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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 »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Olivier Tuinier Olivier Tuinier ... Mees Grobben
Genio de Groot ... Mees' vader
Adelheid Roosen Adelheid Roosen ... Mees' moeder
Verno Romney Verno Romney ... Tim
Beppie Melissen Beppie Melissen ... Strenge juf
Jaap Hoogstra Jaap Hoogstra ... Oudere heer
Sebastiaan Spaan Sebastiaan Spaan ... Eduard
Sarah Sijlbing Sarah Sijlbing ... Cynthia
Heleen Hummelen Heleen Hummelen ... Lokettiste NS
Ellen Röhrman Ellen Röhrman ... Reizigster
Kees Hulst ... Meneer Hollenberg
Karin van Holst Pellekaan Karin van Holst Pellekaan ... Baliedame
Frits Jansma Frits Jansma ... Drukker
Maxim Hartman Maxim Hartman ... Bert Boot
Wil van der Meer Wil van der Meer ... Muziekwinkelier
Learn more

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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


Did You Know?


The film was selected into the Canon of Dutch Cinema in 2007, a collection of sixteen "important and defining movies that show the versatility of Dutch movie history". See more »


After Mees has written his sender address on the envelope, the over-the-shoulder shot of the address is followed by a close-up where the hand-writing looks very different. See more »


Featured in Zomergasten: Episode #8.3 (1995) See more »

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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Release Date:

15 October 1992 (Netherlands) See more »

Also Known As:

The Pocket-knife See more »

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