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The Assault (1986)

De aanslag (original title)
A Dutch doctor, haunted by grueling childhood memories of World War II, struggles to find peace as he spends his life looking for answers about the tragic night that shaped him.

Director:

Fons Rademakers

Writers:

Gerard Soeteman (scenario), Harry Mulisch (novel)
Reviews
Won 1 Oscar. Another 4 wins. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Derek de Lint ... Anton Steenwijk
Marc van Uchelen Marc van Uchelen ... Young Anton Steenwijk
Monique van de Ven ... Saskia de Graaff / Truus Coster
John Kraaykamp ... Cor Takes
Huub van der Lubbe Huub van der Lubbe ... Fake Ploeg
Elly Weller Elly Weller ... Mrs. Beumer
Ina van der Molen Ina van der Molen ... Karin Korteweg
Frans Vorstman Frans Vorstman ... Father Steenwijk
Edda Barends Edda Barends ... Mother Steenwijk
Casper de Boer Casper de Boer ... Peter Steenwijk
Wim de Haas Wim de Haas ... Mr. Korteweg
Hiske van der Linden Hiske van der Linden ... Young Karin Korteweg
Piet de Wijn Piet de Wijn ... Mr. Beumer
Akkemay Akkemay ... Sandra
Kees Coolen Kees Coolen ... Gerrit-Jan
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Storyline

In January 1945, during the 2nd world-war, the Dutch resistance kills a collaborator in the street where the 12 year old Anton Steenwijk lives. The man was shot in front of his neighbors house, but is moved by them to the house of the family Steenwijk. Because of this, his father, mother and brother are killed by the Germans, and their house is set to fire. During his life, Anton meets several people that tell him more about what really happened on the night of the assault. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | History | Romance | War

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Netherlands

Language:

Dutch | English | German

Release Date:

6 February 1986 (Netherlands) See more »

Also Known As:

The Assault See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$203,781
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(general release) | (VHS)

Sound Mix:

Dolby | Dolby Digital (5.1)

Color:

Color (Fujicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Derek de Lint played in two other Dutch WWII movies, Soldier of Orange (1977) and Black Book (2006). See more »

Goofs

[All goofs for this title are spoilers.] See more »

Connections

Referenced in De slimste mens ter wereld: Episode #6.30 (2015) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Classic Greek Tragedy
27 June 2001 | by SchimanskiSee all my reviews

This film is based on the Harry Mulisch novel, and both have some distinguishing characteristics that go back - on purpose - to classic Greek tragedy theatre. The incredible co-incidence that carries the story is reminiscent of ancient literary 'vehicles' that carry a story. Thus, you should not look at the chance events as being part of the story, but as being the foundation for the story - they, in themselves, should not really be questioned.

Also, note that every chance meeting is preceded by a meeting with some kind of stone. The Dutch word for dice is 'dobbelsteen', or dicing-stone, so that the simile of dice and chance can be extended to stones and chance. This explains the significance of Anton meeting his first wife while visiting the Stone of Scones.

The book, more strongly than the film, is also constructed as a Greek tragedy, with a prologue, five acts and then an epilogue.

Anton Steenwijk is also interesting himself: he represses the events of the assault, but it keeps coming back at him. But he is an anaesthetist in more than one way - he puts his memories to sleep. Even in the final stages, when the story is already quite clear to him, he uses drugs at his house in Tuscany and seeks to ease a toothache in Amsterdam before going to the Ban the Bomb demonstration.

Personally, I think the book was translated into a film in brilliant fashion. My major qualm with it is the mediocrity of the sound and sound effects. Some pretty good acting and a fantastic storyline make this one well worth the watch.


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