7.0/10
22,914
127 user 57 critic

The Boys from Brazil (1978)

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

Writers:

Ira Levin (novel), Heywood Gould (screenplay)

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ON DISC
Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 2 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Gregory Peck ... Dr. Josef Mengele
Laurence Olivier ... Ezra Lieberman
James Mason ... Eduard Seibert
Lilli Palmer ... Esther Lieberman
Uta Hagen ... Frieda Maloney
Steve Guttenberg ... Barry Kohler (as Steven Guttenberg)
Denholm Elliott ... Sidney Beynon
Rosemary Harris ... Mrs. Doring
John Dehner ... Henry Wheelock
John Rubinstein ... David Bennett
Anne Meara ... Mrs. Curry
Jeremy Black ... Jack Curry / Simon Harrington / Erich Doring / Bobby Wheelock
Bruno Ganz ... Professor Bruckner
Walter Gotell ... Mundt
David Hurst ... 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:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

6 October 1978 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Los niños del Brasil See more »

Filming Locations:

Kölnbrein Dam, Austria See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$12,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$19,000,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Gregory Peck replaced George C. Scott. Scott was cast as Dr. Josef Mengele, but pulled out before principal photography began. See more »

Goofs

As Dr. Josef Mengele and Wheelock are talking, and Wheelock hasn't yet put the dogs out of the room, Mengele sits on the couch and you can see the boom mic's shadow moving on the wall to the right. See more »

Quotes

Dr. Josef Mengele: He betrayed me, he betrayed you, he betrayed the Aryan race!
See more »

Alternate Versions

NBC cut 27 minutes from this film for its 1980 network television premiere. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Justice League Unlimited: Epilogue (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

The Blue Danube
(uncredited)
Music by Johann Strauss
Arranged by Arthur Morton
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User Reviews

 
One Of Schaffner's Best...
11 March 2004 | by underfire35See all my reviews

THE BOYS FROM BRAZIL opens in scenic and remote Paraguay where Barry Kohler (a young Steve Guttenburg) is on the trail of a mysterious gathering of former Third Reich heavy hitters, including Eduard Seibert (James Mason), now in exile. As his information becomes more detailed, he contacts Ezra Lieberman (Laurence Olivier), a renowned Nazi hunter. In the meantime Dr. Josef Mengele (Gregory Peck) makes the scene and after Kohler's bugging of a secret meeting goes wrong, Lieberman is left with only a thread of a much deeper story, which he sets about to unravel...

Even though the plot is fairly well known by now, I will assume some people are not familiar with Ira Levin's book or the film. In fact the less you know about the plot the better; I think that the dust jacket gives far too much of the story away...Anyway, THE BOYS FROM BRAZIL is a film that toes a very dangerous line, I mean few film makers want to turn a man like Menegele into a camp figure. But the cast and crew handles the material with deft intelligence. The cast is fantastic: Peck, as Mengele, delivers a strong performance that never falters. In the tired yet determined Lieberman, Laurence Olivier creates a wonderful character; a late highlight of a distinguished career. James Mason, as Seibert and Bruno Ganz as a mouthpiece for outdated genetic research, do well to support the action, but are given little to do. It is Peck and Olivier that propel the film along; the violent showdown between the two men is a must see.

Jerry Goldsmith supports the on screen action with a Straussian waltz to tie in the Austrian backdrop. Goldsmith also provide some terse action music for the third act of the film. This is one of the last films that Goldsmith and director Franklin J. Schaffner would collaborate on. On that note, it would seem to me high time for a more detailed retrospective of Schaffner's body of work; which includes THE WARLORD, PATTON, ISLANDS IN THE STREAM, PLANET OF THE APES, PAPILLION, LIONHEART. It is Schaffner's sensibilities that keep THE BOYS FROM BRAZIL from jumping the track. He uses steady camera work and smooth style to create a world the characters can inhabit (something "over" directors of today know little about). Schaffner's style is more subtle, workman like, which may explain why he is not better known among the general populace. He keeps THE BOYS FROM BRAZIL grounded and allows his actors to flesh the characters out, which makes all the difference in the world. 8/10.


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