachel Stein aka Ellis de Vries: Because I was set up myself! Because I've seen my entire family be slaughtered!
See more »

Connections

Featured in Verhoeven Versus Verhoeven (2016) See more »

Soundtracks

Horst Wessel Lied Choral
(uncredited)
Written by Horst Wessel
Performed by Party Goers
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Hold on for an epic thrill ride
25 September 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I attended the North American premiere of "Black Book" at the Toronto International Film Festival. Although my main interest lies in independent film, and I did see many indies as well as foreign films and documentaries in Toronto, I also saw a few of the "Gala" selections. Of those "big movies" on my list, the one which impressed me the most was this Dutch production from Paul Verhoeven. Set in Nazi-occupied Holland during World War II, the film centers around a young Jewish woman named Rachel, who changes her name (and hair, and personality, and more) to Ellis and enters an odyssey of determination and sheer luck in an effort to survive what would otherwise be certain death.

Make no mistake about it: this is an epic in the true sense of the word. The visuals are stunning. Everything about the production from the sound to the effects to the score says "big budget." The story is chock full of more twists and turns than just about any film I've seen in this genre. And just when you think that, perhaps, Verhoeven is beginning to stretch the bounds of credulity, you realize (at the end credits, if not before) that "Black Book" is based on fact.

Most of all, the film's power is due to the magnificent acting of Carice van Houten. Her Rachel/Ellis is a character so unique, so original, that it holds up against the great heroines of contemporary cinema. Combine her marvelous performance with a wonderful story and superb production values and you end up with a thrill ride from start to finish. "Black Book" left me breathless.


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