Friday, June 27, 2014

Boys from Brazil

Boys from BrazilWhen the film was made almost a quarter century ago, the concept of "cloning" was the stuff of science fiction, as far as the general public was concerned. However, with the recent developments in the area making headlines worldwide, the idea is not reserved to the imagination. Therefore, the basic premise of Hitler authorizing his own cloning doesn't seem as farfetched as it may have been. Hey, the Germans have given the world the Volkswagen; thus, their scientists could have possibly been working on the cloning process prior and during World War II.

Regardless, the film features excellent work from stars Peck, Olivier, and Mason. Peck went against type by portraying Josef Mengele as a crafty, calculating, and ultimately evil scientist who would go to any length to preserve the Third Reich. Olivier, as the Nazi hunter Lieberman, displays his versatility with accents by doning a very believable Jewish brogue. Mason shows his usual cool as a Nazi hesitant but forced to support the machinations of Mengele.

But, the film has an outstanding group of supporting players whose on-screen time may be brief but is memorable. Uta Hagen as an imprisoned Nazi nurse is captivating; stage veteran Rosemary Harris stands out as the widow of one of Mengele's victims; A young Steve Guttenburg shines as a Nazi hunter; and comedy team member Anne Meara (sans her husband) is great as another "mother" of a Hitler clone.

But, it is Jeremy Black, a young actor who seems to have drifted into obscurity since the release of this motion picture, who is impressive as four of the "boys."

Oh, yeah, the great Michael Gough is "hanging around" in this one, too! Look fast and you will see Prunella Scales from "Fawlty Towers" as Gough's wife.

Do not buy this supposedly new, anamorphic version. It is not, and the quality is terrible. I think they slipped the old cruddy DVD version in this "new" case. The region free Bluray looks like it is probably of good quality.

Buy Boys from Brazil Now

When this film was released, science could at best clone a frog's egg, and that was about it... but now that cloning mammals seems to be a piece of cake, it can make you queasy when you see this film. The premise is that surviving Nazi's save some of Hitler's DNA for cloning. Knowing that it's a mixture of nature and nurture that makes a person who he his, they make several copies and distribute them around the world, putting them in family situations that best mimic the childhood that Hitler had as a child.

As the aging Jewish Nazi hunter, Sir Lawrence Olivier travels the world and is stunned to see what on the surface seems to be the same identical young boy in different countries, speaking different languages. Jet black, straight hair, blue eye, smart mouth. The child they got to play this part is nothing short of remarkable.

I'm sad to hear that the DVD version of this film was such a disaster. I was hoping to pick up a copy, but I'll hold out for a collector's edition if they ever come out with one.

Gregory Peck is flawless in his performance of the evil Dr. Mengele bent on raising a race of little Hitlers.

An interesting concept that is even more realistic in light of today's scientific advances in cloning. Definitely worth watching.

Read Best Reviews of Boys from Brazil Here

Terrible picture quality and very poor sound ruin an otherwise excellent film it looks like Artisan have sourced the DVD from a VHS tape picked up at a garage sale. The film is also in a 'matted' (ie letterbox) format rather than true anamorphic widescreen.

Want Boys from Brazil Discount?

I have waited a long time for "The Boys from Brazil" to be released as a Blu-ray Disc. The standard DVD had a dreadful transfer. Why this movie is still not sold in the U.S. is puzzle.

However, luckily this Blu-ray is indeed region-free--and relatively cheap if ordered directly from I just ordered a new Blu-ray directly from for about $17, including shipping (and there is no VAT charged to foreign customers). Shipping takes less than a week. All of my high-def equipment was sold in the U.S.--I do NOT have any region-free type equipment. The movie, menu, everything, played flawlessly. The Blu-ray transfer of this 1978 gem is fairly good--not "reference" quality (but still a solid, sharp video image and good audio)--but a huge improvement over the previous DVD issue.

Ordering from Amazon's United Kingdom site is quite easy--the site's format and layout, etc. is nearly identical to the U.S. site--and all of my information (address, preferred credit card, password, etc.) was, to my surprise, already there!

There are a number of other region-free Blu-ray Discs that could be ordered from the U.K. site, but be sure to check out the details (by reading reviews such as this) to make sure that the particular disc is indeed region-free (some of them are coded as Region B or C--which will not play in the U.S./Canada, which is Region A)--otherwise you will be stuck with a Blu-ray that you cannot watch.

There are a number of other "region-free" Blu-ray discs as well that can be purchased from the UK site for much lower prices than in the U.S.: I have recently purchased "Zulu"--which looks absolutely stunning, "Equilibrium", "Dances with Wolves" (go figure, this is a U.S. movie, with an American cast, about the American Old West--but not yet available on Blu-ray in the U.S.--who makes these crazy decisions?), and "Silverado".

Before making a purchase from overseas, make sure that the Blu-ray Disc you want to order is indeed region-free--by reading reviews such as mine. It takes a little digging, but you'll save money and/or be able to purchase a Blu-ray that is unavailable in the U.S.

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