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Talk of Liz and Audrey leads to ‘Soldier of Orange’

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Posted: Friday, March 25, 2011 12:43 pm

We were discussing Liz Taylor this week in the newsroom, and eventually came around to a movie I greatly admire and strongly recommend: "Soldier of Orange."

It began with idle chat about Taylor, who passed away this week at 79 after many years of being known for her work on behalf of AIDS and her assorted health and personal challenges.

Yet in her younger years she was in fact a fine actress who won two academy awards. Her performance in Edward Albee's "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" was scalding - and superb. She won another Oscar for her work in "Butterfield 8."

That began a debate over who was the better actress, Liz or Audrey Hepburn, who only won one Oscar, for "Roman Holiday," in 1953.

In Audrey's favor, Dan Evans, my fellow royal battler and our photo chief, asserted that she had worked on behalf of the the Dutch underground during World War II.

And that conjured Soldier of Orange, one of those movies that sticks with you for life. I saw it soon after it was released in 1977, a stark but poignant depicton of Dutch students during World War II, including several who were in the Dutch resistance. The film captures courage, cowardice, compliance and defiance.

The movie was directed by Paul Verhoeven and has so much genuine gravitas compared to his later work, which includes "Total Recall," "Robocop," and "Starship Troopers."

Anyone care to join the debate on Liz v. Audrey?