Pages

22 November 2013

Op hoop van zegen (1934)

Today, it's Postcard Friendship Friday on the net. A weekly event in which postcard blogs present themselves. Start at Beth's blog with the great title The Best Hearts Are Crunchy, and enjoy some rare vintage postcards that are preserved on the net by bloggers like me.

The early Dutch sound film Op hoop van zegen (Alex Benno, 1934) is the most famous film adaptation of the 1900 play by the same name. The film, starring senior actress Esther de Boer-van Rijk, won a special mention at the Venice Film Festival of 1935. There are four film adaptations of the play about a fishermen's tragedy, produced in 1918, 1924, 1934, and 1986. 

Esther de Boer-van Rijk in Op Hoop van Zegen
Dutch postcard by M.B. & Z / M.H.D. Film. Photo: Dick van Maarseveen, Den Haag. Publicity still for Op hoop van zegen (Alex Benno, 1934). Collection: Egbert Barten.

Esther de Boer van Rijk in Op Hoop van Zegen
Dutch postcard by M.B. & Z / M.H.D. Film. Photo: Dick van Maarseveen, Den Haag. Publicity still for Op hoop van zegen/The Good Hope (Alex Benno, 1934).

Esther de Boer van Rijk, 6
Dutch postcard by M.B. & Z. (M. Bonnist & Zonen, Amsterdam). Photo: Dick van Maarseveen, Den Haag / M.H.D. Film. Publicity still for Op Hoop van Zegen (Alex Benno, 1934). Collection Egbert Barten.

Herman Heijermans

The play Op Hoop van Zegen (1900) is still staged in the Netherlands, and it remains the most popular play by Herman Heijermans (1864–1924).

Heijermans was the leading Dutch dramatist at the close of the 19th century. He was a writer of strong realistic and socialistic tendencies who single-handedly brought Dutch theatre into the modern time.

Op Hoop van Zegen takes place in a fishing village. A conflict between the fishermen and their employer ends in tragedy with the unsound boat setting out to sea and sinking with all hands and the owner pocketing the insurance money.

The third film version of 1934 was the first sound version and is also the first too survive intact. Of the two silent versions, only bits and pieces remain.

Alex Benno, the director of the 1934 version, worked as a gopher on the 1918 version and also appeared as an extra.

It was his dream to make a sound version of the film and to use the same lead actress, Esther de Boer-van Rijk, who had become synonymous with the part of Kniertje on stage. Willem van der Veer, who played the youngest son Barendje in the 1918 version, was cast as the unscrupulous Reder Bos this time around.


Esther de Boer-van Rijk, Annie Verhulst, Op Hoop van Zegen
Dutch postcard by M.B. & Z. (M. Bonnist & Zonen, Amsterdam). Photo: Dick van Maarseveen, Den Haag / M.H.D. Film. Publicity still for Op Hoop van Zegen (Alex Benno, 1934). Collection: Egbert Barten.

Willem Hunsche, Anton Verheijen, August Kiehl, Op Hoop van Zegen
Dutch postcard by M.B. & Z. (M. Bonnist & Zonen, Amsterdam). Photo: Dick van Maarseveen, Den Haag / M.H.D. Film. Publicity still for Op Hoop van Zegen (Alex Benno, 1934). Collection: Egbert Barten.

Esther de Boer-van Rijk, Coen Hissink, Willem v.d. Veer, Op Hoop van Zegen
Dutch postcard by M.B. & Z. (M. Bonnist & Zonen, Amsterdam). Photo: Dick van Maarseveen, Den Haag / M.H.D. Film. Publicity still for Op Hoop van Zegen (Alex Benno, 1934). Collection: Egbert Barten.

Esther de Boer van Rijk, Aaf Bouber, Cissy van Bennekom, Clara Visscher, and Annie Verhulst, in Op Hoop van Zegen
Dutch postcard by M.B. & Z. (M. Bonnist & Zonen, Amsterdam). Photo: Dick van Maarseveen, Den Haag / M.H.D. Film. Publicity still for Op Hoop van Zegen (Alex Benno, 1934). Collection: Egbert Barten.

Esther de Boer-van Rijk

 

The star of the 1934 film version was the 80-year-old Esther de Boer-van Rijk, the most popular Dutch actress ever.
 
She had played the tragic fisherwoman Kniertje in the first performance of Op hoop van zegen on stage and the role had made a national icon of her. Through the years, she had played Kniertje again and again.
 
Driven by poverty and honour, Kniertje sends the last of her kin to sea. Her two sons will work on the ship Op Hoop van Zegen, of which some people in town doubt it is seaworthy.
 
She played Kniertje again in the first silent film version of 1918 directed by Maurits Binger and repeated the role in the 1934 sound version directed by Alex Benno. In the latter, the film actors Frits van Dongen and Jan van Ees played her two sons.
 
De Boer-van Rijk also appeared in a dozen more Dutch silent films, but Kniertje would always be her biggest success.


Jan van Ees, Esther de Boer-van Rijk, Op hoop van Zegen
Dutch postcard by M.B. & Z. (M. Bonnist & Zonen, Amsterdam). Photo: Dick van Maarseveen, Den Haag / M.H.D. Film. Publicity still for Op Hoop van Zegen (Alex Benno, 1934). Collection Egbert Barten.

Esther de Boer-van Rijk, Aaf Bouber in Op Hoop van Zegen
Dutch postcard by M.B. & Z. (M. Bonnist & Zonen, Amsterdam). Photo: Dick van Maarseveen, Den Haag / M.H.D. Film. Publicity still for Op Hoop van Zegen/The Good Hope (Alex Benno, 1934).

Esther de Boer-van Rijk, Frits van Dongen, Op Hoop van Zegen
Dutch postcard by M.B. & Z / M.H.D. Film. Photo: Dick van Maarseveen, Den Haag. Publicity still for Op hoop van zegen/The Good Hope (Alex Benno, 1934).

Aaf Bouber, Clara Visscher, Op hoop van zegen
Dutch postcard by M.B. & Z. (M. Bonnist & Zonen, Amsterdam). Photo: Dick van Maarseveen, Den Haag / M.H.D. Film. Publicity still for Op Hoop van Zegen (Alex Benno, 1934). Collection: Egbert Barten.

Sources: Wikipedia and IMDb.

1 comment:

Beth Niquette said...

Wow! In my background, on Dad's side, it is said we have Dutch relatives. I enjoyed these pictures of Esther--I had never heard of her. What an adorable little woman she was.

I do so appreciate all the time and work you put into your research. The pictures you find and those adorable postcards. I would have loved to have met that little actress--she looks like she would have been a hoot!

Happy Postcard Friendship Friday! It is GREAT to see you back!