The Boys From Brazil

Year: 1978

Synopsis: An aging nazi hunter is alerted to a murderous global scheme of third reich war criminals, and soon learns the insane reason for it all.

Pros:
• An ultimately disturbing film about the undying power of the worst ideals.
• Gregory Peck was amazing as a subtly over the top mad scientist, whose murderous temper matched his evil genius.
• Laurence Olivier was amazing as the well reasoned and dry witted nazi hunter well past his prime.
• Easily the most insane twist on the thought experiment of killing a child before they turn evil.
• The very self-aware writing largely compensated for the film’s extravagancies.
• The concept of nature versus nurture continue to be a major discussion today, as the film essentially depicts a global experiment on the matter.
• With the subsequent advances in genetic research and apparent uptick in wild extremism, the film has only grown more disturbing in a kind of growing, cancerous realism.

Cons:
• The nazi symbolism and ideals may be too chilling for some.
• The more satirical elements of the writing sometimes clashed with the more horrific elements.

Discussion:
Where will he go next, this phantom from another time, this resurrected ghost of a previous nightmare — Chicago? Los Angeles? Miami, Florida? Vincennes, Indiana? Syracuse, New York? Anyplace, everyplace, where there’s hate, where there’s prejudice, where there’s bigotry. He’s alive. He’s alive so long as these evils exist. Remember that when he comes to your town. Remember it when you hear his voice speaking out through others. Remember it when you hear a name called, a minority attacked, any blind, unreasoning assault on a people or any human being. He’s alive because through these things we keep him alive. — Rod Serling

Perhaps the closest film that this can be compared to might actually be the satirical sci-fi horror Get Out. The Boys From Brazil was undoubtedly satirical at heart, yet it was definitely not a true comedy. Everything comes off as utterly ridiculous at first, to the admonition of the characters themselves, yet there was a realism to it all that becomes more apparent as the decades roll on. The science-fiction aspects of this film seem far less fictional today, as the dark ideals of hate and prejudices never seem to die.

Yet, there was a faint, very faint glimmer of hope at the end. Even if the last clone depicted might have been the most “successful” on close observation, there might still have been no way of knowing in that moment what he would ultimately become.

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