The Boys From Brazil 1978 ***

A rare chance to see Sir Laurence Olivier and Police Academy star Steve Guttenberg in the same film, Franklin J Shaffner’s 1978 thriller is a methodical adaptation of Ira Levin’s book. Guttenberg plays Barry Kohler, who finds evidence that a notorious Nazi Dr Josef Mengele (Gregory Peck) has set up shop in Paraguay,  with cloning Hitler the purpose of his mission. Nazi-hunter Ezra Lieberman (Olivier) takes up the chase, and The Boys From Brazil ends with a memorable stand-off between  Liebermann and Mengele, with a deadly pair of Rottweilers tearing them bloodily apart. An excellent supporting cast includes Denholm Elliot, Rosemary Harris, James Mason and Bruno Granz, who went on to play Hitler in Downfall. Shaffner’s film is weighty and sometimes ponderous, but the heavyweight cast give the pulpy ideas considerable gravity.


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