The Man Who Captured Eichmann
Reviewed by: Ken James
Better than Average
Starring: Robert Duvall, Arliss Howard, Jeffrey Tambor, Jack Laufer, Nicolas Surovy / Director: William A. Graham
World War II and the Nazi attempt to eradicate the Jewish people has been portrayed again and again in uncountable books and films. “The Man Who Captured Eichmann” is one such story, based in truth, of Nazi war-criminal Adolf Eichmann (Robert Duvall, “The Apostle,” “A Civil Action”) who escapes Germany after the war to live in peace in Argentina with his family.
A chance meeting at a sidewalk cafe between Eichmann (living under an assumed identity) and a former Jewish prison-camp laborer begins the series of events the bring about the capture of Eichmann. But, there are a few problems. For one, the Jew who recognizes Eichmann is blind, only using his strong memory of smell to identify Eichmann as a criminal half the world is looking for. Another problem arises when a special team from Israel determined to capture Eichmann must wait in hiding in Argentina for what seems like forever before they are able to extradite Eichmann from Argentina to put him on trial in Israel. And a small network of Nazi-supporters living in Argentina is doing their best to find Eichmann and prevent his extradition.
“The Man Who Captured Eichmann” bring up many points of discussion, as does any film dealing with such heavy subjects as the Holocaust. Is a man responsible for his actions if he was just doing his job, in this case overseeing the loading of millions of Jewish people onto trains? Did he truly believe he was doing right in the eyes of God?
Duvall, as always, gives a fine and convincing performance as the German Eichmann. There is no sexual situations, innuendos, or nudity. The violence if very minimal (consisting of a tame capturing of Eichmann as he walks home one evening). There is little language, if any, to be considered offensive. All in all, an excellent film for thought.
Year of Release—1996