Turks Fruit – Most popular Dutch movie of all-time


A true Dutch movie classic that spurred quite some controversy when it was released in 1973 due to its abundance of nudity and the highly erotic storyline. The story is based on the novel Turks fruit by well known Dutch author Jan Wolkers and is also known under the English title ‘Turkish Delight’.

Turks fruit1


The film is sort of a cross between a “Love Story” and an earthy Rembrandt painting.
The movie stars Rutger Hauer as a gifted Dutch sculptor name Eric, who has a stormy, erotic, and star-crossed romance with a beautiful young girl named Olga. Olga was played by the then unknown actress Monique van der Ven and the story follows the arc of their relationship and his unusual interaction with her family.

Check out the trailer here to get an idea about this highly sexual love story (with English subtitles).

Awards and recognition: Movie of the century

Turkish delight was with 3.5 million visitors the most successful Dutch feature film of all time. The film received an Oscar nomination for best non-English-language production and won, in 1999, after a public inquiry at the Dutch Film Festival a special ‘Gouden Kalf award’ – the most prestigious Dutch film awards – for Best Dutch film of the century.

Classical Film Scenes

In 2007, Turkish delight was also awarded with an honorable place in the Canon of Dutch film, due to the fact that a number of movie scenes are among the best known of the Dutch film history. These ‘Dutch scene classics’ include:

Eric and Olga, after having just gotten married, ride one bicycle together through Amsterdam. She sits on the back, a common position for girls to be transported in Holland.
This is cycling ‘the Dutch way’

Olga is lying naked on a red bedspread under a suspended mirror

turks fruit under the mirror shot

Eric and Olga sit together in the pouring rain on the sidewalk drinking wine 

turks fruit op de stoep in regen1

All of these images are very well known in Holland and if you ever mention them to a Dutch person they are sure to know what you are talking about.

Paul Verhoeven & Rutger Hauer breakthrough

Turks Fruit was the great international breakthrough of famous Hollywood director Paul Verhoeven. Verhoeven later followed up with a couple more top hit Dutch movies after which he moved to and he became the director of Hollywood blockbusters like ‘Total Recall’, ‘Basic Instinct’, ‘Holllow Man’ and ‘Robocop’

Like Paul Verhoeven, this movie was also the breakthrough of Rutger Hauer, who would later appear in many Hollywood movies among them ‘Batman Begins’, ‘Sin City’ and ‘Confessions of a Dangerous Mind’.

Monique van der Ven, who was an unknown surprise cast at the moment of filming, became a wellknown Dutch actress that played in many other films and tv-series.
The movie still gets broadcast on Dutch TV regularly.

What do you think?

Our Correspondent
Cult Netherlands correspondent
Marc - Weert

Wondering wanderer of the world! Avid cyclist, ski/snowboard guru & passionate ping-pong player. Lover of both good & cheap wines, random facts, rocking chairs and singing in the shower. I love to drink myself silly in the company of other people ...

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