7.8/10
64,090
239 user 232 critic

Black Book (2006)

Zwartboek (original title)
R | | Drama, Thriller, War | 18 May 2007 (USA)
In the Nazi-occupied Netherlands during World War II, a Jewish singer infiltrates the regional Gestapo headquarters for the Dutch resistance.

Director:

Reviews
Popularity
3,263 ( 44)

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

ON DISC
Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 13 wins & 21 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
Ronnie
...
...
...
Gen. Käutner
Dolf de Vries ...
Wim Smaal - Notary
...
Van Gein
...
Rob
Ronald Armbrust ...
Tim Kuipers
...
Kees
...
Joop
...
Theo
Xander Straat ...
Maarten
Edit

Storyline

Israel 1956. Rachel, a Jew, rather unexpectedly meets an old friend at the kibbutz where she is working as a teacher. It brings back memories of her experiences in The Netherlands during the war, memories of betrayal. September 1944. Rachel is in trouble when her hiding place is bombed by allied troops. She gets in contact with a man from the resistance and joins a group of Jews who are to be smuggled across the Biesbosch by boat to the freed South Netherlands. Germans from a patrol boat murder them all however. Only Rachel is able to escape. She is rescued by a resistance group under the leadership of Gerben Kuipers. When Kuipers' son is captured after trying to smuggle weapons, he asks Rachel to seduce SS-hauptsturmführer Ludwig Müntze. Soon she will find out the attack in the Biesbosch wasn't a coincidence. Written by Arnoud Tiele (imdb@tiele.nl)

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

To fight the enemy, she must become one of them.

Genres:

Drama | Thriller | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some strong violence, graphic nudity, sexuality and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

| | |

Language:

| | |

Release Date:

18 May 2007 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Black Book  »

Box Office

Budget:

$21,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

€682,184 (Netherlands) (17 September 2006)

Gross:

$4,398,392 (USA) (19 August 2007)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

When principal photography took longer than anticipated, Carice van Houten had to return to the production while she was already scheduled to appear in a stage play. The theater company successfully sued Zwartboek's production company Fu Works for the delay of several months that was caused by her absence. See more »

Goofs

The Holland scenes ostensibly take place in April, 1945. By that time, most of Holland had already been liberated by the Allied forces. There is mention of British forces being defeated at Arnhem, which was in Sept, 1944, and the subsequent preparation for Hitler's birthday would mark the date as close to April, 1945. See more »

Quotes

Rachel Stein aka Ellis de Vries: [SPOILER]
[Hans Akkermans is locked in the coffin, as a punishment for his murderous treason, struggling to get out by kicking and screaming]
Rachel Stein aka Ellis de Vries: We should actually get up and open the coffin.
Gerben Kuipers: Yeah. We should...
[both Rachel and Gerben remain seated, gazing at the river]
Gerben Kuipers: What should we do with all the money?
Rachel Stein aka Ellis de Vries: It doesn't belong to us.
Gerben Kuipers: It doesn't belong to anybody.
Rachel Stein aka Ellis de Vries: To the dead...
[the sound of Hans Akkermans's screams stops, meaning he is now dead. Gerben raises his finger]
[...]
See more »

Connections

References Notorious (1946) See more »

Soundtracks

In the Mood
Composer / Author: Joe Garland
Performed by Joe Loss & His Orchestra
Publishing: Shapiro Bernstein
Record Company: EMI Music Netherlands BV
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Hold on for an epic thrill ride
25 September 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I attended the North American premiere of "Black Book" at the Toronto International Film Festival. Although my main interest lies in independent film, and I did see many indies as well as foreign films and documentaries in Toronto, I also saw a few of the "Gala" selections. Of those "big movies" on my list, the one which impressed me the most was this Dutch production from Paul Verhoeven. Set in Nazi-occupied Holland during World War II, the film centers around a young Jewish woman named Rachel, who changes her name (and hair, and personality, and more) to Ellis and enters an odyssey of determination and sheer luck in an effort to survive what would otherwise be certain death.

Make no mistake about it: this is an epic in the true sense of the word. The visuals are stunning. Everything about the production from the sound to the effects to the score says "big budget." The story is chock full of more twists and turns than just about any film I've seen in this genre. And just when you think that, perhaps, Verhoeven is beginning to stretch the bounds of credulity, you realize (at the end credits, if not before) that "Black Book" is based on fact.

Most of all, the film's power is due to the magnificent acting of Carice van Houten. Her Rachel/Ellis is a character so unique, so original, that it holds up against the great heroines of contemporary cinema. Combine her marvelous performance with a wonderful story and superb production values and you end up with a thrill ride from start to finish. "Black Book" left me breathless.


263 of 310 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?