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The 4th Man (1983)

De vierde man (original title)
A man who has been having visions of an impending danger begins an affair with a woman who may lead him to his doom.

Director:

Paul Verhoeven

Writers:

Gerard Reve (novel), Gerard Soeteman
Reviews
4 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jeroen Krabbé ... Gerard Reve
Renée Soutendijk ... Christine Halsslag
Thom Hoffman ... Herman
Dolf de Vries Dolf de Vries ... Dr. de Vries
Geert de Jong Geert de Jong ... Ria
Hans Veerman ... Begrafenisondernemer
Hero Muller Hero Muller ... Josefs
Caroline de Beus Caroline de Beus ... Adrienne
Reinout Bussemaker ... Eerste echtgenoot
Erik J. Meijer Erik J. Meijer ... Tweede echtgenoot
Ursul de Geer Ursul de Geer ... Derde echtgenoot
Filip Bolluyt Filip Bolluyt ... Surfer
Hedda Lornie Hedda Lornie ... Verkoopster boekhandel
Paul Nygaard Paul Nygaard ... Violist
Guus van der Made Guus van der Made ... Treinkelner
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Storyline

The morbid Catholic writer Gerard Reve who is bisexual, alcoholic and has frequent visions of death is invited to give a lecture in the literature club of Vlissingen. While in the railway station in Amsterdam, he feels attracted to a handsome man who embarks on another train. Gerard is introduced to the treasurer of the club and beautician Christine Halsslag, a wealthy widow who owns the Spider beauty shop, and they engage in a one night stand. On the next morning, Gerard sees the picture of Christine's boyfriend Herman and recognizes him as the man he saw in the train station. He urges her to bring Herman to her house to spend a couple of days together, but with the secret intention of seducing the man. Christine travels to Köln to bring her boyfriend and Gerard stays alone in her house. He drinks whiskey and snoops through her safe, finding three film reels with names of men; he decides to watch the footage and discovers that Christine had married each; all of whom died in tragic ... Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil revised by S. Alan Fann, N. Decatur, GA USA

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Christine is young, beautiful and rich. Her three husbands all died tragically. It's time for Christine to find her fourth man.


Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Netherlands

Language:

Dutch

Release Date:

24 March 1983 (Netherlands) See more »

Also Known As:

The 4th Man See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The dog that attacks Gerard (Jeroen Krabbé) was secured with a leash, since Krabbé has an extreme fear of big dogs. During the second take of the scene, the leash was accidentally released, causing the dog to hit Krabbé, and the leash to break the dog trainer's nose. See more »

Goofs

When Gerard and Herman go back to the convertible after a rainstorm, the car's interior is dry. See more »

Quotes

Gerard Reve: If I tell that story often enough, I'll start to believe it myself. And that, I think, is the essence of my work. I lie the truth. Until I no longer know whether something did or did not happen.
See more »

Alternate Versions

Italian version is largely censored. It runs 98 minutes (more than 5 minutes shorter than the original version). See more »

Connections

Referenced in Sex at 24 Frames Per Second (2003) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Lie the Truth
1 January 2010 | by claudio_carvalhoSee all my reviews

The morbid Catholic writer Gerard Reve (Jeroen Krabbé) that is homosexual, alcoholic and has frequent visions of death is invited to give a lecture in the literature club of Vlissingen. While in the railway station in Amsterdam, he feels a non-corresponded attraction to a handsome man that embarks in another train. Gerard is introduced to the treasurer of the club and beautician Christine Halsslag (Renée Soutendijk), who is a wealthy widow that owns the beauty shop Sphinx, and they have one night stand. On the next morning, Gerard sees the picture of Christine's boyfriend Herman (Thom Hoffman) and he recognizes him as the man he saw in the train station. He suggests her to bring Herman to her house to spend a couple of days together, but with the secret intention of seducing the man. Christine travels to Köln to bring her boyfriend and Gerard stays alone in her house. He drinks whiskey and snoops her safe, finding three film reels with names of men; he decides to watch the footages and discover that Christine had married the three guys and all of them died in tragic accidents. Later Gerard believes Christine is a witch and question whether Herman or him will be her doomed fourth husband.

The ambiguous "The Vierde Man" is another magnificent feature of Paul Verhoeven in his Dutch phase. The story is supported by an excellent screenplay that uses Catholic symbols to build the tension associated to smart dialogs; magnificent performance of Jeroen Krabbé in the role of a disturbed alcoholic writer; and stunning cinematography. The inconclusive resolution is open to interpretation like in many European movies that explore the common sense and intelligence of the viewers. There are mediocre directors that use front nudity of men to promote their films; however, Paul Verhoeven uses the nudity of Gerard Reve as part of the plot and never aggressive or seeking out sensationalism. Last but not the least; the androgynous beauty of the sexy Renée Soutendijk perfectly fits to her role of a woman that attracts a gay writer. My vote is eight.

Title (Brazil): "O 4o Homem" ("The 4th Man")


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