Wat Zein Ik (1971) from Tuna

Wat Zein Ik (aka Business is Business) is Paul Verhoeven's first commercial feature film. He made a full-length romanticized Marine history for the Netherlands Marines while in the service, and had a TV series under his belt, when Rob Houwer approached him about directing for him. He wanted to do Turkish Delight, but Houwer thought it way too risky a project, and convinced him to do Wat Zein Ik. If successful, Houwer promised him Turkish Delight.  


Bierman shows breasts several times, and an unidentified hooker shows breasts in a scene where Ronnie gets into a cat fight with her and sprays her with champagne. One consistent element in Verhoeven films is lots of well-lit nudity, and this is no exception

DVD info from Amazon.

  • Widescreen anamorphic, 1.85:1

  • Full-length director commentary

  • director biography

Verhoeven agreed, but had a few challenges. The film was to based on a well-known book about the red light district in Amsterdam, but one that was about the gay side of the district. That changed. Verhoeven developed a story about hookers and their funnier tricks that did have some honest elements about the life (such as mean pimps), but was mostly a lighthearted comedy. He centered the story around Blonde Greet (played by Ronnie Bierman), and her associate who lived upstairs. 

While it does not have the edge and shock content of his later films, I found it an enjoyable watch.  

The Critics Vote

  • no reviews online

The People Vote ...

  • With their votes ... IMDB summary: IMDb voters score it 5.9 
IMDb guideline: 7.5 usually indicates a level of excellence, about like three and a half stars from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm watchability, about like two and a half stars from the critics. The fives are generally not worthwhile unless they are really your kind of material, about like two stars from the critics. Films under five are generally awful even if you like that kind of film, equivalent to about one and a half stars from the critics or less, depending on just how far below five the rating is.

My own guideline: A means the movie is so good it will appeal to you even if you hate the genre. B means the movie is not good enough to win you over if you hate the genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an open mind about this type of film. C means it will only appeal to genre addicts, and has no crossover appeal. D means you'll hate it even if you like the genre. E means that you'll hate it even if you love the genre. F means that the film is not only unappealing across-the-board, but technically inept as well.

Based on this description, this film is a C. Verhoeven fans need to see this, and foreign comedy fans who don't mind subtitles will also enjoy it.

Return to the Movie House home page