Paul Verhoeven

Film Director


Dutch American Heritage Award 2001 Recipient

Paul Verhoeven is one of the most provocative, daring, challenging, and controversial storytellers creating film entertainment today. Director of four of the most successful Dutch films ever made, he is now one of the most noted, influential filmmakers in Hollywood. His widely seen work ranges from Basic Instinct to Starship Troopers. As diverse as his filmography may appear, each of his films reflects uncompromising vision, fascination with life’s moral dilemmas, and passion for the cinema. He has developed a reputation as a director, whose unrestrained work is honest and often brutal with frank depictions of sexuality and violence.

Verhoeven was born in Amsterdam during the dark years of WW II. He became interested in movies during his years at the University of Leiden, where he earned his Doctorate in Mathematics in 1964 and directed student films.

Serving with the Royal Dutch Navy, he was assigned to the Marine Film Service and selected to make a celebratory film marking the tercenary of the Marine Corps which was honored with the Silver Sun for military films in France. But it was the television series Floris (1969) that established Paul Verhoeven on a popular national scale:

The director segued into feature films with the comedy Business is Business [Wat Zien Ik?, 1971), followed by Turkish Delight (Turks Fruit, 1973), Cathy Tippel (Keetje Tippel, 1974) and Soldier of Orange (Soldaat van Oranje, 1977), Spotters, (1980) The Fourth Man (De Vierde Man, 1983), and his first American-financed film. Flesh and Blood (1985).

In the mid-eighties Verhoeven emigrated to the United States where he established his reputation with an international mega-hit. RoboCop.  His next project, Total Recall, earned 2 Oscar nominations and received an Academy Award® for its dazzling special effects.

Before returning to the science fiction genre with the entertaining and politically challenging Starship Troopers (1998), Verhoeven directed the psychological thriller. Basic Instinct and the highly controversial Showgirls (1995). He recently completed the visually stunning Hollow Man (2000) and is at work on a number of projects, among which film versions of novels by Guy de Maupassant and the immensely popular Russian detective novelist, Boris Akunin.

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