FLESH+BLOOD
1985, Park Circus/MGM, 126 min, Dir: Paul Verhoeven

It’s 1501, and the world is full of mercenaries, peasants and pestilence. True to its title, Paul Verhoeven presents the darkest of ages, a brutally realistic story of the struggle for life, complete with rape, murder, starvation and the Black Death. Rutger Hauer, in one of his finest roles, portrays the leader of a band of mercenaries, who seeks revenge for a nobleman’s (the excellent Jack Thompson) betrayal by kidnapping and brutalizing his son's (Tom Burlinson) bride to be. Jennifer Jason Leigh shines as the strong willed Agnes. Based in part on unused material for the Dutch TV series "Floris," which Gerard Soeteman, Paul Verhoeven and Rutger Hauer collaborated on in 1969. Watch for the amazing performance by Susan Tyrell as an onlooker to one of the films most brutal and controversial scenes. The late Basil Poledouris contributes perhaps his best score. Although Verhoeven later denied any connection, some critics at the time of release pointed out allegorical similarities to Patty Hearst’s abduction by the SLA.


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