To Play or to Die

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Spelen of Sterven
(To Play or to Die)
To Play or To Die.jpg
DVD cover
Directed byFrank Krom
Produced by
  • Maria Peters
  • Hans Pos
  • Dave Schram
  • Jose Steen
Written by
  • Frank Krom
  • Anne van de Putte
Story byAnna Blaman
  • Geert Hunaerts
  • Tjebbo Gerritsma
Music by
  • Ferdinand Bakker
  • Kim Hayworth
CinematographyNils Post
Edited bySander Vos
Distributed byShooting Star Film Distribution BV
Release date
Running time
47 minutes

To Play or to Die (Dutch: Spelen of Sterven) is a 1990 Dutch gay-related psychological drama film directed by Frank Krom in his directorial debut and co-written by Krom and Anne van de Putte based on a story by Anna Blaman.


In this short motion picture, schoolboy Kees is intelligent, introvert and sensitive, but gets ridiculed verbally and physically at an all-boys school by mindlessly cocky class mates and even insensitive teachers, especially in gym, where his physical weakness is mercilessly abused to make him a defenceless laughing stock in front of his smirking peers. His awakening sexual interest goes to boys, and in particular to Charel, a beautiful athletic classmate who probably feels an undetermined interest but would never risk admitting (possibly not even to himself) having any gay or bi appreciation, least of all for a 'sissy', and thus remains unresponsive to shy Kees' overtures. When the hunk finally comes over to Kees' place while his parents are away, a desperate disappointment with a tragical twist is in the making.


  • Geert Hunaerts as Kees van Wouden
  • Tjebbo Gerritsma as Charel
  • Joost Hienen as Charel's friend
  • Cock van der Lee as Charel's friend
  • Mike Starink as Charel's friend
  • Marc van Uchelen as Charel's friend
  • Diane Lensink as Mother
  • Wim Van Der Grijn as Father
  • Hilde Van Mieghem as French Teacher
  • Titus Muizelaar as Phys. Ed. Teacher
  • Simon Gribling as Math. Teacher


While there are no critical reviews, the film received mixed reviews from audiences, holding a 17% rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 72 user reviews, with an average rating of 3.3/5.[1]


  1. ^ "To Play or to Die (1990)". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixster. Retrieved 25 December 2015.

External links[edit]