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This Review Reveals Minor Details About the Plot.

No More Mister Nice Guy

The Boys from Brazil (1978) on IMDb

Plot Overview

babyCirca 1964–67: Erstwhile camp guard Mrs. Frieda Maloney (Uta Hagen) at the behest of a neo-Nazi cabal, The Comrades Organization, “brought happi­ness” to passed-over couples by securing for them “healthy white baby boys complete with New York State adoption papers.” It was only “slightly illegal.” They would “meet [up for the hand­off] at a motel near Kennedy Airport—that used to be Idle­wild.” “The babies all came from Brazil.” Stewardesses would arrive with the bundles of joy.

The airport was renamed to honor a popular president who'd been slain. In Nancy Freedman's far­fetched novel, Joshua, Son of None, a demented doctor treating the expiring president took a sample of his blood from which he made a clone to be another great leader. Unfortu­nately, the original was not uni­ver­sally loved, and history has a way of repeating itself. What would happen if the doctor started with a leader who was widely hated? If he did it with Hitler? The template would be like a character out of a Paul Levine novel:

“Wrong Way Lassiter. Scored a touchdown for the other team.”

“Scored a safety,” I corrected him.

“It's the only reason anybody even remembers you played for the Dolphins.”

“Shakespeare said only our bad deeds live after us,” Victoria the smart one, said. “The good is oft interred with their bones.”

“Wrong Way Lassiter,” Solomon repeated, pouring dirt on my bones.

Life is unfair. In my last season before being cut, I made a hard-as-hell tackle on a kick­off against the Jets. So hard my helmet cracked down the middle and the ball came loose. Some­how, I scooped up the fumble. So far so good, but I'd suffered a concussion on the tackle and was already dizzy. I got turned around and ran to the wrong end zone. Where roughly eleven New York Jets happily landed on me. Two points for the Jets. Dolphins lose by one, and my name lives in infamy. (26)

I think Hitler collided with forces of his time, which knocked the sense out of him. It would be hard to duplicate.


Dr. Josef Mengele (Gregory Peck), however, wanted to whip up “the living duplicate of the greatest man in history.” We must grant him a grudging admiration for his process, some­thing along the lines of, (Prov. 30:24) “There be four things which are little upon the earth, but they are exceeding wise:”

(Prov. 30:25) “The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer.” Getting an early start helps insure the success of one's endeavor. The nascent field of mono­nuclear repro­duction started with cloning plants, then went on to rabbits and mice. Dr. Mengele got a leg up on the primitive geneticists through his extensive human experimentation in the camps.

accountant(Prov. 30:26) “The conies are but a feeble folk, yet make they their houses in the rocks.” We move on to an environment conducive to producing the desired result. Place the babies in Christian homes in countries pre­dom­in­ately Caucasian with the dads in minor super­visory roles as civil servants and such, and with moms considerably younger than the dads—just what Hitler had. Do this a hundred times with a probability of success at 20% and we're talking turkey.

(Prov. 30:27) “The locusts have no king, yet go they forth all of them by bands.” Make it a group effort. Nazi hunters Ezra Lieberman (Laurence Olivier) and his sister Esther (Lilli Palmer) had only a shoe­string operation in Vienna, Austria, but they had contacts through­out the world in Jews and sympathizers who are only too glad to rat out Nazis in hiding. Banded together they are a formidable opponent.

(Prov. 30:28) “The spider taketh hold with her hands, and is in kings' palaces.” One final initiative was needed. The dads had to disappear when they turned 65 as had Hitler's. No problemo. A Nazi conference is called in Paraguay. The targets are all old men, starting to get senile with diminished strength, eyesight and reflexes. How hard could it be to kill them? One just needed the initiative.

Production Values

” (1978) was directed by Franklin J. Schaffner. Its screen­play was written by Heywood Gould based on Ira Levin's novel, The Boys from Brazil. It stars Gregory Peck, Laurence Olivier, and James Mason. These talented actors really showed off their stuff. The supporting cast was worthy of their leads.

The movie was rated R. The plot moves right along, swept by the mood music of Jerry Gold­smith. There were various location shots.

Review Conclusion w/a Christian's Recommendation

photographerParanoid thrillers must have been the order of the day in the 1970s when “Boys” came out, but now the villains shown seem more like clowns, though their atrocities are no laughing matter. Their prime new “Hitler” aspires to be the world's greatest photographer, and his photo­graphs do have a dark side, but his adoptive father calls them “artsy fartsy.” It's hard for me to take a threat seriously that can be dispatched by an art critic's review.

In Nazi Germany Jews were slaughtered by the millions, male homosexuals could be sentenced to five years of hard labor—10 for corrupting the youth—but dykes were free from criminal repercussions though there was a huge social stigma for failing to reproduce the master race. I suppose art can make one feel good or bad about one­self so this “Hitler” could be bringing up the rear. This movie does contain a lot of portraiture and statuary, and there is a current trend in America to tear down Confederate statues, so perhaps there's some perceived threat of the south rising again, which fear this movie could play into. Other­wise, it's just dark humor with a lot of sarcasm thrown in.

Movie Ratings

Action factor: Decent action scenes. Suitability For Children: Not Suitable for Children of Any Age. Special effects: Well done special effects. Video Occasion: Good for a Rainy Day. Suspense: Keeps you on the edge of your seat. Overall movie rating: Four stars out of five.

Works Cited

Scripture quoted from the King James Version. Pub. 1611, rev. 1769. Software.

Levine, Paul. Bum Rap. Text copyright © 2015 Paul Levine. Seattle: Thomas & Mercer, 2015. Print.