Apparently when Spielberg saw 'Soldier Of Orange' he phoned Paul Verhoeven congratulating him and urging him to come to Hollywood. That took about ten years but in retrospect in might have been a big mistake. Despite an excellent Hollywood debut (the savage science fiction satire 'RoboCop', still one of Verhoeven's best), the directors movies have been mostly disappointing ever since. Just compare his most recent movie, the lame 'Hollow Man', to this one. There's no denying that there has been a major drop in quality. 'Soldier Of Orange' is worth mentioning in the same breath as such classic war movies as Kubrick's 'Paths Of Glory', Fuller's 'The Big Red One' and Peckinpah's 'Cross Of Iron'. It's that good. Considering it was made by a director with a reputation for provocation and general outrageousness, it plays it surprisingly straight, and in my opinion is all the better for it. There is some violence, but it is appropriate for the subject matter, and there is very little sex. This is quite an epic story dealing with the fates of six University friends in Holland after the outbreak of WW2. The ensemble cast is excellent, but Verhoeven favourites Rutger Hauer and Jeroen Krabbe are particularly outstanding. Hauer still has a strong cult following despite appearing in a string of b-grade movies for many years. Krabbe is best remembered by most movie fans as a Bond villain, if he's remembered at all. It's such a shame neither actor achieved the international success they both deserved. Check out their performances in 'Soldier Of Orange', Krabbe's in 'The Fourth Man', and Hauer's in 'Flesh & Blood'. Verhoeven certainly got the best out of them both. The supporting cast also includes dependable Brit Edward Fox ('The Day Of The Jackal') and Susan Penhaligon of cult Aussie thriller 'Patrick'. 'Soldier Of Orange' will be quite an eye opener for anyone unfamiliar with Verhoeven's pre-Hollywood output. It's a first rate war movie that has just about something for everyone. Highly recommended, as is the equally good (but very different) 'Spetters' and 'The Fourth Man'.