Bil’s rating (out of 5): BB.5.
United Kingdom/USA, 1978. Sir Lew Grade, Producers Circle, ITC Films. Screenplay by Heywood Gould, based on the novel by Ira Levin. Cinematography by Henri Decae. Produced by Stanley O’Toole, Martin Richards. Music by Jerry Goldsmith. Production Design by Gil Parrondo. Costume Design by Anthony Mendleson. Film Editing by Robert Swink. Academy Awards 1978. Golden Globe Awards 1978. National Board of Review Awards 1978.
Laurence Olivier is terrific as a Holocaust survivor whose primary work is finding the whereabouts of remaining Nazi war criminals and getting them to their trials. He is swamped with disbelief when he comes across a plot by Dr. Josef Mengele (Gregory Peck looking like a Mexican villain in a racist western movie) to clone Adolf Hitler and return him to his place on the Third Reich’s throne. While this might sound too ridiculous for words, the truth is I totally believe that someone out there would be vile enough to try and do this, but this film treats Ira Levin’s original novel like it was an episode of The Twilight Zone (in fact, Levin’s Rosemary’s Baby seems to have a less implausible plot by comparison). Great acting, but it shouldn’t have been such a shallow movie.