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TURKS FRUIT
1973

poster

Film

Director:

Paul Verhoeven

Language:
Dutch

Running Time: 96''

Main Cast :
Rutger Hauer - Erik Vonk
Monique van de Ven - Olga Stabulas
Tonny Huurdeman - Olga’s Mother
Wim van den Brink - Olga’s Father
Dolf de Vries - Paul, the doctor
Hans Boskamp - Shop Manager
Marjol Flore - Tineke

Screenplay:
Gerard Soeteman from the novel by Jan Wolkers

Awards and Nominations:
- 1974 - Academy Oscar Award Nomination as Best Foreign Film
- 1999 - Best Film of the Century Rembrandt Award

Plot:
Turks Fruits is a love story, but a love story never seen before. It is the story of Erik, a sculptor who desires a woman (Olga), who conquers her and gradually and painfully loses her.

In its mingling of flesh and spirit, of brutal force and tender feelings Erik and Olga go through funny comedy and haunting tragedy, till the bitter end, when Olga suffers a brain tumor which leads her to death.

Erik is the only one who stays with her through all her final sufferings, and the “turkish delight” which gives the title to this film, represents the last gift of love Erik presents Olga with, his life’s one and only true love.

Notes:
Rutger has always declared that Erik Vonk was him, all over, “A young wild dog”.
The biographical book by Jan Wolkers is still considered the most successful best seller ever published in The Netherlands – in four years it had 30 reprints and sold 300,000 copies.
“Turks Fruit” shooting took place in 1972 and the film was released in Dutch theaters on February 22, 1973. In the U.S. its premiere took place in September 1973 and “The Los Angeles Times” wrote, ‘This film hits so strongly our middle-class mentality that it is essential to give it a second look to fully understand the richness of its story’. Other reviews said that “It reveals the ability of a young Dutch actor, Rutger Hauer, who seems at ease both in physical exploits as well as in poignant, heart-breaking scenes. He gives Erik’s character a surprisingly strong intensity, which he is also able to keep under control in order not to fall into a melodramatic sentimentalism”.


In 1999 it was awarded the Dutch “Best Film of the Century Rembrandt Award” and on that same occasion Rutger was awarded the “Best Actor of the Century Rembrandt Award” (the award for Best Actress went to Monique van de Ven).

Rutger's Notes:
Time, although the videotape gets old and the celluloid is about to crumble, does not matter memory. The book by Jan Wolkers was such a beautiful story. More than anything the "feel" of the story was so close to me. After going through the rather new and unusual testing & casting process the role did land me as its "tool". I got to practice sculpture with the man who had sort of lived and sculptured the book. The writer was and still is an unusual sculpturer of words. I had three different sources to draw from other than the screenplay. The brand new feature director Paul Verhoeven, the writer and his book. Such a luxury for any actor. My biggest difficulty I would experience was a kind of a nasty/cruel and ugly sense of humour which was in the script as well as in the director. I hated some of those moments. Dog/Fist on fake breast of mother/some nasty and rudeness with the women Erik fucks/dancing on a table in a restaurant. Some of that was a bit much. But Paul just wanted that. There were more things. But the thing that carried me was what I knew about love. And my newfound love: "Making movies". What a blast.

Erik's character is "cool" enough to know he does not possess this woman. And it is forever. He and I shared a certain understanding that life goes on no matter what. Without diminishing any meaning of depth that was before. I had hardly any ideas of what it was I was doing as an actor. I enjoyed it immensely. The fact that it caught an enormous international audience had not even dawned on me. Not that it seemed important but it opened my eyes to the chance it gave me.

The nudity had been part of this all along and I gave it a 5min thought because I was and am relatively shy. But so what. It's skin. Isn't that really our outfit. Puritanism. Conventionalism. Hypocrisy have helped to make it overrated. Women have had to do this for so long. Big deal. Nope. There is more than enough to say about this film but I leave it here for now.

A Dutch stamp

Set Shots:


Trailer:

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