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THE NASTY GIRL was given a PG certificate in the cinema and on its previous video release in 1992. However, this new release contains what the BBFC describes as "one use of very strong language" - due to a different subtitle translation) which has caused the certificate to be raised to (15).
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The Nasty Girl
cast: Lena Stolze, Hans-Reinhard Muller, Monika Baumgartner, Michael Gahr, and Elizabeth Bertram

writer and director: Michael Verhoeven

90 minutes (15) 1989 widescreen ratio 14:9
Fremantle / Arrow DVD Region 2 retail

RATING: 8/10
reviewed by Gary Couzens
Sonja (Lena Stolze) wins a school essay competition. For a follow-up, she decides to write about 'My Town Under the Third Reich'. She thinks she's going to write a story of everyday heroism, but soon becomes aware from the opposition she faces that some people have a lot to hide...

The Nasty Girl (aka: Das schreckliche Mädchen) is inspired by a true story, though all names are changed. An introductory caption states that the film is set in Bavaria, as that is where director Michael Verhoeven (not to be confused with his Dutch namesake Paul) grew up. It began life as a TV project, but Verhoeven spotted its potential and the importance of its subject, and the story became a theatrical production, with the director financing the extra costs himself. It gained an Oscar nomination and to this day remains Verhoeven's most successful film outside Germany. Verhoeven uses alienation effects as part of his story - addresses to camera by Sonja, deliberately artificial front projection - and his use of humour doesn't disguise the seriousness of his intent.

The film is presented on DVD in an aspect ratio of 1.55:1 (14:9) and is not anamorphically enhanced. That isn't a cinema ratio - the film looks composed for 1.85:1 to these eyes - but the position of the subtitles (large and yellow) prevents you from zooming the picture any wider, unless you are fluent in German. The soundtrack is the original mono, and nothing wrong with that. Extras: the trailer and a 21-minute interview with Michael Verhoeven, both with optional English subtitles.

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