De Jantjes (1922)



Drama about three sailors who struggle to setlle down after returning to their hometown.

Three sailors, known in the working-class quarter De Jordaan as Dries De Dolle (Crazy Dries), Manus De Schele (Cross-eyed Manus) and Toon De Blauwe (Blue Toon), return to Amsterdam. Dries will see his girlfriend Greet, the owner of a small laundry. Manus hopes against hope that his girl Jans has been faithful to him. Toon's homecoming is dismal because his wealthy father rejects him on account of his dissolute life.

During the absence of Dries, Greet has been courted unsuccessfully by Leendert, the pampered pet of his mother known as Auntie Piet, who runs the local pub. Piet browbeats her husband Gerrit, treats her poor relation Doortje as a drudge and idolizes her wastrel son. Determined that Leendert will marry Greet, Piet whispers in the ear of Betje that Greet is "indecent". However, when Betje tells her son Dries, he will not believe such gossip.

In the pub one evening, when Leendert importunes Greet, Dries knocks him down. In the ensuing fight a knife is drawn. Policemen intervene and Dries is taken to gaol. Making use of the street-singers Na Druppel and De Mop, Piet spreads the rumour that Greet has been seen dancing with many men. When Dries is released, he asks Greet whether the story is true. She admits that she went to the dance-hall, but is given no chance to explain why.

Disillusioned, Dries tells Manus and Toon that he intends to enlist as a colonial soldier. His comrades, equally unhappy in Amsterdam - Manus because of the way Jans treats him, Toon because he cannot find work - agree to join up at the same time. In a melancholy frame of mind the three mates leave for the Dutch East Indies, where they spend the following six years. When their term of service expires, the young men set off for Holland and home.

Only two return, as Toon dies on the ship, a victim of his alcoholism and the tropical climate. Greet eagerly awaits the arrival of Dries. He has a surprise for her, namely the two half-blood children he has fathered. Greet has a similar surprise for him, namely that she is a widow and a mother. Nevertheless, their reunion is soon followed by an exuberant wedding.


original title
De Jantjes
production year
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Technical notations

censorship length
Black & White


G. Donaldson, Of Joy and Sorrow. A Filmography of Dutch Silent Fiction, Amsterdam (1997), p. 219

Centrale Commissie voor de Filmkeuring (Nationaal Archief; 1198)

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