Soldier of Orange (1977)

Paul Verhoeven directs Rutger Hauer, Jeroen Krabbé and Susan Penhaligon in this WWII drama following the fortunes of a group of college friends who become Dutch resistance fighters when the Nazis occupy Amsterdam.

Another one off my bucket list. Feels like a miniseries that has been condensed into feature length, a bit rough in the edit. Then you add in Verehoeven’s love of kink, filth and sympathy for the devil. It often feels simultaneously both simplistic yet sophisticated. If you approach Soldier Of Orange just as a rousing boy’s own adventure (with bonus nudity) it satisfies. Hauer’s character is a strange protagonist in that even though everyone treats him as the hero of the piece you’d struggle to put your finger on any single thing, positive or proactive, he attempts in the first two hours. He is just kinda swept along by history, ironically offering little resistance to the greater forces that drag him from one intrigue to the next. Once there is a clearly laid out mission for him to execute though the final 40 minutes takes stronger shape. Verhoeven is a fascinating storyteller in that he rarely judges any of the young people… even the Dutch friend who becomes a Nazi officer or the Jewish girl who survives by any means necessary. Except in the final shot where one forgotten cohort is revisited, his camera holds on two very different faces, and we are silently asked whether anyone should have sat out the effort to free oneself and one’s country from tyranny?

7

Perfect Double Bill: Black Book (2006)

Check out my wife Natalie’s Point Horror blog https://cornsyrup.co.uk

We also do a podcast together called The Worst Movies We Own. It is available on Spotify or here https://letterboxd.com/bobbycarroll/list/the-worst-movies-we-own-podcast-ranking-and/

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