The Paul Verhoeven Club - Master Thread


All the news and views on the Master of Sex, Violence, Sex-And-Violence, the unflinching outlook on Graphic Violence, Ultraviolence, Graphic-Ultraviolence… and the all-round unburdened visionary and cinematic pioneer known as Paul Verhoeven, who broke many a mould, and shaped countless others…

... welcome, to the Paul Verhoeven Fan Club Master Thread.

"Would you like to know more?"

I’ve taken a lot of this from Wiki, edited it, and done all the hard work of bolding some text and removing links and stuff.
There’s also a load of other stuff that Wiki never bothered to include… including a full filmography.
Hard to believe that in his 57 year career, he’s only made 15 feature length movies.

Early Life
Paul Verhoeven was born on 18 July 1938 in Amsterdam, Netherlands. He is the son of school teacher Wim Verhoeven and hat maker Nel van Schaardenburg. Although he was born in Amsterdam, the family lived in the village of Slikkerveer.

In 1943 the family moved to The Hague, the location of the German headquarters in the Netherlands during World War II. The Verhoeven house was near a German military base with V1 and V2-rocket launchers, which was repeatedly bombed by allied forces. Their neighbours' house was hit and Verhoeven's parents were almost killed when bombs fell on a street crossing. From this period, Verhoeven mentioned in interviews, he remembers images of violence, burning houses, dead bodies on the street, and continuous danger. As a small child he experienced the war as an exciting adventure and compares himself with the character Bill Rowan in Hope and Glory (1987).

Verhoeven's father Wim Verhoeven became head teacher at the Van Heutszschool in The Hague, and Paul Verhoeven attended this school. Sometimes they watched informative films at home with the school's film projector. Paul Verhoeven and his father also liked to see American films that were in the cinema after the liberation, such as The Crimson Pirate (1952). They went as many as ten times to see The War of the Worlds (1953). Paul Verhoeven was a fan of the Dutch comic Dick Bos (nl). The character Dick Bos is a private detective who fights crime using jujutsu. Verhoeven himself liked comic drawing; he created The Killer, a grey character in a detailed story full of revenge. Other fiction he liked were Frankenstein and the Rice Burroughs Barsoom series.

Verhoeven attended public secondary school Gymnasium Haganum in The Hague. Later, beginning in 1955, he studied at Leiden University, where he joined the elite fraternity Minerva.
Verhoeven graduated with a Doctorandus [Magister Scientiae] (Master Of Science Degree) with a double major in mathematics and physics.

Verhoeven made his first film A Lizzard Too Much for the anniversary of his students' corps in 1960. In his last years at university Verhoeven also attended classes at the Netherlands Film Academy.
After this he made three more short films Nothing Special (1961), The Hitchhikers (1962) and Let's Have A Party (1963).

Verhoeven never used his maths and physics degrees, opting instead to invest his energies in a career in film.
After his studies he entered the Dutch Navy as a conscript. He made the documentary Het Korps Mariniers (The Royal Dutch Marine Corps, 1965) about the Navy, which won the French Golden Sun award for military films.

In 1967 Verhoeven married Martine Tours, with whom he had two daughters, Claudia (b. 1972), and Helen (b. 1974).

When he left the Navy, Verhoeven took his skills to Dutch television. First, he made a documentary about Anton Mussert named Mussert (1968). His first major success was the 1969 Floris television series, starring Rutger Hauer. The concept of Floris was inspired by foreign series like Ivanhoe and Thierry La Fronde.

Verhoeven's first feature film Business Is Business was released in 1971 and was not especially well received. His first national success did not come until 1973 with Turkish Delight, starring Rutger Hauer and Monique van de Ven.
This film is based on a novel by bestselling Dutch author Jan Wolkers and tells the passionate love story of an artist and a liberal young girl from a rather conservative background. The film received an Academy Award nomination for Best Foreign Language Film in 1974. In 1999 the film won a Golden Calf for Best Dutch Film of the Century.
Verhoeven's 1975 film Katie Tippel again featured Hauer and van de Ven, but it would not match the success of Turkish Delight.

Verhoeven built on his reputation and achieved international success with his Golden Globe nominated film Soldier Of Orange (1977), starring Rutger Hauer and Jeroen Krabbé. The film, based on a true story about the Dutch resistance in World War II, was written by Erik Hazelhoff Roelfzema. Soldier of Orange received the 1979 LA Film Critics Award for best foreign language film. It was also nominated for a Golden Globe in 1980.

