Monday, January 20, 2014

The Boys from Brazil (1978)

Director: Franklin J. Schaffner

Writers: Ira Levin, Heywood Gould

Composer: Jerry Goldsmith

Starring: Gregory Peck, Laurence Olivier, James Mason, Lili Palmer, Uta Hagen, Steve Guttenberg, Denholm Elliott, Rosemary Harris, John Dehner, John Rubinstein, Anne Meara, Jeremy Black, Bruno Ganz, Walter Gotell, Michael Gough, Prunella Scales

More info: IMDb

Tagline: If they survive...will we?

Plot:  Barry Kohler, a young Nazi hunter, tracks down a group of former SS officers meeting in Paraguay in the late 1970s. The Nazis, led by Dr Mengele, are planning something. Old Nazi hunter, Ezra Lieberman, is at first uninterested in Kohler's findings. But when he is told something of their plan, he is eager to find out more. Lieberman visits several homes in Europe and the U.S. in order to uncover the Nazi plot. It is at one of these houses he notices something strange, which turns out to be a horrible discovery.

My rating: 6.5/10

Will I watch it again? Probably not.

Wow.  I've just watched this for the last time.  I always dug the picture before having seen it probably a half dozen times.  It's probably because of Jerry Goldsmith's fantastic score, one of his many greats.  This time it's the acting that got to me.  I don't care for Olivier's performance of Lieberman. It feels too over the top and, at times, silly.  Am I the only one who thinks that?  The guy's a great actor but this feels like a caricature.  Then you've got Gregory Peck being too monstrous. It seems to me that having them both play closer to the middle, rather than extremes, would provide for much more interesting performances. James Mason rocks, though, and so does Jerry Goldsmith's score.  While I'm not wild about the ending (the scene with the death of you-know-who), I did like the few minutes that happened afterward. The story is ridiculous when you think about it but that's not necessary to have a good picture.  It's all in the individual pieces that make up the big picture.  Schaffner was a great director but it takes more than that to make a good picture.  I really want this to be one of them but, as of last night, I'm seeing the defects. But, hey!  It's got a great Jerry Goldsmith score!!!

No comments:

Post a Comment