The 4th Man (1983)
November 11, 2022 6:10 AM - Subscribe

[TRAILER] A writer (Jeroen Krabbé) suspects that his lover (Renée Soutendijk), a woman widowed three times, may be responsible for her husbands' deaths.

A Dutch production, in Dutch. Directed by Paul Verhoeven (Robocop, Basic Instinct). Screenplay by Gerard Soeteman, based on De vierde man by Gerard Reve.

100% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes.

Not currently available on conventional streaming services, but preserved in crystal clear h.264 video on Internet Archive, with hard-coded English subs. JustWatch listing.

Presented as part of elkevelvet's sponsored theme day, in which I'll be posting six Dutch movies. Donate $20 to MeFi and I'll post six movies on the theme of your choice, too!
posted by DirtyOldTown (2 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Well, I had to put some Verhoeven on here, and as much as I would have enjoyed putting his horny nuns movie on this list, that one is set in France and mostly in French. So it seemed like I had to pass for Dutch Films Day.

It's very easy to see why US film studios saw this and started sending Verhoeven plane tickets and cash, as urgently as they could.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 6:17 AM on November 11, 2022

Later Gerard Reve novels are so hard to explain to those who weren't around in the Netherlands in the 1960s 70s 80s. The strange intersection of catholicism, rape fantasies of young boys, irony and archaïc language.

And then there's Paul Verhoeven. Who came out of 60s and 70s Amsterdam. Where shocking the bourgeois was a virtue. And nudity almost mandatory. When you combine avantgardist nudity with a desire to draw a big audience you easily get luridness.

But Verhoeven is not all surface. Look at his professorial study group where they studied the original life of Jesus. Not as a figurehead of the status quo. But as a revolutionary. Verhoeven wrote a book about it.

In this movie you get these strange elements combined. Wrapped in the somewhat amateur production levels of Dutch cinema in the 80s.
posted by jouke at 9:15 AM on November 17, 2022 [1 favorite]

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