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The Boys from Brazil (1978)

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

Writers:

(novel), (screenplay)
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Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 1 win & 10 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

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

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

Taglines:

If they survive...will we?

Genres:

Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

6 October 1978 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Los niños del Brasil  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$12,000,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When the film was made, the real Josef Mengele was still alive in São Paulo, Brazil. He died on February 7, 1979 at the age of 67, only four months after the film was released. See more »

Goofs

When Ezra and Esther Lieberman are riding on the tram, Esther is reading a book, but she is holding the book upside down See more »

Quotes

Ezra Lieberman: Not Mozart. Not Picasso. Not a genius who will enrich the world. But a lonely little boy with a domineering father, a customs officer who was 52 when he was born. And an affectionate doting mother who was 29. The father died when he was 65 when the boy was nearly 14... Adolph Hitler.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in CSI: Crime Scene Investigation: Split Decisions (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

WE'RE HOME AGAIN
Music by Jerry Goldsmith
Lyrics by Hal Shaper
Sung by Elaine Paige
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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?)


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