9 user 4 critic

The Hell of '63 (2009)

De hel van '63 (original title)
When conditions are right an infamous ice-skating race is held in the north of the Netherlands. The 200 km race must be completed by midnight and everyone who finishes receives a medal. ... See full summary »


Steven de Jong


Steven de Jong (screenplay), Maarten Lebens (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »




Credited cast:
Willeke van Ammelrooy ... Moeder Will
Pierre Bokma ... Commissaris der Koningin Harry Linthorst Homan
Kees Prins ... TV-commentator
Cees Geel ... Sergeant-Majoor Hoeks
Chantal Janzen Chantal Janzen ... Dieuwke
Cas Jansen Cas Jansen ... Henk Brenninkmeijer
Dennis Overeem ... Militair Edwin
Peggy Vrijens Peggy Vrijens ... Journalist Joke
Peter Tuinman Peter Tuinman ... Eisinga
Chava Voor in 't Holt Chava Voor in 't Holt ... Annemiek
Dirk Zeelenberg Dirk Zeelenberg ... Telegraaf-journalist Jack
Edwin Evers Edwin Evers ... Journalist Mart Smeets
Jos Bertens Jos Bertens ... Foto Journalist
Hilbert Dijkstra Hilbert Dijkstra ... Kingma
Rense Westra Rense Westra ... Jan Hoogland - voorzitter Elfstedentocht


When conditions are right an infamous ice-skating race is held in the north of the Netherlands. The 200 km race must be completed by midnight and everyone who finishes receives a medal. This film is based on the true facts of the fateful day in 1963 when, due to plunging temperatures and rough terrain, thousands of skaters suffered frostbite and shocking injuries. Only a small number would cross the finish-line, but for those who did, it was to be a life changing event! Written by Holland Film

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Sport


Did You Know?


Chris Zegers said that he was so embarrassed by his performance in the film that he considered to stop acting. However, after being asked for Lotus (2011) and being satisfied with that performance, he reconsidered. See more »


The main characters say "jij" to one another. In 1963 the Dutch would say "u" to an unknown adult. See more »


Spoofed in De del van '63 (2010) See more »

User Reviews

A non-typically-Dutch Masterpiece
28 December 2009 | by myportal28See all my reviews

Even though I am Dutch, I am not a fan of Dutch Cinema. Therefore this movie surprised me even more than I had hoped for. I enjoyed every minute of this icy ride about the worlds longest ice-skating tour. Director Steven de Jong has provided new hope for Dutch cinema by doing an excellent job. The 'elfstedentocht'(tour of eleven cities) van '63 was a unique and timeless event that deserved a great film like this and I am happy to have experienced this.

This whole movie is just excellent and two points deserve special attention regarding the history of Dutch Movies. One thing that has often irritated me in these movies is the unnatural acting. Actors are often acting too much instead of just being relaxed and natural in their role. The actors in this movie are not superior, but they are very natural. And that just makes them and the movie as a whole much more convincing. The second great thing is the camera-work. To give some grandeur to this movie the camera often swings into great heights, crawls under the ice and/or fades from a film-image to a map and vice-versa. The accompanying music creates effects not seen before in Dutch cinema. It really lifts this movie to another level and creates refreshing perspectives. Steven de Jong even portrayed the harsh element of wind in the form of luring icy animals. Something completely unexpected and until now unseen in Dutch movies.

Altogether this is a great and unexpected arrival that gets a rating of nine. And I am looking forward to new releases that can match this one.

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Dutch | Frisian

Release Date:

17 December 2009 (Netherlands) See more »

Also Known As:

'63 Cehennemi See more »

Filming Locations:

Dokkum, Friesland, Netherlands See more »


Box Office

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

16 : 9
See full technical specs »

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