Rutger Hauer Johan Nagel
Sylvia Kristel Dany Kielland
David Rappaport Grogard
Rita Tushingham Martha Gude
Andréa Ferréol Kamma
Kees Brusse Dr. Stenersen
Liesbeth List Mrs.Stenersen
Fons Rademakers Chief Constable
Adrian Brine Innkeeper
Peter Faber Karlsen
Lex van Delden Student
Marina de Graaf Sara
One day in the year 1891 Johan
Nagel makes his entrance in a quiet coastal town. He's a mysterious figure,
arrogant in his appearance, yet tormented underneath, who will become a catalyst
that brings to the surface all the hidden impulses, thoughts and darker feelings
of the local people.
Soon after his arrival, he and Grogard (nicknamed 'Midget' by the townsmen) become friends, and Nagel falls in love with the local beauty named Dany, a femme fatale whose intrigues have already brought an adorer to killing himself. They become entangled in Dany's game of attraction and rejection, but little by little Nagel's driven to madness by the situation. He tries to forget her, and he asks the slightly eccentric and isolated living woman Martha Gude to marry him. She agrees, but changes her mind the next day - under the influence of Dany, as he finds out.
In his despair, Nagel tries to commit suicide, suffering from hallucinations and finally, one night, he jumps into the sea. Minuut, who acts as the narrator in this story, revenges Nagel's death by throwing a caustic acid in Dany's face, disfeaturing her for life.
The film is based on the book by
the Norwegian Nobel Literature Prize winner
Knut Hamsun (1859-1952).
It was shot on location on the Isle of Man.
Song: 'Lascia Ch'lo Pianga' (G.F. Händel) by Liesbeth List - Mrs. Stenersen in the movie,
other music: 'Prelude' (Chopin).
Originally, the producers wanted Terence Stamp to play the leading part of Nagel, but he was unavailable. Rutger Hauer and Sylvia Kristel decided to renounce their usual fees and became co-financiers.
Première: 7 September 1978.