Turkish Delight (1973 film)

Turkish Delight (Dutch: Turks fruit) is a 1973 Dutch film directed by Paul Verhoeven and filmed by Jan de Bont. The film is a love story of an artist and a young woman, starring Rutger Hauer in his film debut and Monique van de Ven. The story is based on the novel Turks fruit by Jan Wolkers.

Turkish Delight
Turkish Delight (film).jpg
DVD cover
Directed byPaul Verhoeven
Produced byRob Houwer
Screenplay byGerard Soeteman
Based onTurks Fruit (novel)
by Jan Wolkers
StarringMonique van de Ven
Rutger Hauer
Music byRogier van Otterloo
CinematographyJan de Bont
Edited byJan Bosdriesz
Release date
  • 1973 (1973)
Running time
108 minutes
Budget€ 365,000

Turkish Delight is the most successful film in the history of Dutch cinema. The film was a massive success at the Dutch box office: according to Alle Record, 3,338,000 people saw the film,[1] while the Netherlands Film Festival puts it at 3.5 million,[2] corresponding to about 26% of the population of the Netherlands at the time.[3][4] In 1973 it was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film[5] and in 1999 it received a special Golden Calf Award for Best Dutch Film of the Century. It was entered into the Canon of Dutch Cinema in 2007.[2] In 2005 a musical version of Turks fruit was made starring Antonie Kamerling and Jelka van Houten.


Eric, a sculptor living in the Netherlands, wakes up recalling a disturbing dream. In the following scenes, he is frantically picking up random women from the streets and taking them back to his studio for sex. However, he is clearly distressed about something, and it turns out that this is the aftermath of his relationship with Olga. The movie recounts this relationship.

Olga picks him up when he is hitchhiking and they hit it off immediately, both sexually and mentally. Their relationship is opposed by Olga's mother who feels that a Bohemian sculptor who earns little from occasional commissions, is an unsuitable match, although the father is more sympathetic. Nevertheless, they get married, and Olga's family accepts him.

They begin living together, but Olga starts acting strangely. She goes into a reverie on her production line job and, at a party organised by her family, she flirts with a businessman. Eric slaps her and she leaves him. Eric trashes his studio, destroying anything that reminded him of Olga. This brings the movie to the point where it opened, ending the flashback.

Eric is still obsessed with Olga, but sees her only occasionally. She acts more and more outrageously, often in the presence of other men. Her family refuses to let Eric visit her, until he says he has come to arrange a divorce. After a while, Olga marries an American businessman but later returns from the United States to the Netherlands.

One day, Eric bumps into Olga who is flamboyantly dressed and acting oddly. She collapses and is taken to the hospital, where she is diagnosed as having a brain tumor. Surgical intervention is attempted but could not remove all of it. It becomes clear that she will die. Eric brings her Turkish delight, which is the only thing she will eat, as she is afraid that harder food will break a loose tooth, although it has been fixed. Soon after, she has a seizure and dies.


Rutger Hauer and Monique van de Ven in June 1972


Filming locations included Amsterdam and Alkmaar in the Netherlands.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Nederlandse Films met Meeste Bioscoopbezoekers" (Dutch Films with the Greatest Audience), Alle Records (in Dutch). Accessed 4 April 2016.
  2. ^ a b Turks-fruit on the official website of the Netherlands Film Festival, in Dutch. Accessed 4 April 2016.
  3. ^ Calculated on the basis of historical data on the official Dutch statistics page, CBS - Statistics Netherlands, StatLine: "Population, households and population dynamics from 1899", which provides the figure of 13,388,000 as the total population of the Netherlands in 1973. Accessed 4 April 2016.
  4. ^ Turks fruit (film) at the Dutch Wikipedia
  5. ^ "The 46th Academy Awards (1974) Nominees and Winners". oscars.org. Retrieved 3 December 2011. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)

External linksEdit