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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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Dolf de Vries ...
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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  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$21,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

€682,184 (Netherlands), 17 September 2006, Limited Release

Opening Weekend USA:

$112,521, 8 April 2007, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$4,398,392, 19 August 2007
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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 one half track to appear in the movie has the markings of a Gross Deutschland vehicle. This was an elite Werhmacht unit that was never in the Netherlands. See more »

Quotes

General Käutner: Obersturmführer, open your safe.
Günther Franken: Of course. Which files would you like to see?
General Käutner: None. You're suspected of killing rich Jews. There's nothing wrong with that. But you've been looting the bodies and keeping the valuables for yourself. Failure to turn Jewish property over to the Reich is punishable by death. Open the safe.
Günther Franken: As you wish, Obergruppenführer.
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Connections

Referenced in Allemaal film: Tussen kunst en kassa (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

Happy Days Are Here Again
Composer: Milton Ager
Author: Jack Yellen
Performed by Theo Maassen, Tjebbo Gerritsma and Wimie Wilhelm
Publisher: Advanced Music Corp.
Netherlands: EMI Music Publishing (Holland) BV
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Hold on for an epic thrill ride
25 September 2006 | by 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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