The Fourth Man (1983)

PAUL VERHOEVEN

Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBB.5

Original title:  De Vierde Man

The Netherlands, 1983.  , .  Screenplay by , based on the novel by .  Cinematography by .  Produced by .  Music by .  Production Design by .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by National Board of Review Awards 1984.  Toronto International Film Festival 1983.

In this highly enjoyable, overwhelmingly stylish film, plays a successful writer who accepts a gig giving a lecture to a book society in a small town outside of Amsterdam.  He meets a mysteriously sexy beauty salon owner with whom he spends a night and with whom he decides to stay; when he spots a photo of her hot young boyfriend, it becomes his do-or-die mission to lure the young man into their conjugal nest and have his way with him too.  Unfortunately he also begins to have horrible visions of his lady paramour causing him harm, visions that become genuinely threatening when he discovers that our heroine is a femme fatale with three dead husbands. It’s as shallow as a puddle and not fully satisfying in its conclusion, but the high style with which it is told is enough to hold you, and the performances are wonderful.

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