In 1980 Verhoeven made the film Spetters with Renée Soutendijk and Rutger Hauer. The story is sometimes compared to Saturday Night Fever, but the film has more explicit violence and sexuality (in this case also homosexuality), which are sometimes seen as the trademarks of Paul Verhoeven.
Verhoeven's film The Fourth Man (1983) is a horror film starring Jeroen Krabbé and Renée Soutendijk. It was written by Gerard Soeteman from a novel by the popular Dutch writer Gerard Reve. This film would be Verhoeven's last Dutch film production until the 2006 film Black Book.

Gerard Soeteman also wrote the script for Verhoeven's first American film, Flesh and Blood (1985), which starred Rutger Hauer and Jennifer Jason Leigh. Verhoeven moved to Hollywood for a wider range of opportunities in filmmaking. Working in the U.S. he made a serious change in style, directing big-budget, very violent, special-effects-heavy smashes RoboCop (1987) and Total Recall (1990). Both RoboCop and Total Recall won Academy Special Achievement Awards, for Sound Effects Editing and for Visual Effects respectively.

Verhoeven followed those successes with the equally intense and provocative Basic Instinct (1992), an erotic thriller. The ninth-highest-grossing film of the year, the movie was a return to themes Verhoeven had explored in Turkish Delight and The Fourth Man. The film's most notorious scene shows Sharon Stone's character in a police interrogation, where she uncrosses her legs, briefly revealing her vulva (she does not wear underwear underneath her skirt). The film received two Academy Awards nominations, for Film Editing and for Original Music.

Verhoeven's next film was the poorly received, NC-17 rated Showgirls (1995), about a stripper in Las Vegas trying to make a career as a showgirl. The film won seven Golden Raspberry Awards including Worst Film and Worst Director.
Verhoeven became the first director in the history of the Awards to accept his "award" in person.
Afterward, the film enjoyed success on the home video market, generating more than $100 million from video rentals and became one of MGM's top 20 all-time bestsellers.

After Basic Instinct and Showgirls, Verhoeven returned to the science fiction, graphic violence, and special-effects tropes that had marked his earlier films with Starship Troopers (1997), adapted from the controversial novel of the same name by Robert A. Heinlein, and Hollow Man (2000).
Each film received an Academy Award nomination for Best Visual Effects.

After around 20 years of working and living in the United States, Verhoeven returned to the Netherlands for the shooting of a new film. Together with his screenwriter Gerard Soeteman, Verhoeven made Black Book (2006).
The director was hailed by the host of the Netherlands Film Festival with the words "The return of a hero".
Black Book eventually won six Golden Calves at this festival, including Best Director.
When the shooting of Black Book was delayed due to financial issues, there was speculation about a new production. The film Beast Of Bataan had been announced, but once the shooting for Black Book resumed, the other film was never realized.

Since his return to European cinema in 2006 with Black Book, Verhoeven has been connected to a large number of projects, but for the moment none of them has come to fruition. Some of those titles were produced with other directors at the helm, such as The Paperboy.

Just after 2006’s Black Book, Verhoeven was to direct a film adaption of the novel The Winter Queen written by Russian author Boris Akunin.
Filming was set to start in 2007 with Milla Jovovich playing the role of Amalia Bezhetskaya. Jovovich however fell pregnant, and the movie was pushed to a 2010 shoot, then pushed to 2011.
The movie, with Verhoeven at the helm was then postponed again.
Anjelica Huston And David Thewlis were then also attached to the movie in 2013, with Verhoeven replaced by Russian director Fyodor Sergeyevich Bondarchuk.
Since 2013 though, the film has vanished from the radar and is no longer appearing on anyone’s filmographies.

In April 2010, Verhoeven hinted that his next potential film project would be an adaptation of a computer game set in 1914. In an interview, Verhoeven said, "I am working on a movie now that is situated in 1914. Basically, Indiana Jones-ish you could say, but also Hitchcockian."
Although he would not reveal the title, there was speculation that the project might be an adaptation of The Last Express, a 1997 videogame designed by Prince Of Persia creator Jordan Mechner.
In October 2011, Verhoeven confirmed The Last Express as the identity of the game in question, and revealed that he is even considering filming it in 3D.
Since 2011, there has been no other news on the movie.

In 2012, Paul Verhoeven was part of a crowd sourced project called The Entertainment Experience, in which two movies were made at the same time, but using the same script which was written by Verhoeven.
The first movie was directed by numerous teams of amateur filmmakers. Each team would take a chapter of the script and film it.
The second movie was directed, in whole, by Verhoeven.

Finally, in a rather unexpected twist, Verhoeven followed Black Book by directing a movie in French: Elle (2016) an adaptation of a novel by Philippe Djian, mostly known as the author of 37°2 Le Matin.
The film by Verhoeven, a psycho-thriller where Isabelle Huppert plays a rape victim, was selected in the Official Competition at the Cannes International Film Festival, where it obtained very favourable reviews.

