About a man and his flying machine hanging on by their fingernails in Curaçao island. The guy loads full up and, for some reason, solo crosses the ocean by transferring fuel from drums en route. After taking all that trouble he only arrives in Holland and gets out again ASAP. Very much in the tradition of Ernie Gann, with splendid Forester-like understatements.
all movie photos on this page © 1974 by Harrie Verstappen
all rights reserved
Willeke van Ammelrooij - Diana Marlet
Bob Verstraete - Helmert Woudenberg
Monique van de Ven
Wim Verstappen, 1974
The best movie Wim made. It swings. It has the two only moments I have ever experienced in Dutch movies that catch my breath. All that is only my opinion - the audiences did not seem to agree; a terrible flop eating up half the money Pim & Wim made on Blue Movie. Those things are habit forming - later Pim made Wan Pipel which took good care of the remaining half.
As of late, the film has not done so bad at all.
The movie is both famous and notorious. It has been calledWhat Wim had in mind when he started out was more like a fast-action adventure movie. Is this change in the end result for better or for worse? What's the use of even wondering. What I do know is that, when it was all over, I told Wim to submit the movie to the Barcelona color film festival (I had rather good contacts in Spain at the time). He asked:the best Dutch movie feature ever made(which may not be saying much); then also, there was some slight trouble caused by camera person Jan de Bont and acting person Monique van de Ven. This resulted in so many production problems that the end result was totally different from the original script.
Film critic Fred van Doorn dubbed the filmthe Dutch Cleopatra. Farsighted words indeed... After Dakota was re-released in 2005 by the Nederlands Filmmuseum, it did much better than originally, just like Cleopatra.
So many people have asked me about the background story of the production that I finally wrote and uploaded it.
In the Wings of Dakota
the story behind the productionBut why?I said:It's a color film, ain't it?Then he got the Grand Award or whatever it was called. But the film had flopped long before then (and when he died, the prize statuette had disappeared long since.)
I used the trusty 6x9 cm SLR Rittreck with a Fujica 690 and, for the first time, Kodacolor negative. This enabled me to print B/W stills on Kodak Panalure paper - wonderful stuff: panchromatic and absolutely loaded with silver. Also, no duped internegatives! You could not possibly know, in these digital days, what a break that was. As far as I know the first Dutch movie to carry the title info on the B/W press stills, just like in Hollywood, folks! I built a contraption to achieve that, as I printed from original negatives only; no contact dupes. Work photos, both B/W and Ektachrome EF, on the Contaflex Alpha, Zeiss lenses.
waiting, as usual
photo courtesy Ulli Ullrich/make-up
Director - Wim Verstappen
camera - Jan de Bont/Theo van de Sande
light - Cor Roothart/Fred Petri
camera assistants - Werner Leckebusch
Marc Felperlaan/Peter Brugman
sound - Kees Linthorst
sound effects - Walter Kramsky
mix - Peter Vink/Cinetone
make-up - Ulli Ullrich
stills - Harrie Verstappen
set-dressing - Els Mes
costumes - Marjan Bos/B&B Styling/Puck en Hans
production accountants - Anneke van Doorn/George Samander
production assistants - Ben Willems/Cedric Vonk/Jan Musch
Chass Vermeulen Windsant
flyers PH-MAG Sander Verburg/Dick de Boer
flight engineer - Ben van de Schinkel
chase-plane - Wim ter Hart
screenplay - Charles Gormley/Jan Verstappen
Harrie Verstappen/Johnny Rankin
story - Wim Verstappen
editing - Jutta Brandtstaedter/Inge van Santen Kolff
titles - Jolijn van de Wouw
Technicolor - Techniscope
music - Antoine Duhamel
assistant director - Olga Madsen
production executive - Frans Rasker
producer - Pim de la Parra
$corpio Films 1974, 103 min.
Willeke van Ammelrooy
Monique van de Ven
Dora van der Groen
Harcourt "Curaçao" Nichols
Wim de Meijer
Marlies van Alcmaer
Monique's voice - Etha Coster
When you love flyers and flying, you ought to read
Ernest K. Gann
a few films based on him and his work:
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