Paul Verhoeven - Details


Paul VerhoevenPAUL VERHOEVEN is one of the most provocative, daring, challenging and controversial storytellers creating film entertainment today. Director of four of the most successful Dutch films ever made, he is now one of the most noted, influential filmmakers in Hollywood.

His widely seen work ranges from "Basic Instinct" to "Total Recall." As diverse as his filmography may appear, each of his films reflects uncompromising vision, fascination with life's moral dilemmas and passion for the cinema. He has developed a reputation as a director whose unrestrained work is honest and often brutal with frank depictions of sexuality and violence.

Verhoeven was born in Amsterdam during the dark years of World War II. He became interested in movies during six years at the University Of Leiden, where he earned a doctorate in mathematics and physics in 1964 and did early short films.

Serving with the Royal Dutch Navy, he was assigned to the Marine Film Service as a documentary filmmaker. The highlight of this period was Verhoeven's selection to make a celebratory film marking the tercentenary of the Marine Corps. The grand scale result was "The Marine Corps" ("Het Korps Mariniers"), a stunning, 23-minute documentary honored with the Silver Sun for military films in France.

Returning to civilian life now dedicated to a life behind the camera, Verhoeven entered Dutch television. It was "Floris" that established Paul Verhoeven on a popular national scale--the 12-episode television adventure series about a medieval Dutch Ivanhoe became a phenomenon.

The director segued into feature films with "Business Is Business" (also known as "Any Special Way" "Wat Zien Ik"). The 1971 comedy remains the fourth highest grossing Dutch-made film. This movie was followed by the 1973 release "Turkish Delight" ("Turks Fruit"), "Cathy Tippel" (also known a "A Girl Called Keetje Tippel") and "Soldier Of Orange" ("Soldaat Van Oranje"), which is universally regarded as one of the finest Dutch films ever made.

After making "Gone, Gone" ("Voorbij, Voorbij") for television, Verhoeven again grabbed headlines and created long lines at the boxoffice with his film, "Spetters," in 1980. "The Fourth Man" ("De Vierde Man") followed, as did "Flesh + Blood," his first American financed film.

His next movie was an international mega-hit. "RoboCop," the science fiction saga of a police officer turned into a destructive machine, was a slick, lively, tongue-in-cheek film about resurrection that struck a chord with audiences around the world. It was a box office champion for audiences and critics and the summer hit of 1987.

The director followed "RoboCop" with another blockbuster, "Total Recall." Opening in 1990, it also became the hit of the summer season. Starring Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sharon Stone, the tale of mind-tampering in the 21st century earned two Oscar® nominations and received the Academy Award® for its dazzling special effects.

Those waiting to see what this relative newcomer to Hollywood could do next soon witnessed "Basic Instinct," the No. 1 worldwide box office smash of 1992. Starring Michael Douglas and Sharon Stone, the powerful, provocative drama was arguably the most talked-about film of the year.

Controversy followed the filmmaker into 1995 with his tale of the dark side of Las Vegas titled "Showgirls," a picture that lifted the veil from the famed city's scarred face. Prior to "Hollow Man," Verhoeven returned to the science-fiction genre with the robust and rousing entertainment "Starship Troopers."

Paul Verhoeven's work reflects 21st century existence, with mixed messages, blurred lines between dreams and reality, and no neat resolutions.


  • 18th July 1938 - Birth