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The Penknife (1991)

Het zakmes (original title)
Mees has a problem. By accident he took his best friend's pocket knife home with him. Unfortunately he is too late to return it as the next day Tim moves house. All that Mees knows is that ... See full summary »


Ben Sombogaart


Sjoerd Kuyper (book), Sjoerd Kuyper (screenplay)
2 wins. See more awards »


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Credited cast:
Olivier Tuinier Olivier Tuinier ... Mees Grobben
Verno Romney Verno Romney ... Tim
Adelheid Roosen Adelheid Roosen ... Mees' moeder
Genio de Groot ... Mees' vader
Beppie Melissen Beppie Melissen ... Strenge juf
Maxim Hartman Maxim Hartman ... Bert Boot
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Samantha Angenent Samantha Angenent ... Majorette
Priscilla Blanken Priscilla Blanken ... Majorette
Maria de Haas Maria de Haas ... Regie Assistent
Roel Dekker Roel Dekker ... Postbode
Esther Gast Esther Gast ... Floormanager
Sietze Greydanis Sietze Greydanis ... Jongen met viool
Karin van Holst Pellekaan Karin van Holst Pellekaan ... Baliedame
Jaap Hoogstra Jaap Hoogstra ... Oudere heer
Kees Hulst Kees Hulst ... Meneer Hollenberg


Mees has a problem. By accident he took his best friend's pocket knife home with him. Unfortunately he is too late to return it as the next day Tim moves house. All that Mees knows is that Tim has gone to Flevoland. His parents are tied up in their own lives and have no room for little Mees' problems. His mother is a world-famous singer and it seems Mees sees her more on TV than in real life. His father is under a lot of pressure acting as a housekeeper and as secretary for his popular wife. So little Mees must search alone for his friend..... Written by kabouter <kab@kabouter.demon.nl>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

children | based on book | See All (2) »


Drama | Family







Release Date:

15 October 1992 (Netherlands) See more »

Also Known As:

The Pocket-knife See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs



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Did You Know?


When Mees asks his father about Almere, he tells his son it's the capital city of Flevoland. Although Almere is the largest city of the province of Flevoland, its actual capital city is Lelystad. See more »


Referenced in TROS TV Show: Episode dated 10 March 1995 (1995) See more »

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User Reviews

Ben Sombogaart : A Dutch filmmaker who makes clean films for children.
1 July 2008 | by FilmCriticLalitRaoSee all my reviews

Dutch film "Het Zakmes" is better known as "The Penknife".It is a brilliant family drama with light comedy.There are scenes in this film where both these genres overlap but all possible confusion is prevented due to mutual symbiosis of different protagonists.This is the perfect film for somebody who wants to have a good laugh with family.This film provides excellent commentary on the state of family and friendship as its director Ben Sombogaart created an ingenuous tale involving irresponsible adults and innocent kids.Adults are shown to misuse their status by not caring for young children.This is the reason why Het Zakmes shows that adults live in their own shell impeding on their children's creativity.The touchy issue of race relations in Holland has also been treated in this film.A beautiful lesson that can be learned is that most of the children have good memories and separation from their friend is unbearable,unpardonable act for them.This is precisely a core element of this dutch film.

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