The 4th Man
Gerard Reve is a well-known and controversial author who thinks of death constantly. He's invited to speak at a literary society, and accepts. There, he meets the treasurer Christine, a wealthy widow, and after the speech, the two go back to her place. The next morning as he's about to leave, Gerard sees a picture of a man in Christine's papers. He questions her about him, and learns his name is Herman and that he is one of her lovers. Obsessed with the image of Herman, Gerard decides to stay and asks Christine to invite Herman over to spend the week with them, in the hopes of getting Herman all to himself. But over the course of the next few days, Gerard finds himself surrounded by symbols of death, even in his dreams. When he uncovers the information that Christine has been married three times and that all three men died of mysterious circumstances, Gerard fears for his life and tries to escape before he becomes the fourth man.
The 4th Man is a stunning combination of eroticism, symbolism, and surreal imaginary. Verhoeven and cinematographer Jan de Bont have done a fantastic job of mixing in religious symbols throughout the film, giving it another layer of complexity. The main mystery of the film – is Christine really a killer or is Gerard just overly intoxicated and paranoid? – is quite suspenseful and interesting, thanks in no small part to the terrific acting all around. Though not rated, the film does contain male and female nudity and both hetero- and homo- sexual situations.