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
Producer Sir Lew Grade and director Franklin J Schaffner clashed bitterly over the amount of onscreen blood used in this picture as Grade was eager to get a PG rating and it would also be easier to sell it for TV distribution around the world. See more »
Bobby Wheeler takes several photographs indoors without using a flashbulb. With a 1970s camera, none of these pictures would come out. See more »
Dr. Josef Mengele:
Are you, my SD Chief of Security, telling me that a project twenty years and millions of dollars in the making will be dropped because of this insignificant impotent old Jew?
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Had I seen the film without reading the back of the video cassette, I would have enjoyed the film a lot more. But for some reason, a major plot point, revealed 1 1/2 hours into the film, is plainly written in black on orange. Since the movie moves in ever decreasing circles to reveal this secret quite efficiently, I don't see why the publicity department chose to sabotage it.
Nevertheless, the plot is more plausible than it sounds when you try to describe it (which, as I have just said, should be avoided anyway), and the leads play beautifully. Especially incredible is Laurence Olivier as the doddering, worldly-wise jewish Nazi hunter, Dr. Lieberman. You'd never expect the frail form in this movie to be the same man as Hamlet. Gregory Peck also plays Dr. Joseph Mengele as suitably and calmly evil. A lesser actor would find playing the part of a Nazi Death Doctor, responsible for some of the worst atrocities in human history, a perfect excuse to ham it up and click into the black-hatted, moustache-twisting token villain.
The less impressive acting of Steve Guttenberg overacting into a telephone and Jeremy Black with a really strange german accent as Erich Doring. This I can forgive. The ending is also comfortable and understated, with a moral instead of a huge explosion, as could have been expected in a 90's movie. Worth seeing, especially if you know nothing about the film.
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