The Boys from Brazil Reviews
Former Nazi Gregory Peck plans to breed a new race of Hitlers. Silly idea is made credible from three great actors. Ending is a mixed blessing, but film is fascinating as a relic of its era. Available on Netflix.
classic old thirller that is terrifying gripping and oddly enjoyable to watch in parts and terribly hard ....dated at points but engaging...terrific acting....
def one to have seen
A scientist that was close to Hitler during World War II has begun taking steps to reprise Hitler's efforts in South Africa. Through some creative genetic engineering, he has created mutant children with unique powers. Can an aging man who discovers the scientist's plans stop him before he gets too far?
"I am a scientist. I've done my job. You are an executioner. Do yours."
Franklin Schaffner, director of The Planet of the Apes (1968), Patton, Person to Person, Papillon, The Best Man, The Good Years, and Lionheart, delivers The Boys from Brazil. The storyline for this is very average and concludes curiously. The acting is actually just okay despite a dynamite cast of Gregory Peck, Laurence Olivier, James Mason, Lilli Palmer, and Steve Guttenberg.
"You want your pound of flesh and don't care how you get it."
I came across this film on Netflix and had to add it to the queue since it starred the legend Gregory Peck. This was just okay and Peck definitely showed his age in this (he delivered a very rigid and statue like performance). This is very average and far from a must see.
"Oh man you're weird!"
When it started I thought it was going to have a little bit of a comedic side to it as the landlord seemed a little over the top and played for laughs. I thought Lieberman would walk into the water stream with his cigarette and it would go out or because of the face he pulls when he takes his first puff or the person on the phone, I thought they would have hung up but no. Or when Lieberman meets his friend on the street and he says he has to go to somewhere, I thought he was going to say he could come with him as well, but Lieberman's response was good. Despite that, it is good that it doesn't take itself so seriously it becomes laughable, I think the filmmakers knew what could have gone wrong given how everything plays out. I do think part of the point of the book was to showcase how crazy Josef Mengele was and it is just strange but fascinating to watch. It might have been classed as a Sci-Fi when it was released but given the exponential development in science; some of what goes on in this film might not be a fantasy for too much longer and sort of increases the paranoid aspect of it if you wanted to look at it that way. I do like how the title refers to something else that we learn later on in the film, given the cover and the name you might think 'The Boys of Brazil' refer to the actors on the cover. I do think it is a huge coincidence how Lieberman found the boys he did, especially given how few there were, but again, if there were more it would be an epidemic and everyone would know. And the friend of the assassin seemed to be awfully calm with knowing that he had to kill someone.
I thought the acting was pretty good, people usually refer to the acting in this by saying, 'the main 3', but James Mason was hardly in this at all, I think I can count all of his scenes on one hand. He was certainly integral to the plot and certainly had presence and his name was big enough to put him on the top billing, but come on. Gregory Peck was having fun as the villain and he really did do a good job, it would have been fun to see what George C. Scott would have been like in this role. I also thought it was kind of funny to see everyone just destroying his house, I know they were looking for something but there was no need to just throw things off the table, or drop plates like the other person was, sure it could break what they were looking for, but come on, it isn't like it is going to be in the plate. I liked Lawrence Olivier as well, it seemed like he was playing the total opposite of his role from 'Marathon Man', (for which he was nominated for an Oscar as well), a coincidence? Who knows? I don't really understand the complaints about the acting from the leads being bad, but there is some really bad acting in this mostly from side characters that were only seen for a minute or too so it doesn't really matter all that much.
However, some of the accents were all over the place that the only thing they said right in the accent was 'vee'. Besides the fact that he has flu and is told to go back to bed by his mother, despite being in a scene earlier with a toy, which he was left deliberately out of shot on purpose, which makes sense and I liked, Jeremy Black was pretty bad. I don't know if it was done on purpose to show how unhinged that type of person was, but still, it was pretty bad and it was his only film too, as of right now, but I don't exactly see that changing. I thought Lieberman could have made a joke when he is asked, 'will you tell?' I thought he could say, 'No, why? What did you do?' But it wasn't like he was in the mood for laughs and Lieberman could have kept that note a secret when he was in hospital, he had to go and get it out, didn't he? The guard in the prison didn't make much sense either, first of all he is very protective about the person Lieberman is questioning and then right when he was about to leave, he was pretty much begging Lieberman to ask another question. Steve Guttenberg was good, even though I would have thought that he would have been in it longer, given how we are introduced to him but that is how things go, it was also pretty fun to see GŁnter Meisner in this, (as well as Rosemary Harris) although he, and many of the other people involved with Mengele seem to just vanish. Also, how did that person in that house not see the hanging body when she walked into the room, I know she was going in there to look directly at the bed, but come on.
The film looked and sounded good, although I don't think the soundtrack fits 100%, it is very close but not quite there. The dog sound effect when that person was walking up to that house at the end, not saying because of spoilers, got annoying quickly. They also explain why the dog just attacked that one person but it isn't like the person that opened the door knew that. There was also one part where it had some really weird editing, it almost seemed like the film wanted to be an indie film for a moment, although with a story like this you'd think it would be more suited to indie, it just quickly cut from many scenes all at the same time for a few seconds and then nothing like it happened again. There was also some symbolism that we don't see that much, only in the weird editing part I just mentioned and at the end, not too sure what that was all about. I think I got two endings; I got the hospital scene and the very ominous dark room scene.
There is a point where Lieberman is having explained to him something integral to the plot in a lab, I won't say what it is due to spoilers but the look on his face is that of utter confusion which is perfect as that pretty much sums up the audience's reaction right there as well as probably split the audience right at that moment. The plot summary says that, '... discovers a sinister and bizarre plot...' with bizarre being the operative word, but I liked it. After all was said and done, I walked away from this film thinking, 'what a strange film', but it was the good kind. I don't think I was as scared or shocked as the filmmakers probably wanted me to be, despite the scene where a character that Barry knows has something changed about him and we never seem him again, I mean with a story this ridiculous how can you be, but they made it work, I liked it and was interested to see it until the end. However, I am sure the book would have probably had that effect; this film had what the authors books are known for, where you think you understand what is going on but something quite major is revealed nearing the end and the film understood that. 'The Boys from Brazil' is a very unique film with good acting and is quite creative.