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The Boys from Brazil


1978's THE BOYS FROM BRAZIL is a crazy thriller that does nothing halfway. Laurence Olivier is terrific as Ezra Lieberman, a thinly veiled movie version of Simon Weisenthal, hunting down Nazis that escaped to South America at the end of WW2.

Gregory Peck stars as Dr. Josef Mengele, whose notorious human experiments in the concentration camps are continuing with a diabolical new spin.

Steve Guttenberg has a small role as a young reporter who puts Lieberman on the trail of Mengele and James Mason is excellent as a powerful Nazi determined to reignite the Third Reich.

As Lieberman uncovers layer after layer of a massive plot to return the Nazi's to power in the most twisted way imaginable, Mengele heads for the states.

It's always interesting, sometimes thrilling and often way over the top. Olivier and Mason are superb, but Peck is badly miscast and devours every word of dialogue. One key role is a young man played by a teenager named Jeremy Black. He's just horrible and unfortunately he keeps showing up. Jerry Goldsmith provides a bombastic, overpowering music score.

By the time the film concludes in a farm house with a bloody gun battle, ferocious Dobermans and Peck & Olivier beating the snot out of each other like twenty year olds, you have to admire the sheer energy everyone threw at the screen.

Based on Ira Levin's equally insane novel, this is a full tilt thriller that makes up for what it lacks in subtlety with sheer momentum. The Boys get a B-.

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