Verhoeven has been a Knight in the Order Of The Netherlands Lion since 2007.
In December 2016 it was announced that Verhoeven would be the President of the Jury for the 67th Berlin International Film Festival, scheduled to take place in February 2017.

Paul Verhoeven is rumoured to be directing WWII epic Lyon 1943.
The film will be set over several months in 1943 and will follow the French Resistance.
Date of release is as yet unknown, as the movie is still in the early writing stages.

Outside Of Film
Verhoeven is a member of the Jesus Seminar, and he is the only member who does not have a degree in biblical studies.
Since he is not a professional biblical exegete, his membership in the Jesus Seminar has occasionally been cited by opponents of the Seminar as a sign that this group is less scholarly than it claims.
On the other hand, some Jesus Seminar members were unhappy with Verhoeven's portrayal of Jesus as an eschatological prophet.

In 2007 Verhoeven wrote the book Jezus Van Nazaret (Jesus Of Nazareth) about the life of Jesus of Nazareth. The book reviews the ideas of Jesus of Nazareth and the alleged corruption of these same ideas over the last 2,000 years. Co-written with Verhoeven's biographer Rob Van Scheers, the book is the culmination of the research Verhoeven conducted in preparation for Jesus: The Man, a motion picture about the life of Christ. The book tells about the Jewish uprising against Roman rule and characterizes Jesus as a radical political activist, downplaying any supernatural events and miracles as unproved or unprovable.
Jesus of Nazareth: A Realistic Portrait was released in September 2008 in Dutch and was published in English in May 2010 by Seven Stories Press.

Robert J. Miller, author of Born Divine, said about Jesus of Nazareth, "Verhoeven breaks down the gospels...and reassembles them into a unique reconstruction of the historical Jesus."

Full Filmography

1960 - Eén Hagedis Teveel [Eng: A Lizzard Too Much]

Has been retroactively called a called a spiritual predecessor to 1983’s The Fourth Man


1961 - Niets Bijzonders [Eng: Nothing Special]



1962 - De Lifters[Eng: The Hitchhikers]



1963 - Feest![Eng: Let's Have A Party]



1965 - Het Korps Mariniers [Eng: The Royal Dutch Marine Corps]

Documentary - French Golden Sun Award winner


1968 - Portret Van Anton Adriaan Mussert[Eng: Mussert]

TV Movie And Documentary

Made in 1968, released in 1970


1969 - Floris

TV Series, 12 of 13 Episodes


1971 - De Worstelaar [Eng: Wrestler]


Also Writer


1971 - Wat Zien Ik [Eng: Business Is Business and/or Diary Of A Hooker]


1973 - Turkish Delight [Also known asThe Sensualist and/or Turks Fruit]

1974 Academy Award nomination for Best Foreign Language Film, and 1999 Golden Calf for Best Dutch Film of the Century.


1975 - Keetje Tippel [Eng: Katie Tippel]


1977 - Soldaat Van Oranje [Eng: Soldier Of Orange]

Also writer

LA Film Critics Award winner for Best Foreign Language Film.


1979 - Voor Koningin En Vaderland

TV Miniseries, All 4 Episodes


1980 - Spetters


1981 - Voorbij, Voorbij (Eng: All Things Pass)

Spiritual sequel to 1977’s Soldier Of Orange


1983 - The 4th Man

Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award winner for Best Foreign Film.


1985 - Flesh+Blood

Also Writer

Two time Golden Calf Award winner for Best Film and Best Director Of A Feature Film


1986 - Deadly Nightmares

TV Series, 1 episode: “Last Scene”


1987 - RoboCop

Also Actor - “Disco Dancer”

Academy Award winner for Best Sound Editing and five time Saturn Award winner for Best Science Fiction Film, Best Director, Best Writing, Best Make-Up and Best Special Effects


1990 - Total Recall

Academy Award winner for Best Visual Effects and two Saturn Awards for Best Science Fiction Film and Best Costume


1992 - Basic Instinct

BMI Film & TV Award winner for Film Music and two time MTV Movie Award winner for Best Female Performance and Most Desirable Female


1995 - Showgirls

Dallas-Fort Worth Film Critics Association Award winner for Worst Film and seven time Razzie Award winner for Worst Picture, Worst Actress, Worst Screen Couple, Worst Director, Worst Screenplay, Worst New Star and Worst Original Song. An eighth Razzie was presented in 2000 for Worst Movie Of The 1990s.


