By the time Christopher Nolan’s “Batman Begins” (2005) came along, the vibrant warrior prince of the 1980s had become a sturdy character player in his sixties.
Check out Rotten Tomatoes: There are no reviews for Olmi’s film and no assessments of Hauer’s incredible titular performance as “Andreas,” a “clochard” or homeless drunk living rough on the streets of Paris. By the late ‘80s, when this Ermanno Olmi masterpiece won the much-deserved Golden Lion Award for best film in Venice, the American arthouse cinema world had receded so far into the past that this much-heralded but virtually unseen gem never even received a theatrical release in the U.S.
Its stature is immeasurably aided by Hauer’s staggering performance as the renegade “replicant,” “Roy Batty,” a humanoid ingeniously crafted by the Tyrell Corporation, but possessing something resembling a soul, the origin of which remains the central mystery of the film. Famously despised by its studio, dismissed by critics and ignored by “Star Wars”-besotted sci-fi fans when it was released, “Blade Runner” today stands as one of the greatest achievements in the history of the sci-fi film genre. One of the most powerful critics of the time, Pauline Kael, dismissed Ridley Scott’s masterpiece completely and called Hauer’s work a “gaga performance is an unconscious burlesque.”  Nearly 40 years later, the film and the performance both stand as towering achievements and Kael’s dismissal stands as astonishingly boneheaded.
But the real object of  Verhoeven’s attention is the elan vital of the aristocrat Erik (Hauer) and his friendship with Guus (Krabbe) as they thread the needle of social entanglements, betrayals and very lethal fascists on their doorstep. Built much like a 1940s Hollywood big screen adventure that would have starred Clark Gable and Douglas Fairbanks, “Orange” boasts two bigger-than-life performances from Hauer and fellow top-tier Dutch thesp Jeroen Krabbe. On the surface, “Orange” is a classic WWII actioner celebrating the plucky best of the Netherlands youth fighting against the evil Nazi empire. Less known than Paul Verhoeven’s edgy, raucous breakout hit, “Turkish Delight,” in many ways “Orange” is the film that really announced Verhoeven as a consummate film craftsman and an international cinema force to be reckoned with.
But although younger film buffs may know him better for the outre genre fare of his later years with titles like “Hobo With Shotgun” and “Scorpion King 4,” in his heyday, Hauer worked with some of international cinema’s finest directors and delivered performances that were simply astounding in their sensitivity and delicacy and a range for the ages, which meant Hauer could swing from outlandish sexual abandon to mournful, elegiac wistfulness, from dare-you-to-blink violent forcefulness to the wistful, forlorn toll of a life of regrets.
Top Brit critic Mark Cousins, a lonely voice in support of this almost completely lost '80s drama, sees Hauer’s performance as so central to the success of the film that he used the character in an open letter to Roeg as a key to the director’s creative intentions: “What do you think when you, the great artificer, see yourself?” asked Cousins. Central to the murder mystery in Brit auteur Nicolas Roeg’s film is the role of Claude, played by a cagey, wary and furtive Hauer. “Do you think of Rutger Hauer’s Claude Maillot Van Horn character in your film Eureka, who, when he sees himself in the mirror, says to his reflection 'I thought it might be you'? He just can’t escape himself, he longs for the rapture of self-loss.” Again, Hauer provides his character with layers and depths that make for a performance that lingers in the memory long after the film has played. He’s disappointed, isn’t he?
“Turkish Delight” (1973)
"Soldier of Orange" (1977)
After early stardom in his home country, he ventured to Hollywood and international films and delivered outstanding, timeless work, but his charisma, depth, and daring never translated into a career as a major European leading man in the same way as earlier Euro icons such as Jean-Paul Belmondo, Alain Delon and Marcello Mastroianni. In a perfect world, the versatile and hard-working (172 acting credits on imdb!) Dutch actor Rutger Hauer, who has died in the Netherlands from cancer, would have had a film or even a franchise that capitalized on his range and blonde good looks of his early years.
The wild, untamed vision of Verhoeven certainly would find a tough time getting financed and accepted by audiences today. That their frazzled, tortuous journey together achieves pathos and tenderness in the final frames is completely due to the fearless of Hauer and his equally dazzling co-star.” /> Very much part of the hippie counter-culture, free love and let’s burn down the world while we’re at it ethos of the '60s and early '70s, Hauer’s rude and rowdy adventurer is a Wilhelm Reich treatise in tight jeans and blousy shirts. Ah, youth. Still shocking today for its casual sadism sandwiched in between dollops of sexual abandon, Hauer’s Eric is matched at every turn by Monique van de Ven’s primal mate Olga.
