Robustly entertaining and bracingly sinister, The Boys from Brazil stars Gregory Peck as the infamous Dr Josef Mengele, the former Nazi chief who intends to resurrect the Führer and create a Fourth Reich through genetic experiments that commence with the assassination of some 94 fathers. Elderly Nazi hunter Ezra Lieberman (Laurence Olivier, in an Oscar-nominated performance) is tipped to the plot, but his efforts to expose Peck (fiendishly cast against type) are thwarted by a set of menacing triplets played by Jeremy Black. Back in 1978, The Boys from Brazil (adapted from Ira Levin's novel) was an incalculably tense, straight-faced entertainment whose lack of irony allowed the viewer to indulge the film's outrageous premise without moral offence. But in view of the scientific advancements made since the release of the film, it's now a cautionary tale, and all the more compelling for being so. Jerry Goldsmith's richly conceived, Oscar-nominated score--replete with echoes of Mahler and Strauss--reinforces this impression.--Kevin Mulhall
A genuinely chilling psychological horror from director Robert Mulligan (To Kill a Mockingbird) The Other provides enough gruesome twists and turns to keep you guessing right up until its shocking finale. Mysterious accidents befall a family on a farm in depression-era Connecticut resulting in the death of a beloved father and a cherished twin brother. But when nine-year-old Holland begins to see – and speak to – his twin the remaining family members can only wait in terrified anticipation for more tragedies to occur... as it slowly dawns on them that the accidents may not be accidental after all. With the same haunting tension as The Exorcist and The Omen Mulligan’s The Other eschews gore in favour of richly detailed psychological horror in its depiction of deeply disturbed children. Beautifully shot by the extraordinary Robert Surges (Ben Hur) and adapted for the screen by Thomas Tryon from his own best-selling novel The Other is an unsettling horror masterpiece.
Reversal of Fortune focuses on one of the most intriguing criminal trials of the 1980s, that of Claus von Bülow, who was accused of sending his rich wife Sunny into a permanent coma with an overdose of insulin. Director Barbet Schroeder, working from Nicholas Kazan's evocative, darkly humorous script, turns the story into both a look at the lives of rich folks with too much time on their hands and a whodunit, as lawyer Alan Dershowitz (Ron Silver) prepares to defend von Bülow (Jeremy Irons) in court. Irons won an Oscar for his spooky, knowing performance, which hints at depths of degeneracy without ever putting a dent in a veneer of bored elegance. The contrast between the hard-charging Dershowitz and his eager-beaver Harvard law students and the eternally languid von Bülow adds unexpected humour. --Marshall Fine
Touted as the next great family drama, "Brothers And Sisters" explores the highs and lows of The Walkers - a postmodern American family and their delicate relationships.
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