Crusade in Jeans (film)

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Crusade in Jeans
Film poster Crusade in Jeans.jpg
Film poster
Directed byBen Sombogaart
Written byChris Craps
Jean-Claude Van Rijckeghem
Thea Beckman (novel)
Distributed byUncommon Productions The Weinstein Company
Release date
16 November 2006
Box office$4,766,655

Crusade in Jeans (Dutch: Kruistocht in spijkerbroek) is a 2006 Dutch film, an adaptation of the first half of the book Crusade in Jeans by Thea Beckman. The film was directed by Ben Sombogaart. It is unknown whether a sequel, based on the second half of the book, will be produced.

Plot summary[edit]

Dolf is a 15-year-old boy from Rotterdam who plays for the junior national football team. At the beginning of the film, Dolf and his team are playing an important championship game against the Belgian team in the German city of Speyer, They were trailling by a goal, and got the chance to equalise in the final minutes which Dolf blew.

Dolf's mother works in a research centre in Rotterdam where a time machine has been developed. It allows an object, animal or person to be moved to a specified time and place in the past, and to bring them back again. But, a person moving to the past can only return to the present by being at an exact location at an exact time. Furthermore, a special medicine is needed daily to stay alive in the past.

Dolf decides to go back in time one day to replay the match, since he regularly visits his mother at the lab, assists with the work, guards know him, the iris scan authorization check lets him pass, and he knows his mother's password to the computer system. However, the activation of the system alarms the guards. Dolf manages to operate the machine just in time before the guards can stop him, but in his haste he accidentally enters the password instead of the destination date, and consequently travels to the year 1212. He ends up at the location of the present-day football stadium, not far from the city of Speyer, which already existed then.

After being attacked by vagabonds and being saved by a girl named Jenne, Dolf joins Jenne in the Children's Crusade: 8,000 children traveling from Germany to Jerusalem to pray for the city's deliverance from the Muslims. The crusade is led by Nicolaas, a teenaged boy with visions, and an adult priest, Father Anselmus. Although it is a long detour, Anselmus has decreed that the children will travel to Jerusalem via Genoa, where Nicolaas expects the sea to part, so the children can walk to the Holy City. What the children don't know is that Anselmus has secretly planned to sell the children to slave traders in Genoa, instead of bringing them to Jerusalem.

During the crusade, Dolf applies his modern-day knowledge to save the lives of many children, battling disease, kidnappers and hunger. He even saves one of the leaders, Prince Carolus, from drowning. All this helps him gain the respect of the children and Nicolaas. However, Anselmus and his bodyguard Vick are intent on discrediting Dolf and try to destroy his reputation whenever they can. Outside Genoa, they finally succeed in making Nicolaas and the other children believe Dolf is an agent of the devil, who should be executed. Dolf manages to escape his execution at the last moment with the help of Jenne and Carolus and finally uncovers Anselmus' plan to sell the children as slaves.

Meanwhile, Dolf's mother succeeds in sending him a message telling him the date and place of his return, after learning of his deeds and whereabouts in a mediaeval manuscript by Thaddeus, a monk whom Dolf has befriended. Although Dolf and Jenne succeed in getting to the location on time, a fight with the slave traders erupts and Dolf is forced to leave Jenne behind in 1212 and return to the present alone.

Back home, Dolf manages to persuade his mother to let him go back to 1212 in order to get Jenne. His mother agrees and Dolf leaves for 1212 once more, setting a new time and place for his return. In European territories the film ends here. For American audiences, an extra scene was added in which Dolf has once again returned to the present, this time with Jenne. He is seen replaying the football match he lost in the beginning of the film, with Jenne cheering him on in the crowd.


Alterations from the book[edit]

Book Movie
Dolf deliberately goes to the Middle Ages hoping to attend a tournament in Montgivray, France, and is authorized by the researchers to do so. Dolf sneakily uses the time machine only to go back a few hours so he can replay the soccer game he lost but ends up in the Middle Ages.
Dolf is from Amstelveen. Once in 1212 he uses the name Rudolf Wega from Amstelveen Dolf is from Rotterdam. Once in 1212 he uses the name Dolf, son of the Duke of Rotterdam.
The time machine is built by a friend of his father’s. The time machine is built by his mother.
Dolf's best friends in 1212 are Leonardo Fibonacci da Pisa, and Mariecke, who is about 10 years old. Leonardo is not present. The name of Mariecke is changed to Jenne, she is older and he is in love with her.
Once in the Middle Ages Dolf rescues Leonardo who is being attacked. Dolf uses a bread knife he took from his own time to eliminate the attackers. Mariecke is one of the crusaders whom he meets in the crusader’s camp that night. Dolf is being attacked by highwaymen and rescued by Jenne who knocks out (or kills?) the attackers with a slingshot.
Carolus dies of appendicitis. Dolf rescues several children who couldn’t swim and almost drowned in a river. He is helped by Peter, who later becomes his friend. Carolus almost died in a lake as he cannot swim, but is reanimated by Dolf.
In the book the journey continues after Genoa. Dolf returns to 2006 when he is in Genoa and the film is about to end.
The book ends once Dolf is back in his own time. He doesn’t have the intention of bringing someone with him.
  • European version: Dolf returns to 2006 after he just escaped from slave traders. In his own time he realizes Jenne is caught by those traders and decides to go back to save her. The film ends.
  • USA version: Dolf leaves for 1212 again, and returns to 2006 with Jenne. The film ends by showing him playing the match he had previously lost, with Jenne cheering for him in the crowd.
Dolf trades his Dutch guilders for silver money so he can pay the baker. Dolf pays the baker with his iPod.
There are two immoral monks. The second monk confesses the real intentions due to remorse. There is one monk and his assistant Vick. Vick reveals the real intentions under compulsion.
Dolf struggles with the language used in the Middle Ages (and vice versa) and needs to learn. There is no language difference.
Dolf does not experience health problems caused by the time travelling. Dolf needs to take special tablets as his DNA is affected due to the time travelling.

Filming locations[edit]

Filming locations included the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Hungary, Germany and Croatia.



External links[edit]

Preceded by
Black Book
Golden Calf for Best long feature film
Succeeded by
Everything is Love