Paul Verhoeven

Paul Verhoeven graduated from the University of Leiden with a degree in math and physics. He entered the Royal Netherlands Navy, where he began his film career by making documentaries for the Navy and later for TV. In 1969, he directed the popular Dutch TV series, Floris (1969), about a medieval knight. This featured actor Rutger Hauer, who has appeared in many of Verhoeven’s later films. Verhoeven’s first feature, Wat zien ik (1971) (trans. “What do I See?”), was released in 1971. However, his second, Turks fruit (1973), with its combination of raw sexuality and a poignant story-line, gained him great popularity in the Netherlands, especially with male audiences.

When his films, especially Soldaat van Oranje (1977) and De vierde man (1983), received international recognition, Verhoeven moved to the US. His first US film was Flesh+Blood (1985) in 1985, but it was RoboCop (1987) and, especially, Total Recall (1990) that made him a big box office success. Sometimes accused of portraying excessive violence in his films, Verhoeven replies that he is only recording society’s violence. Verhoeven has co-scripted two of his movies: Soldaat van Oranje (1977) and Flesh+Blood (1985). He also directed an episode of the HBO The Hitchhiker (1983) TV series. Several of his films have been photographed by Jost Vacano, including the hit cult film, Starship Troopers (1997), starring Casper Van Dien.