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Turkish Delight

4.5 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews

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(Apr 24, 2001)
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Editorial Reviews


Although the confectionary does make an appearance at the end of the film, Turkish Delight, as a title, may be interpreted in a number of ways. This violent tale of love is told in flashback from the perspective of bohemian artist Eric Vonk (Rutger Hauer, collaborating for the first time with director Paul Verhoeven). When the film opens on a brutal attack and then a succession of one-night stands, it seems that the guy's a complete jerk. Then a sudden lurch backwards two years reveals the motivations for both his dreams and behavior, as well as the subject of the photos he spends his time pining for. He meets Olga (a fantastic Monique van de Ven) as the result of a car accident. But their tempestuous relationship is shaken by many peculiar events: a surreal wedding ceremony, unveiling a statue to the Queen and the death of Olga's father. The real problem is Olga herself, however, which leads to a shock ending many have compared to Love Story.

Somewhat dated now, and made long before his move to Hollywood, Turkish Delight is nonetheless unmistakably a product of the now-familiar Verhoeven style. The film's language and images still have the power to shock or offend, and we certainly get to see far too much of Hauer's private parts, even though some amazing visuals (mirrored candles, inspired beach art, and a nightmarish red Chinese restaurant) are some compensation. --Paul Tonks

Special Features

  • Still Gallery

Product Details

  • Actors: Monique van de Ven, Rutger Hauer, Tonny Huurdeman, Wim van den Brink, Hans Boskamp
  • Directors: Paul Verhoeven
  • Writers: Gerard Soeteman, Jan Wolkers
  • Producers: Rob Houwer
  • Format: Anamorphic, Color, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: Dutch (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    Mature Audiences Only
  • Studio: Starz / Anchor Bay
  • DVD Release Date: April 24, 2001
  • Run Time: 108 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 6305973075
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #63,678 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Turkish Delight" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By B. Dubbe on October 16, 2000
Format: DVD
It's crude, it's shocking, it's filled with more heartbreaking scenes you could ever stand and it's classic Paul Verhoeven when he was still `De Man', way before he became `The Man'. When this film was released in Holland people were standing in endless queues in front of the Tuschinski theater in Amsterdam back in 1973 (!!!!), it caused a genuine witchhunt towards Verhoeven and every well broughtup decent citizen screamed it was a total slap in the face for human decency and family values. Why then did everybody go to see this hopeless lovestory? Basicly to see some nakedness on a white screen I guess, but there's more to it. The film is such an frightenly accurate account of a hopeless love between 2 people and told without unnessesary falseness in such a simple, naked style ( boy meets girl in the 70's, girl dies of illness in the `70, boy is alone again in the '70) that it's sometimes hard to watch. There's so much weird humour and clever camera moves (Jan `Speed'de Bont) you instantly recognize Verhoeven's style. Rutger Hauer and Monique van de Ven are giving their performances of a lifetime, as is the town of seventies Amsterdam. It's a film that gives you that feeling of `I was living in Holland at that time I wanted to be like them'. The orchestral score by Rogier Van Otterloo and Jean `Toots' Thielemans' mouthorgan are colouring this picture to heartbreaking perfection. Funny thing is, when the film is aired on TV nowadays (uncut, this is Holland you know) it still gets a number 1 top viewers audience. Make this DVD a double bill together with Betty Blue on a cold winter night!
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Format: DVD
Paul Verhoeven's 1973 far-from-Hollywood film opens with the [physical] escapades of Erik (Rutger Hauer) a womanizing self-destructive artist. Alone in his apartment/studio, he reflects back on his life and a painful episode that he can't forget. He met Olga (Monique Van de Ven) in a car accident. They embarked on a wild [physical] affair and Erik fell in love...hard. Olga had personality quirks that confused Erik but he just wrote it off as part of her nature. They married and Olga's behavior became more disturbing until she finally retreated to her mother's and refused to see Erik. Confounded, Erik demanded to see her and still didn't understand the problem. Then Olga winds up in the hospital seriously ill and her problem is revealed to Erik's shattered disbelief. "Turkish Delight" is the name of Olga's favorite candy. He brings it to the hospital to try and get her to eat. This is a powerful, moving and , yes, erotic story beautifully done by Verhoeven and brilliantly acted by Hauer and especially Van de Ven. There is very frank nudity and [physical] scenes that threaten to push your buttons but Verhoeven is the type of director who just throws back the curtain and tells the story. You understand why Erik is the guy he is. Love and [physical attraction] are powerful drugs and death can make you extremely bitter. "Turkish Delight" was nominated as Best Foreign Launguage film in 1974 at the Oscars in Hollywood. Once seen, it is not easily forgotten. It's a very potent adult love story and a gut wrencher. Excellent DVD transfer from Anchor Bay.
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Format: VHS Tape
I went to see this movie with a boyfriend when we were both about eighteen - so this was nearly 24 years ago. Neither of us had a clue what we were in for. All I can say it that we both sat riveted to our seats throughout the movie and did not speak on the way home. Several days later we did speak and both of us admitted that neither of us could stop thinking about the movie, almost incessantly, it turned out. Never has any movie made a bigger impression on me or hit me more deeply or closer to where I live. Images from this movie dominated my head for hours, days, weeks, months and even years afterwards. I don't know what, if anything, I learned from it - I just know that I was obsessed with what I had witnessed on the screen, for whatever reason.
For details of the story, see the excellent reviews above. I just wanted to write about the effect that it had on me. Perhaps I should see it again, at age 41, and maybe find out what it was that so captivated me. Or perhaps I'll never be able to put it into words.
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Format: DVD
Few days ago, I watched the documentary "Z Channel: A Magnificent Obsession" (2004) about a channel that had brought the great and unavailable anywhere else films to its 100, 000 lucky subscribers in LA in 70s - 80s. While enjoying the clips from many Foreign and Independent movies that were the best part of documentary, I was able to recognize the movie that I saw many years ago in Moscow and still remember well, I could not only recall the title. I remember that the movie was Dutch, very erotic - in the raw, brutal, twisted yet beautiful and passionate way. Watching "Z Channel..." I was happy to instantly recognize "Turks fruit" (1973) aka "Turkish Delight" made by Paul Verhoeven in 1973. I checked with Netflix, the movie was available; I bumped it up in my queue and just finished watching it. My memory served me well - Verhoeven's early film is as naturalistic, earthy, brutal, erotic, humorous, poetic, poignant, and captivating as I remember it. Based on the novel by Jan Wolker, "Turkish Delight" stars young, hot, very sexy (and I mean it - VERY SEXY) Rutger Hauer as a bohemian free spirited and often cruel sculptor Eric and even younger Monique van de Van as his wife Olga, child-like yet as sensual as Eric was, "the light of his life, the fire of his loins". The film that describes their stormy relationship has become the most financially successful Holland's film that was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language film and was proclaimed by Jan Wolker a "75% masterpiece".

There are not very many directors in the world that can create the atmosphere of raw sensuality as well as Verhoeven (of his Dutch period, especially). Verhoeven is known for uncompromising approach to his work, fiery temperament, and aggressive movie-making.
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