Newest Reviews
Rolling Thunder Revue: A Bob Dylan Story by Martin Scorsese
Heiress, The
Cold Pursuit
Dogs of War, The
Holy Mountain, The
Under Fire
Jennifer on My Mind
People on Sunday
Lethal Weapon 4
Downhill Racer
Escape Room
Across the Pacific
Madeline's Madeline
You're Gonna Miss Me
Iron Sky: The Coming Race
Mortal Engines
Union City
Little Stranger, The
Watermelon Man
Wandering Earth, The
Good Fairy, The
Killer Party
Holmes & Watson
Monster in the Closet
Sand, The
My Brilliant Career
Knife for the Ladies, A
Man in the Attic
Newest Articles
Get Ahead in Showbiz: Expresso Bongo and It's All Happening
Outer Space and Outta Sight: Gonks Go Beat on Blu-ray
Tucked: The Derren Nesbitt Interview
Locomotion Pictures: The Best of British Transport Films on Blu-ray
Roman Scandals: Extreme Visions from Ancient Rome
Spider-Wrong and Spider-Right: The Dragon's Challenge and Into the Spider-Verse
Monster Dog: Cujo on Blu-ray
For Christ's Sake: Jesus Christ Superstar and The Last Temptation of Christ
Not In Front of the Children: Inappropriate Kids Movies
Deeper into Ozploitation: Next of Kin and Fair Game
Between the Wars: Babylon Berlin Series 1&2 on DVD
Hard Luck Story: Detour on Blu-ray
Oh, What Happened to You? The Likely Lads on Blu-ray
Killer Apps: The Rise of the Evil 60s Supercomputers
How 1970s Can You Get? Cliff Richard in Take Me High vs Never Too Young to Rock
  Turkish Delight Love ExtremeBuy this film here.
Year: 1973
Director: Paul Verhoeven
Stars: Rutger Hauer, Monique van de Ven, Tonny Huurdeman, Wim van den Brink, Hans Boskamp, Dolf de Vries, Manfred de Graaf, Dick Scheffer, Marjol Flore, Bert Dijkstra, Bert André, Jon Bluming, Paul Brandenburg, Suze Broks, David Conyers, David Rappaport
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Sex, Romance
Rating:  7 (from 2 votes)
Review: Eric Vonk (Rutger Hauer) is an artist and sculptor lying in bed in his warehouse home and contemplating murdering his ex-wife Olga (Monique van de Ven) in a series of brutal ways - and her new husband, too. He still nurses a grudge about being dumped by her, and that is all to do with the fact he remains desperately in love with the woman and dearly wishes they could get back together. As he lies in bed turning his thoughts over in his mind, he remembers how they first met, as he had been quite the man about town, seizing every opportunity to bed as many young ladies as he could, never bothering about anything resembling a serious relationship. But then when he was hitchhiking, Olga picked him up...

Turkish Delight, or Turks Fruit as it was originally known, was a sensation in its native Netherlands on its initial release, and went on to international acclaim as well, one of the first Dutch films to win such an accolade, including a nomination for Best Foreign Language Film at the Oscars. But while it was a cult film in foreign territories, back home it was a blockbuster, shaking up polite society and speaking to the generations emerging from the hippy years of the sixties trying to find their own voice, and was quickly judged to be a classic, a status it still retains there. It was drawn from the equally incendiary novel by Jan Wolkers, and that combination was a powerhouse of Dutch talent.

Especially as the director was Paul Verhoeven, years away from Robocop and Basic Instinct but exhibiting the strengths of his style that would see him right for the rest of his career: the sexual frankness, the almost bluntly in your face methods, the willingness to take on serious subjects in oddly playful, subversive ways. There was a serious subject to be tackled here, and the allusions many contemporary observers made to Love Story were well noted, but don't go thinking you would have a sensitive romance, or at least not a romance that downplayed the more corporeal factors that affected that kind of union, from the sexual to the inevitable physical decay that will break up the most loving bond.

At the beginning, we don't think Eric's bond with Olga would have lasted at all, not simply because we see him after they've split up, but because that spark of life they culture would appear to be one which shines brightly but too energetically to last. When the first ten minutes is taken up with Eric's one night (or one day) stands, he doesn't come across as a great prize for any woman who wants commitment, indeed he's quite obnoxious in his habits, which include keeping a scrapbook of souvenirs of his conquests, ranging from photographs of their nude bodies to clippings of their pubic hair. As the story draws on, we can understand this carnal side of him which dominates his days is an aspect of his artistic muse, where the body is his chief subject.

But it takes Olga to tame him, or rather tie him down emotionally, for they act together like giddy teenagers, flouting any rules and regulations and revelling in their rebellious behaviour, a perfect match that begins to grow on you when you recognise how sincere their affection is. Naturally this involved plenty of intimacy, but it was fitting what most would take care of in private was very public when we were privy to it, given the anything goes element of their characterisations. This headlong rush through a love affair sweeps you up if you can take the regular bouts of boundary-testing, from Eric examining Olga's stool to make sure she hasn't been internally bleeding, to him practically raping her as she sleeps when she finally rejects him, you're being dared to like both of them. It's that free spirit that finally endears them to you, and also the reason for Olga's lack of inhibitions as tragically different to her husband's, accepting that no matter how much you love someone, or for how long, there's always going to be something to throw a spanner in the works, eventually terminally. Music by Rogier van Otterloo.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark


This review has been viewed 1313 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film


Paul Verhoeven  (1938 - )

Dutch director who is no stranger to controversy. He became famous in his homeland for violent, sexually frank films such as Turkish Delight, Soldier of Orange (a fine war epic), Spetters and The Fourth Man, after which he moved to Hollywood.

His first American movie, Flesh + Blood, showed he meant to continue as he started, and he was rewarded with the huge hit RoboCop. This began a line of lurid science fiction adventures such as Total Recall, Starship Troopers and Hollow Man, but his sexually-themed Basic Instinct and Showgirls were equally uncompromising.

Verhoeven's sharp sense of humour tempers his over-the-top style, but he frequently sails too close to being ridiculous for many to take him seriously. The war drama Black Book, filmed in his native Holland, raised his standing once more, and his black comedy thriller Elle won great acclaim for star Isabelle Huppert.

Review Comments (0)

Untitled 1

Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.

Latest Poll
Which star do you think makes the best coffee?
Emma Stone
Anna Kendrick
Michelle Rodriguez
Sir Patrick Stewart

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
  Rachel Franke
Andrew Pragasam
Enoch Sneed
  Derrick Smith
Paul Shrimpton
Darren Jones
George White


Last Updated: