Painter Peter Hartman is arrested at the scene of a murder. He soon turns out to have ties to the victim's young widow. As Inspector Stroomer begins to unravel the mystery, two very ...
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Painter Peter Hartman is arrested at the scene of a murder. He soon turns out to have ties to the victim's young widow. As Inspector Stroomer begins to unravel the mystery, two very different sides of the story are presented to him. Now it up to Stroomer to find enough photographic evidence to make out which version is the truth.Written by
A swinging good murder mystery set in sixties' Amsterdam
Joop Landré's fifth and final feature film was all set for an international release (dubbed into English) but unfortunately the Dutch movie going public stayed away in droves and the film was never seen outside the Netherlands. It certainly wasn't for a lack of trying. Landré persuaded American director Arthur Dreifuss to take on the Amsterdam set scripts and got Hollywood high society girl Linda Christian (the very first Bond girl from 1954 TV version of Casino Royale) to star. They even went to the trouble to send screen-tests of potential leading men to Hollywood to pick out the most attractive actor (Eric Schneider got the most votes). Taking a cue from the French Nouvelle-Vague, the film had murder, sex, intrigue and stylish photography of swinging Amsterdam in the mid-sixties. It also had a Rashomon style murder mystery for Inspecteur Stroomer (the always watchable Bob de Lange) to solve in a pre-Columbo kind of manner. The picture really should have had the opportunity to become a hit, but it didn't. I suppose the uninformative four digit title is to blame.
A young artist named Peter Hartman (Schneider) is arrested for the murder of rich attorney Martens at 10.32 p.m. (not 'in the morning' as the supposedly international English title on this page would make you believe). At first he refuses to explain himself, as all the evidence points his way anyhow. Marten's widow Ellen (Christian) claims never to have seen the boy, but inspector Stroomer soon discovers she is lying when he finds a nude portrait of her in Hartman's studio. When confronted with this Ellen confesses a sordid tale by way of an extended flashback. According to her, she was completely neglected by her older husband and blackmailed into an affair by the scrupulous painter. Still, Stroomer notices some inconsistencies in her story and sets out to gather evidence (mostly photographic) and manages to persuade Harman to tell his version of the tale. At first it doesn't look like we're going to see another flashback, but then it turns out the inspector wanted to gather all the suspects together at the station Agatha Cristie style to recount the other side of the tale. So, a mirror image of the previous flashback is played out, enabling the good police officer to figure out the truth. To say any more would spoil the fun. I've said enough already. Go and find this little unknown Dutch treat if you can (and that's a phrase this reviewer doesn't use lightly).
9 out of 10
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