Turkish Delight (1973): Verhoeven’s Erotic Romance, Starring Ruger Hauer in his Screen Debut

From Our Vaults:

Paul Verhoeven directed Turkish Delight, an erotic romantic from a screenplay by Gerard Soeteman, based on the 1969 novel Turks Fruit by Jan Wolkers.

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.

Turkish Delight is the most successful film in the history of Dutch cinema–it’s estimated that one fourth of the country’s population saw it.

In 1973 it was nominated for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar, but did not win. The winner was Truffaut’s comedy, Day for Night.

In the first scene, Eric, a sculptor, wakes up recalling a disturbing dream.

In the following scenes, he is seen picking up random women from the streets and taking them back to his studio for sex.

However, he is still distressed by his relationship with Olga, which the movie then recounts.

Verhoevem most recently directed Benedetta (Cannes Fest  World Premiere)

benedetta | Emanuel Levy

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