September 5, 2008, - 7:20 pm

DVDs I Recommend

By Debbie Schlussel
When there aren’t many new movies out, I give you recommendations for movies you should rent. Here’s the latest installment.
I picked, in light of this week’s news that Israel located Nazi Dr. Josef Mengele, but couldn’t nab him, lest the Mossad agents involved risk jeopardizing their impending transfer of Final Solution mastermind Adolf Eichmann to Israel to face charges. I like movies about Nazis, in which they get their due. And they do in these two exciting thrillers.
* “The Boys From Brazil“: If only Josef Mengele a/k/a the “Angel of Death” had died the way he did in this flick in which Gregory Peck played and uncannily resembled his likeness and wickedness so well. In addition to Peck, the cast features other greats–Sir Laurence Olivier and James Mason.


Mengele is located in Paraguay by a young Jewish amateur Nazi Hunter (Steve Guttenberg at the beginning of his acting career). Soon, a Simon Wiesenthal-type by the name of Lieberman (Olivier, who is excellent) discovers a weird plot by Mengele to clone Nazis and rebuild the Third Reich. This movie was suspenseful, exciting, and heart-pounding. And it had an interesting, odd science fiction angle to it. This movie is from 1978, but 30 years later, you can hardly tell. It stands the test of time. A great thriller. (Runtime: 123 Minutes)
* “Apt Pupil“: This 1998 movie tells the story of a high school student (actor Brad Renfro–who, sadly, died of a heroin overdose at the age of 25, early this year) discovers that one of his neighbors is a wanted Nazi war criminal (mastefully played by Sir Ian McKellen).
Soon, with this secret, the student blackmails the Nazi and uses him for his own purposes. He promises not to turn him in, if the Nazi tells him about the killings of the Jews and how he did it. The boy becomes sickly fascinated. They ultimately become friends, but it is an evil bond.
This movie is so true-to-life on so many levels. This selfish, spoiled kid knows what the Nazi did, yet doesn’t seem to care much, so long as he can use the Nazi to his own benefit. He doesn’t seem to care whether the Nazi is brought to justice or how many innocent lives he took.
The tagline of the movie is, “If you don’t believe in the existence of evil, you’ve got a lot to learn.” You ain’t kiddin’. That’s definitely what happens in this movie.
There’s a great scene in this movie where the Nazi faces one of his victims. Based on a Steven King short story, this thriller is full of suspense and excitement. You definitely want to know what happens next. (Runtime: 111 Minutes)

6 Responses

I hope you will add DVD rentals as a regular feature.

c f on September 6, 2008 at 12:00 am

Both of these movies are well worth watching. If you enjoy reading you should head over to your local library and read The Boy’s From Brazil by Ira Levin. It’s an excellent book that I read while in high school back in the late 70’s.

Gorgar on September 6, 2008 at 7:22 am

Hi Debbie!
It’s Karen!
Could you review the moview ‘Full Metal Jacket’? I wonder what your opinion is of the USMC?
Love Lotz,

PrincessKaren on September 6, 2008 at 7:07 pm

I’m fascinated by the scene where the platoon is is made to do forced exercse… push ups with the cadences… 1, 2,3 4 I Love Marine Corps…..
Marines have a tradition going back hundreds of years.
American Marines are the only military branch where enlisted men are authorized to carry a sword.. Marine NCO’s carry army officer swords…… Marine Officer’s carry the Marmaluke sworde

PrincessKaren on September 6, 2008 at 7:27 pm

I love The Boys From Brazil! And I agree, it’s too bad Mengele didn’t finish up the same way as depicted in the movie. It was gruesome and fitting. Mom and I cheered, along with quite a few others in the audience! It was on Turner last month, so I burned my own DVD and can watch it whenever I want.
On the subject of kicking bad guy butt, I ordered “Sword of Gideon”, and it should be here any day. I guess watching “Raid on Entebbe” put me in the mood.

mplumb on September 6, 2008 at 8:23 pm

I wish someone would make a movie of Daniel Silva’a thriller ‘A Death in Vienna’…another great story of an Israeli agent hunting down a Nazi war criminal.

johndoe on September 7, 2008 at 10:05 am

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