An unknown Polish writer can't publish his novels, so his ex-wife decides to help him and get some of the profit for herself. She finally finds a publisher, but there's a strange single condition that could cost the writer his life.
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In Uruguay in the early 1970s, an official of the US Agency for International Development (a group used as a front for training foreign police in counterinsurgency methods) is kidnapped by ... See full summary »
Six people travel in a railroad sleeping car from Marseilles to Paris. Upon their arrival, a woman is found dead in one of the berths. The police investigate the other five passengers, ... See full summary »
Hungarian immigrant Mike Laszlo has done well for himself since arriving in the USA over 40 years ago after WWII's end. He is particularly proud of his daughter, Ann, a successful lawyer. Following the release of some secret WWII records by the Russians, Mike finds himself accused of being a notorious war criminal. He's convinced it's a Communist plot to discredit him and insists that Ann defend him in court. Written by
Col Needham <email@example.com>
One of two films released in 1989 and 1990 which had a storyline where a woman finds out that her father is a Nazi war criminal allegedly guilty of war crimes. The movies are the Australian film Father (1990) and this film. The two pictures are very similar in their storylines. See more »
Quietly effective and touching courtroom thriller with very good performances
Jessica Lange is very good as Ann Talbot, a lawyer who takes up the task of defending her father (Armin Mueller-Stahl) against charges of Nazi war crimes. The charges are ridiculous to her at first, but she slowly begins to realize they might be true. Lukas Haas, giving an exceptionally bright-eyed and intelligent performance, plays Ann's 12-year-old son, who believes unquestioningly that his beloved grandfather is innocent.
Roger Ebert wrote that the father, while very well-played by Mueller-Stahl, does not devote enough time to helping us to understand his character, but I don't know that any film could do that for such a person. Mueller-Stahl and the script at least offer suggestions and let our imaginations do the rest.
I found this film, scripted by Joe Eszterhas and directed by Costa-Gavras, to be a quietly effective courtroom thriller (even though the idea of a lawyer defending her own father in this situation requires a high suspension of disbelief) and found the central drama of a woman discovering her father is, or at least was, a monster to be moving.
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