This film is frequently cited (incorrectly) as being the first film version of Alexandre Dumas' fanciful tale about politics and tulip-growing (not a favourite Dumas where I am concerned). It is not. The first Das Fest der scjwarzenden Tulpe had come out the year previously. Both are extant and both can be found on youtube although the latter is trickier both to locate and watch because it is Turkish. Which is not as surprising as it might seem because the film was co-direcetd by the German Mari Luise Droop and the Trukish actor/director Muhsin Ertugrul. This SECOND version on the other hand is one in the series of Anglo-Dutch co-productions in which Maurits Binger ws ivolved this time co-directing with US born British director Frank Richardson. The restored EYE version is in English so very accessible and very pleasant on the eye. It has of course the great advantage of being shot on location in the Netherlands, which means not only lots and lots of tulips but some exteriors that have come straight out of seventeenth century genre painting (De Hooch is particularly invoked.
That said, the story-telling is a little bit twee by comparison with the German film which outs much stronger emphasis on the political events and has very much more mobile (often too mobile especlally considering the excessive use of intertitles - in their Turkish version at least) camerawork. It is in fact a good example of how cross-cutting too much can actually.render a film difficult to follow, especially where there is a large cast and a complex plot. There are however some touches that might be described as "expressionistic" and it is certainly a more daring film than Binger's.
What has happened to the story about the rather soppy trials and tribulations of the tulip-grower (the story of the Dutch film) in the German version, I am at a bit of a loss to say. My Turkish is negligible. It seems to be totally absent for most of the film and only put in an appearance in the final scenes...
On the other hand the German film does give a sense of the violence and the nastiness of the royalist revolution (and of the contemporary war with France, absent in the Dutch version) which just seems slightly bad-mannered in the Dutch film even if the murder of the De Witt is rather prissilly characterised as a black page - screen image of black page - in Dutch history.
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