7.5/10
4,902
52 user 66 critic

Mr. Death: The Rise and Fall of Fred A. Leuchter, Jr. (1999)

A cinematic portrait of the life and career of the infamous American execution device designer and holocaust denier.

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Himself (as Fred Leuchter)
Robert Jan Van Pelt ...
Himself
David Irving ...
Himself
Caroline Leuchter ...
Herself (voice)
James Roth ...
Himself - Analytical Chemist
Shelly Shapiro ...
Herself
Suzanne Tabasky ...
Herself
Ernst Zündel ...
Himself
...
Re-enactment cast
Daniel Polsby ...
Re-enactment cast
Jeff Brown ...
Re-enactment cast
Robert Duerr ...
Re-enactment cast
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Storyline

Documentary about Fred Leuchter, an engineer who became an expert on execution devices and was later hired by revisionist historian Ernst Zundel to "prove" that there were no gas chambers at Auschwitz. Leuchter published a controversial report confirming Zundel's position, which ultimately ruined his own career. Most of the footage is of Leuchter, puttering around execution facilities or chipping away at the walls of Auschwitz, but Morris also interviews various historians, associates, and neighbors. Written by ccampbell

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for thematic elements | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

14 January 2000 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Mr. Death  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$24,125 (USA) (31 December 1999)

Gross:

$495,318 (USA) (24 March 2000)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to A Brief History of Errol Morris (2000), Morris made a rough cut that he showed to colleagues and friends that only had Leuchter interviewed and it was Morris' intention that the audience would understand he was saying things either as lies or flat-out wrong. He was advised to go to Auschwitz and dig deeper so that there would be no doubt for the audience that Leuchter was wrong. See more »

Quotes

Fred A. Leuchter Jr.: The human body is not easy to destroy and it's not east to take a life humanely and painlessly without doing a great deal of damage to the individual's body.
See more »

Connections

Featured in A Brief History of Errol Morris (2000) See more »

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User Reviews

 
an uncomfortable and ultimately sad movie
14 April 2000 | by (Chicago, Illinois) – See all my reviews

I have never seen a movie handle moral ambiguity quite like this before. It's ambiguous on so many levels. FL Jr. worries about the humanity of the methods of execution, and it never occurs to him that the act itself is inhumane. The obvious hatred in the face of Shelly Shapiro (leader of a Holocaust remembrance group) makes you wince at the moral ambiguity of her acts. And finally that this mouse of a man is neither Jesus nor Hitler (two comparisons made in the film) is the only firm footing you are left with. Not earth-shattering, but what a film!


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