Thursday, March 05, 2015


This week over at Fear of the Velvet Curtain, it's time to shrug off those notions of guilty pleasures and reassess a longtime favorite of intellectually indefensible cinema, Franklin J. Schaffner's The Boys from Brazil. It's based on the novel by Ira Levin and stars Oscar-nominated Laurence Olivier as Nazi hunter Ezra Lieberman, in hot pursuit of the notorious Dr. Josef Mengele, played by also Oscar-nominated (just not for this movie) Gregory Peck, who has a plan to clone 94 Adolf Hitlers and usher in a new age Third Reich. I've seen this movie probably 20 times since its release in 1978, and I've always enjoyed it, somewhat derisively, but it's time to admit that the love I have for it goes beyond simple appreciation for a bad movie.

"I marvel at how closely I seem to know its rhythms and its tones—it looks stodgy, but to me it moves at a clip. I marvel too at how each well-familiar line reading, the ones delivered by Peck and Olivier, of course, but even phonetically assembled ones from special guest stars like Bruno Ganz, peal like missives from a distant world where movies like this are still made and audiences for them still exist. The Boys from Brazil is one of those movies that, for me, has made the transition from object of amused derision to one of genuine appreciation. I love this movie, guilt-free."

That's just a taste. Get the whole meal right now in my new Fear of the Velvet Curtain  column now playing at Trailers from Hell.


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