all movie photos on this page © 1970 by Harrie Verstappen
all rights reserved
Hugo Metsers - Ursula Blauth
Helmert Woudenberg - Kees Brusse
Marijke Boonstra - Carry Tefsen - Ine Veen
Wim Verstappen, 1970
Only the second feature film I worked on. The stills can't have been all that bad, as this was one of the biggest hits in Dutch film history. What I have been told was an investment of 50 thousand guilders, at the time some US$20,000, made millionaires out of partners Pim & Wim. Something like Psycho, albeit in that respect only. Truth be told, this page is one of the top attractions of this site. Amazing? No, more amazing is that Saul Bass attracts more. Yes, there still is hope for the human race.
I used the trusty 6x9 cm SLR Rittreck and Ektachrome EHB, with B/W stills on the Contaflex Alpha, Zeiss lenses. The color prints, made someplace I don't care to mention the name of, were very bad indeed. The movie looked even worse, shot on 16mm Ektachrome Commercial and blown up at the Arri laboratories for an outrageous price. For once, I could not complain about the quantity of the light. But some people will always find something to complain about.
At any rate, for what it's worth, this is the only time that I read a single word about the stills in a movie review, in the Dutch Wikipedia, discussing the film:
De opvallende still-photography is uitgevoerd door Harrie Verstappen [the outstanding still photography has been done by U-no-hoo]. I never found out who wrote this so I could give hir/hem a piece of my mind, but both of them were quite right of course.
As so often, the light looks better when you face the camera. Hmm.
Interiors often had 2-3 stops more light than the Dutch December outside.
The movie was shot in the Amsterdam Bijlmermeer neighborhood, then under construction. It seems it has turned into a ghetto, a process beginning right from the start. It is now partly being pulled down, well within 30 years.
We did the whole shot in three weeks, working almost day and night ( I actually slept on the set). The first couple of days, I had a German colleague on the set, both of us standing next to each other, he snapping rolls full where I was content with one or two shots. Soon, he went back where he came from; not a bad guy. A situation like that could get pretty embarrassing.
As money was so tight, Frans Rasker and Wim printed the B/W stills themselves. Is why I haven't got a set. Is why the stuff below is not what I'd like to show. Is also why I got paid less than $650; there were other compensations. Anyway, that's much better than the $400 Peggy Lee reportedly got from Walt Disney for all her work on Lady and the Tramp. Then again, she made a lot on the music rights. Just like Les Humphries was getting fat long before Pim & Wim had seen a penny.
To me, the great star was German actress Ursula Blauth. What a lovely beauty. They tell me she went in for feminism later. What an awful pity.
I saw that photo and said:
"Nice picture! Who made that?"
They gave me that funny look and told me "You did."
The Marilyn Monroe painting on the wall in the main character's apartment
is by Kusama Yayoi, for which she was paid about $20.
Blue Movie on DVD
In 2006, the movie was released on DVD. It's in Academy format, instead of 1.75:1, so don't be surprised about microphones dangling up there. Don't expect too much on print quality; but then, it never was much to start.
To give you an idea about the loving care lavished upon this release, the large photo on the box is from Frank & Eva, just like the one bottom left. (I can't make out the one bottom right.)
Director - Wim Verstappen
camera - Jan de Bont
light - Cor Roothart/Cinetone Studios
camera assistant - Werner Leckebusch
clapper-loader - Hans den Bezemer
art director - Mia Houweling
music - Les Humphries and Jürgen Drews
sound - Kees Linthorst
mix - Peter Vink/Cinetone
make-up - Ulli Ullrich
stills - Harrie Verstappen/Wolf Huber
best boys - Bart Mouwen/Oscar de Waard
editing - Jutta Brandtstaedter/Mickey Kley
continuity - Polaroid
casting - Hans Kemna
assistant director - Olga Madsen
production executives - Frans Rasker/Hans Brockmann
production secretary - Ineke van Wezel
camera 2nd unit - Mat van Hensbergen/Frans Bromet
sound 2nd unit - Pjotr van Dijk
make-up 2nd unit - Jules de Roovere
special sequence - Pim de la Parra
Theo van de Sande/Rob van Steensel
catering - Joke Madsen
producer - Dieter Geisler/Pim de la Parra
$corpio Films 1971, 80 min.
Bill van Dijk
Wim de Meijer
Johan te Slaa
Lots of the above have been reproduced from a set I could salvage only after it had come back from the theaters after a long run.
That's why there are thumb-tack holes in the corners.
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