123 user 53 critic

The Boys from Brazil (1978)

A Nazi hunter in Paraguay discovers a sinister and bizarre plot to rekindle the Third Reich.


(novel), (screenplay)

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Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 1 win & 10 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Esther Lieberman
Frieda Maloney
Barry Kohler (as Steven Guttenberg)
Sidney Beynon
Mrs. Doring
David Bennett
Mrs. Curry
Jeremy Black ...
Professor Bruckner


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. Written by Rob Hartill

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

nazi | nazi hunter | paraguay | 1970s | jew | See All (67) »


If they survive...will we?


Drama | Thriller


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

6 October 1978 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Los niños del Brasil  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$12,000,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


The nickname of Gregory Peck's character Dr. Joseph Mengele was "The Angel of Death". See more »


When the geneticist is talking to Lieberman, he tells him that twins raised separately have exactly opposite personalities when, in fact, they have been shown to have quite similar personalities. See more »


Ezra Lieberman: You're not a guard now, madame! You are a prisoner! I may leave here today empty handed. But you... are not going anywhere.
See more »


Referenced in Justice League: Question Authority (2005) See more »


Music by Jerry Goldsmith
Lyrics by Hal Shaper
Sung by Elaine Paige
See more »

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User Reviews

Engaging mystery with impressive performances
5 April 2000 | by (Lexington, KY) – See all my reviews

Young Nazi-hunter Barry Kohler (Steve Guttenberg) is tracking war criminals in Paraguay when he discovers that the old Nazis seem to be plotting something big. Kohler's fears are confirmed when the Nazis' guest of honor arrives: the infamous concentration camp scientist Josef Mengele (Gregory Peck). Mengele order his followers to carry out the murders of over 90 men, all of whom are 65-year-old civil servants, none of whom are Jews.

Kohler phones his idol, Ezra Lieberman (Laurence Olivier), with a report of what he's uncovered. Lieberman has fallen on hard times and lives in a leaky apartment where he cannot pay the rent. He's spent his life following every lead about Nazi war criminals and is tired of the chase. However, when Kohler's call (and his life) are abruptly cut short, Lieberman knows he must act.

He begins to investigate the bizarre plot. Why should Mengele want to kill these men who seem entirely unconnected to each other or the war? Why 65-year-olds? Why civil servants? Sadly many of the blurbs about this movie give away the solution to this mystery and the meaning of the title, but the mystery is much more engaging if the viewer unravels it along with Lieberman.

Olivier is fantastic in his role! He always put as much effort into his roles in genre films like this one, "Marathon Man," and "Dracula" as he devoted to Shakespeare, and it shows. He is thoroughly convincing as an elderly German Jew. Gregory Peck is also magnificent; he radiates pure evil. The top-notch supporting cast includes James Mason and Denholm Elliott. (So what's Steve Guttenberg doing in this movie?)

28 of 37 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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