QB VII (1974– )
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Not an easy thing to prove because since World War II, Hopkins, an anti-Communist Polish refugee has been knighted by the Queen for his humanitarian work among the Arab desert tribes. That's probably no accident he chose to settle there with his wife Leslie Caron and son who grows up to be Anthony Andrews. The shifting sands of the Cold War has made such charges tinged with political overtones.
Gazzara is author Leon Uris inserted into the novel and Uris himself doesn't paint a flattering portrait. He's one of Jewish heritage who is not terribly religious. Gazzara married a British girl, Juliet Mills, who was a nurse seeing to his recovery and they have a son who grows up to be Kristoffer Tabori. Gazzara becomes a hack Hollywood screenwriter and gets rich and bored. But he then writes an epic Jewish novel the way Leon Uris wrote Exodus of deeply researched historical fiction and he names Hopkins and what he allegedly did.
This is by no means a strange phenomenon. From the Fifties through the Nineties we heard stories of former Nazis turning up in all kinds of places and in plain sight, not hiding in the deep recesses of Argentina or Paraguay which seemed to be favored by Nazis of higher rank and profile like Dr. Mengele. The President of Austria in the Eighties, Kurt Waldheim had his Nazi past uncomfortably exposed once he was in office. And Ivan Demjanjuk at the ripe old age of 95 after years as an automobile worker in the USA just got sentenced for his war crimes. I doubt we'll be seeing too many more though.
QB VII got a flock of Emmy Awards and nominations including in the Supporting Acting category for Juliet Mills and Anthony Quayle who plays the barrister representing Gazzara. His cross examination scene with Hopkins is devastating. And of course Gazzara and Hopkins are at their usual sterling best.
QB VII marked the farewell performance of Jack Hawkins who had for several years performed without a voice box due to throat cancer which finally claimed him. In QB VII a voice similar to his was used which was not always the case. In a sense this film is his because Hawkins plays the judge presiding over the court in QB VII.
This mini-series holds up very well today and I recommend it highly for viewers who are interested in Holocaust justice and the unfortunate politics that sometimes accompanies it.
Many may have forgotten this outstanding (early) performance (as the hapless Adam Kelno) by Anthony Hopkins (who just doesn't seem to age!), who also appeared in a fine mini-series in this era about the kidnapping of the Lindbergh baby. Hopkins played Bruno Hauptmann, the man who was convicted for the kidnapping and murder.
The plot is based on a real-life lawsuit against Uris following the publication of his novel EXODUS. Dr. Adam Kelno is a very well-respected medical doctor who was knighted for his humanitarian work. However, the writer Abe Cady writes a novel that names Kelno, among others, as having committed was crimes while working for the Nazis many years earlier. The central questions of the series are DID Kelno work for the Nazis and IF he did, was he the benevolent man he claims to have been or a monster who was NOT forced to commit atrocities.
Ben Gazzara and Anthony Hopkins are fantastic and the make-up job on Anthony Hopkins is phenomenal as the artist has him look the way he does now and the show is 25 years old.
Very good entertainment that moves along at a rapid pace.