This film depicts World War II through the eyes of several Dutch students. It follows them through the beginning of the war, the Nazi occupation and the liberation. –IMDb
Paul Verhoeven graduated from the University of Leiden with a degree in math and physics. He entered the Royal Netherlands Navy, where he began his film career by making documentaries for the Navy and later for TV. In 1969 he directed the popular Dutch TV series Floris (1969), about a medieval knight. This featured actor Rutger Hauer who has appeared in many of Verhoeven’s later films. Verhoeven’s first feature, Wat zien ik (1971) (trans. What do I See?), was released in 1971. However it was his second, Turks fruit (1973), with its combination of raw sexuality and a poignant story line, that gained him great popularity in the Netherlands, especially with male audiences. When his films, especially Soldaat van Oranje (1977) and De vierde man (1983), received international recognition, Verhoeven moved to the US. His first US film was Flesh & Blood (1985), 1985, but it was RoboCop (1987) and especially Total Recall… read more
Paul Verhoeven's offbeat World War II epic avoids being a stodgy historical exercise with a bold streak of raucous, youthful energy. The broad scope and weighty running time can be cumbersome at times, but its a strong and stylish film, full of memorable moments and a fresh take on the historical epic. Great score by Rogier van Otterloo.
A strangely off-kilter film, pitched halfway between aspirations of a serious WWII epic and an adolescent desire to fit in as many squibs and boobs as possible. Still, you can't deny Verhoeven's skill as a filmmaker: the way he uses the camera to tell a story is dynamic, fluid, and controlled in ways that Kurosawa should be proud of.