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Business Is Business (film)

Business Is Business (Dutch title: Wat zien ik) is a 1971 comedy film. The film is directed by Paul Verhoeven and stars Ronnie Bierman, Sylvia de Leur, Piet Römer, and Jules Hamel. The story is about the lives of two prostitutes in Amsterdam and is based on two books written by Albert Mol.

Business Is Business
DVD Business Is Business.jpg
DVD release cover
Directed by Paul Verhoeven
Produced by Rob Houwer
Written by Albert Mol
Gerard Soeteman
Starring Ronnie Bierman
Sylvia de Leur
Piet Römer
Jules Hamel
Music by Jack Trombey (Jan Stoeckart)
Cinematography Jan de Bont
Edited by Jan Bosdriesz
Release date
10 September 1971 (Netherlands)
29 December 1972 (Finland)
Running time
90 minutes
Country Netherlands
Language Dutch
Budget US $116,421



The film is about the customers and personal lives of Greet (Ronnie Bierman) and Nel (Sylvia de Leur), two female prostitutes in Amsterdam. Greet and Nel are friends and live on different floors of the same canal house at the Prinsengracht. In this house they also receive customers.

Sexual fantasiesEdit

Greet roleplays the customers' sexual fantasies. These incidents are recounted in the form of anecdotes throughout the film. The roleplaying involves Greet being a wigged witch, a schoolteacher, a feathered chicken, a corpse, a woman commanding her cleaner, and a surgeon. Sometimes Nel assists her by playing a part in the roleplaying.

Nel and SjaakEdit

Nel lives with Sjaak (Jules Hamel), a guy who likes fishing and who lives on Nel's money. Nel and Sjaak are continuously fighting. Greet convinces Nel to respond to a personal ad. The following blind date in a restaurant ends up in throwing cakes. Nel wants to clean her dress and then she meets Bob (Bernhard Droog) and they fall in love. In another fight Sjaak almost kills Nel with a knife and Nel decides to move in with Bob in Eindhoven. Bob turns out to be boring, and Nel visits Greet in Amsterdam. Nel doesn't want to work as a prostitute anymore, and she turns out to be pregnant. Nel and Bob marry in Amsterdam, and all of Nel's former colleagues pretend that she worked as a seamstress.

Greet and PietEdit

Greet meets the married man Piet (Piet Römer) in the bar where she hangs out. Piet takes her to a striptease club, and they have sex afterwards at her house. Unlike the other men, he doesn't have to pay. Piet brings Greet a bouquet of red roses. The next time they meet, they create a romantic atmosphere and Piet stays over night with Greet. Later, Piet takes Greet to a classical concert. She dislikes it and makes a scene in the concert hall. When Piet finds out his wife is pregnant he stops seeing Greet. In the end of the film they meet again and Greet says he should name his child "Greet" if it is a girl.

The film ends when Greet makes the customer that plays the cleaner clean up Nel's marriage party.



Business Is Business was director Paul Verhoeven's first feature film[1] as well as the first film of cinematographer Jan de Bont.

Gerard Soeteman wrote the film scenario, which was his first feature film script.[2] He based the story on the two books Wat zien ik!? and Haar van Boven written by Albert Mol. Writer Albert Mol also has a small role in the film himself as Mr. Van Schaveren.[1]

The opening scene is shot at the airport Schiphol. Many scenes in the film are shot in the city of Amsterdam, most in the canal house, in the red-light district, and at the canals.


The film had 2,358,946 admissions in the Netherlands.[3]


  1. ^ a b Insert of the 2005 DVD release by RTL Nederland
  2. ^ "Trivia for Wat zien ik". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 2007-05-06. 
  3. ^ "Box office / business for Wat zien ik". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 2007-05-06. 

External linksEdit