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A road movie about three guys circling around a woman.


Paul Verhoeven


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Credited cast:
Jaap van Donselaar Jaap van Donselaar
Maarten Schutte Maarten Schutte
Jan van Mastrigt Jan van Mastrigt
Geerda Walma van der Molen Geerda Walma van der Molen


A road movie about three guys circling around a woman.

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Release Date:

12 June 1962 (Netherlands) See more »

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Did You Know?


Scenarist Jan van Mastrigt wanted to situate the story next to a busy highway. He forgot to mention this in his synopsis. After handing in the script he immediately went on a vacation. In the film the story erroneously ended up along a quiet provincial road. See more »

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User Reviews

Paul Verhoevens first attempt to make an American film
29 August 2018 | by dourfaceSee all my reviews

The movie 'De Lifters' (Dutch for 'The Hitchhikers') was, after the French style of Niets bijzonders (1961), Paul Verhoevens attempt to make an American film, with tight shots, which promote the story and the continuity. Alfred Hitchcocks North by Northwest (1959) was a great example, which is especially evident in the opening scenes through the lawn next to the motorway, where one of the main characters is resting, and the plane comes flying over.

This was the first and the last film of the Dutch Student Film Industry, a small club founded by Verhoeven and a few friends. De lifters (1962) is visually not uncompelling, but it lacks character. It is in fact a small road movie about a few hitchhikers who, after each other, are offered a ride by a man (Jan van Mastrigt). The pivot of the story is the (only) woman in the company, around whom the three men circle. It is the often seen aspect in Paul Verhoevens work of the dominating: a manipulating woman with men holding the bag.

In roadmovies it is not the story as such that should form the attraction, but the characters and perhaps the (context of the) environment through which is traveled. Unfortunately, De lifters (1962) leaves something to be desired here, as a result of which the film contains little unique value. The acting, and especially the dialogues and performance are clumsy and contrived and the characters themselves are relatively uninteresting.

This short film certainly has its charm, especially the beginning of the film, due to the airy nature of the conversations and the unintentional comedy of the intonations. But after about five minutes you notice the film lack of development or remarkable visuals.

De lifters (1962) did not become a bad job, but unfortunately it is just too simple to get enthusiastic about it. Paul Verhoeven, however, would largely be able to avoid the mistakes he had made here, for example with regard to the use of sound and dialogue, for his next film Feest! (1963) which was based more on a French version.

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