7.8/10
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239 user 234 critic

Black Book (2006)

Zwartboek (original title)
R | | Drama, Thriller, War | 18 May 2007 (USA)
Trailer
1:53 | Trailer

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ON DISC
In the Nazi-occupied Netherlands during World War II, a Jewish singer infiltrates the regional Gestapo headquarters for the Dutch resistance.

Director:

Paul Verhoeven
Reviews
Popularity
4,792 ( 373)
Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 13 wins & 21 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Carice van Houten ... Rachel Stein / Ellis de Vries
Sebastian Koch ... Ludwig Müntze
Thom Hoffman ... Hans Akkermans
Halina Reijn ... Ronnie
Waldemar Kobus ... Günther Franken
Derek de Lint ... Gerben Kuipers
Christian Berkel ... Gen. Käutner
Dolf de Vries Dolf de Vries ... Wim Smaal - Notary
Peter Blok ... Van Gein
Michiel Huisman ... Rob
Ronald Armbrust Ronald Armbrust ... Tim Kuipers
Frank Lammers ... Kees
Matthias Schoenaerts ... Joop
Johnny de Mol ... Theo
Xander Straat Xander Straat ... Maarten
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Storyline

Israel 1956. Rachel, a Jew, rather unexpectedly meets an old friend at the kibbutz where she is working as a teacher. It brings back memories of her experiences in The Netherlands during the war, memories of betrayal. September 1944. Rachel is in trouble when her hiding place is bombed by allied troops. She gets in contact with a man from the resistance and joins a group of Jews who are to be smuggled across the Biesbosch by boat to the freed South Netherlands. Germans from a patrol boat murder them all however. Only Rachel is able to escape. She is rescued by a resistance group under the leadership of Gerben Kuipers. When Kuipers' son is captured after trying to smuggle weapons, he asks Rachel to seduce SS-hauptsturmführer Ludwig Müntze. Soon she will find out the attack in the Biesbosch wasn't a coincidence. Written by Arnoud Tiele (imdb@tiele.nl)

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

To fight the enemy, she must become one of them.

Genres:

Drama | Thriller | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some strong violence, graphic nudity, sexuality and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Netherlands | Germany | UK | Belgium

Language:

Dutch | German | English | Hebrew

Release Date:

18 May 2007 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Black Book See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$21,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

€682,184 (Netherlands), 17 September 2006, Limited Release

Opening Weekend USA:

$112,521, 8 April 2007, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$4,398,392, 19 August 2007
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This film was the official Dutch entry for the Best Foreign Language Film category at the 79th Academy Awards. It was on the shortlist of nine films competing for a nomination, but it did not make it to the final five, announced on 23 January 2007. See more »

Goofs

You can hear the sound of common swifts while they try to kidnap Van Gein. These birds migrate in august and are not present in the Netherlands during winter. See more »

Quotes

Rachel Stein aka Ellis de Vries: It is their intention, that for the queen and my fatherland, I have hook up with a powerful SD'er... Sleep with him...
Notary Smaal: Well you're on your own then. I can't help you with that.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Pauw & Witteman: Episode #3.111 (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

Ouwe Taaje
Composer/Author: Eddy Christiani (as E. Christiani), R. Luco & Van Noordwijk
Publisher: Metro-Muziek
Audiolab Harry Coster
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Hold on for an epic thrill ride
25 September 2006 | by larry-411See all my reviews

I attended the North American premiere of "Black Book" at the Toronto International Film Festival. Although my main interest lies in independent film, and I did see many indies as well as foreign films and documentaries in Toronto, I also saw a few of the "Gala" selections. Of those "big movies" on my list, the one which impressed me the most was this Dutch production from Paul Verhoeven. Set in Nazi-occupied Holland during World War II, the film centers around a young Jewish woman named Rachel, who changes her name (and hair, and personality, and more) to Ellis and enters an odyssey of determination and sheer luck in an effort to survive what would otherwise be certain death.

Make no mistake about it: this is an epic in the true sense of the word. The visuals are stunning. Everything about the production from the sound to the effects to the score says "big budget." The story is chock full of more twists and turns than just about any film I've seen in this genre. And just when you think that, perhaps, Verhoeven is beginning to stretch the bounds of credulity, you realize (at the end credits, if not before) that "Black Book" is based on fact.

Most of all, the film's power is due to the magnificent acting of Carice van Houten. Her Rachel/Ellis is a character so unique, so original, that it holds up against the great heroines of contemporary cinema. Combine her marvelous performance with a wonderful story and superb production values and you end up with a thrill ride from start to finish. "Black Book" left me breathless.


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