1997 - Starship Troopers

Two time Saturn Award winner for Best Visual Effects and Best Costume


2000 - Hollow Man

Saturn Award winner for Best Special Effects


2006 - Zwartboek[Eng: Black Book]

Also Writer

Austin Film Critics Association Award winner for Best Foreign Film and three Golden Calf Awards for Best Director, Best Actress and Best Film


2012 - The Entertainment Experience

Steekspel [Eng: Paul Verhoeven’s Tricked]

Dual Movie Competition Project

Also Writer


**2013 - Lotgenoten [Eng: Counterparts]**

**Writer Only**

The winning version/chapter of 2012’s Entertainment Experience, and was directed by Stephan Brenninkmeijer.


2016 - Elle

Golden Globe winner for Best Performance By An Actress In A Motion Picture Drama, Austin Film Critics Association Award winner for Best Actress and Lumières Award winner for Best Actress plus over 45 separate other Awards for Best Actress. Currently also nominated for an Academy Award for Best Performance By An Actress In A Leading Role.


**Lyon 1943

Rumoured, In Production**

Quick schedule for a watch… will use only the major Hollywood movies for now… members of the Club will be needed for the rest of his filmography, what/which movies to go with in further months et al and all that… etc.

Month 1, will last until April 30th, Month 2 starts May 1st... that'll give a couple weeks for people to get stuff done.

Verhoeven Movie Of The Month 1: April: Hollow Man
Verhoeven Movie Of The Month 2: May: Total Recall
Verhoeven Movie Of The Month 3: June: Showgirls
Verhoeven Movie Of The Month 4: July: RoboCop
Saturday 15th July, The RoboCop 30th Anniversary Weekend. 3 showings of RoboCop in the MoFo Chat Room... actual anniv is on the 17th, but Saturday the 15th will be the MoFo Celebration.
Verhoeven Movie Of The Month 5: August: Starship Troopers
Verhoeven Movie Of The Month 6: September: Basic Instinct
Verhoeven Movie Of The Month 7: Elle (2016)

Hope to see you all joining soon!

Thanks, @ScarletLion
Took me close to 8 hours to write, edit, do pictures etc.

Hope this club works though...

Added a link to the OP to the Club...

Hope this'll be fun and not another dead end thread from me

28 days...6 hours...42 minutes...12 seconds
I remember liking Hollow Man when many others did not.
"A laugh can be a very powerful thing. Why, sometimes in life, it's the only weapon we have."

Suspect's Reviews

Hollow Man is a strange one...

I see it as a parallel to RoboCop.
Both involved someone who undergoes a body transformation, and both accept their fates but in different ways.

Hollow Man contains blood and sexual violence. The blood pack scene, rape scene, the way Sebastian uses his power for sexual thrill (including sneaking up on his co-worker)...
Whereas RoboCop contains gore and ultraviolence.

In terms of Verhoeven's style, Hollow Man is like the Yin to RoboCop's Yang.
When comparing it with the satirical edge that Robo had, Hollow Man is like an Anti-RoboCop.

I might just join in on watching Rodent. I've only seen two of his films (RoboCop and Starship Troopers) and I liked them both well enough.

Rodent, that's some impressive work here! Glad you got this Verhoven Club made

But what? No Starship Troopers on the schedule I have a massive amount of writing accumulated on that movie, I was hoping that would be one of your films here to watch. You should add it.

I watched Spetters not that long ago. It's a pretty messed up flick, not great, but worth watching.

I'm trying to get my hands on Turkish Delight.

Chief cook and bottlewasher
I'll admit to watching "Showgirls" more than once. Sooooo bad.

"Starship Troopers" is one of those flicks I always SQUEEE over when I find it is playing. I love it!
Yes, it is your circus and these are your monkeys.

Rodent, that's some impressive work here! Glad you got this Verhoven Club made

But what? No Starship Troopers on the schedule I have a massive amount of writing accumulated on that movie, I was hoping that would be one of your films here to watch. You should add it.

I'd been looking at the schedule thinking something was wrong and couldn't see what it was

2 mins, will adjust the schedule.

I've adjusted the schedules for movie of the month.

I had RoboCop last on the list in September... then I realised... July 17th is the 30th Anniversary of the RoboCop!!!!!
So, July has to be RoboCop.

@Yoda :
Can we possibly get the Chat Room opened for RoboCop?
I'm thinking Saturday 15 July? We could have a marathon type where the movie is played at 3 separate times or something.

I like him. Weird filmography with good variety is my favorite thing about him.

Cat, you not seen the chat room?
MoFo has a live-updating chat room that Yoda gets out on special occasions

I like him. Weird filmography with good variety is my favorite thing about him.

That's what I like about him as well.
He can tailor to any genre... and you always know you're gonna get to see something taboo