Magic realistic thriller, adapted from the novel by Gerard Reve, revolves around the themes of homosexuality and fear of dying. De vierde man tells of an erratic homosexual writer who gets entangled in an affair with an admirer of his. He finds out that all three of her husbands died in accidents. Owing to the film's superior style - Verhoeven was compared with famous directors like Kubrick, Hitchcock and Bergman - it won awards at several foreign festivals. It was his last Dutch film, before he left for Hollywood.
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