"Legend of the Holy Drinker" (1988)
Here are five of his outstanding performances:
“Blade Runner” (1982)
When a surprise benefactor gifts him with enough money to wash up, shave, have a meal and begin to engage in a life of hope, Hauer’s rise and fall is a masterclass in great acting. Less known than the canon of Robert Bresson’s religious texts such as “Mouchette” and “Diary of a Country Priest,” “Holy Drinker” is simply a film miracle driven by Hauer’s remarkable performance. Which, in the hands of naturalistic maestro Olmi, means decidedly lower-case “a” acting as subtle and restrained as it gets. But there’s another dimension that lifts this into the class of the greatest films ever made on the subject of spirituality: Hauer plays a man infused with faith and goodness, a lost soul touched by the hand of God.
“Eureka” (1983)

A study by the Netherlands' Gaming Authority found four out of 10 loot boxes violated its Betting and Gaming Act, and publishers were forced to modify their titles there as well.” /> Fifteen gambling regulators from Europe, along with the Washington State Gambling Commission, recently signed an agreement to work together to address what they called "risks created by the blurring of lines between gaming and gambling." Belgium, meanwhile, banned loot boxes and threatened legal action against video game publishers if they didn't comply. Video game loot boxes have faced a lot of scrutiny over the last year in various countries.
“Protecting children from the harms that can come from gambling remains one of our highest priorities. In the areas we have regulatory control, we continue to strengthen the protections in place to prevent underage gambling, such as our recent proposals for enhanced age verifications checks for online gambling," said the Gambling Commission's executive director, Tim Miller.
The UK's Gambling Commission believes stronger efforts are needed to protect children from gambling, according to a new report it published on Wednesday. The study found the number of kids ages 11-16 classified with a gambling problem has more than quadrupled in the last two years, and video game loot boxes might share some of the blame.
About 39% said they spent their own money on gambling within the last year. About 14% of 11-16 year olds in the UK — approximately 450,000 of them — spent their own money on gambling in the past week, up from 12% in 2017, according to the study. An estimated 31% said they've opened loot boxes in a video game to try to acquire in-game items like cosmetic skins, while 3% said they've wagered with those items on skin betting sites. The Gambling Commission believes the ability to convert in-game items to cash, or to trade them for other items of value, gives them a real-world value, and it said it's taken action in the past against unlicensed websites using in-game items as methods for payment.
But all of them present risks to young people as there is no form of gambling that is risk-free. Some of these are legal, such as bets between friends; some of these are unlawful, such as gambling on machines in pubs. “But regulation alone cannot address all of the risks that young people may face from gambling. It is therefore vital that all those with a part to play in protecting children and young people – parents, businesses and regulators — work together.” Our latest research shows that the most common forms of gambling by children do not happen in gambling premises.

"Offering this type of game of chance to Dutch players without a license is prohibited," it said in a press release. "Moreover, the analyses that are currently available indicate that all of the loot boxes that were studied could be addictive." But, it added, there's no indication loot boxes are being opened on a large scale by problem players.
The Dutch Gaming Authority is now asking the video game industry to modify its products before the mid-June deadline.  ” /> It wants them to remove the addiction-sensitive elements ("almost winning" effects, visual effects, the ability to open multiple loot boxes quickly, etc.) and implement measures to protect minors and other vulnerable groups.
The Gaming Authority's study found some loot box prizes can also be traded outside of their games, giving them a market value. Their contents are usually random, which encourages players to spend more money as they pursue certain rewards. Loot boxes are digital treasure chests players can either earn in-game or buy with real-life cash, and they've become a common practice in the video game industry in recent years.
It's since overhauled the game's microtransaction and progression systems, but that hasn't stopped lawmakers in the U.S., the Netherlands, Australia, and elsewhere from pursuing regulations against what they consider "predatory practices" and "gambling for children." Fans were so incensed they blasted publisher Electronic Arts on Reddit, giving it the most downvoted comment in history. The Gaming Authority began investigating loot boxes in November after "Star Wars Battlefront II" caused widespread controversy over a microtransaction system many felt was unfair and exploitative. EA also reportedly lost an estimated $3.1 billion in stock value at the time.
It's now giving game publishers until June 20 to comply with the law or they could face "enforcement action." Four out of ten loot boxes found in video games recently studied by the Netherlands' Gaming Authority violated the country's Betting and Gaming Act, the organization revealed Thursday.