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Beer on DVD  no.60

The Heineken Kidnapping/Kidnapping Freddy Heineken

At the moment Heineken is the world’s second biggest brewing group. The kidnapping in 1983 of the Dutch brewing billionaire Alfred “Freddy” Heineken for what was then the biggest ever ransom has inspired two films, 21 Days: the Heineken Kidnapping with Rutger Hauer made in Dutch with English subtitles in 2013 and Kidnapping Freddy Heineken with Anthony Hopkins in the title rôle made in English in 2014. Those sackloads of banknotes from the monster ransom prove to be quite a lumber. The lessons from the story are that in this life a man can have a lot of money or a lot of friends but he can’t have both, and also that a man loaded with such wealth really must give serious attention to security! It also transpires that from drinking on the job with trade customers, alcoholism was rife among Heineken sales reps. In the Dutch film there seems to be redemption for Freddy as he stops turning a blind eye to that staff drink problem, generally Freddy becomes more humane in his relationships and pulls back from his own womanising. The two gang members who evade capture by the Dutch police, escaping to France, then appear to wriggle free from extradition through French legal loopholes but get flown off to the Caribbean. If you are a fan of Death in Paradise, it’s that kind of place. Sint Maarten is approximately one half of the island of Saint Martin; the remaining northern half of the island - the Collectivity of Saint-Martin - is an overseas territory of France. The islanders do not like their homeland being abused by crooks and take the law into their own hands! Original titled De Heineken ontvoering, it is available through Amazon for around a fiver, although the Anthony Hopkins film is on offer for a lot less. Blu-ray versions are available.


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