Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Library Video of the Week, March 7, 2011.

The Man in the Glass Booth, starring Maximillian Schell, Lois Nettleton and Luther Adler. Directed by Arthur Hiller. 1975.  Library Call number: PR6069.H39 M36 003.
        From the American Film Institute series of theater into film, comes this complex psychological drama about vengeance and justice, written by actor Robert Shaw. Schell plays millionaire Jewish businessman Arthur Goldman, who lives luxuriously in Manhattan and often discomforts his employees with his disrespectful observations of his fellow Jews. They are even more shocked when Israeli agents show up, arrest Goldman and fly him to Israel to stand trial as a despised Nazi war criminal. The Israeli prosecutor, Miriam Rosen (Nettleton), believes she has an airtight case against him and Goldman encourages her hatred of him by shedding his Jewish identity, becoming arrogant and spiteful; he demands to be tried in SS uniform. Set in a glass box in the courtroom so that no one can kill him before the sentence of death, Goldman is the quintessential SS exterminator.
         This is a tour de force for Schell, who blazes away at his accusers, sneering at his former friends and the court, until the sudden, shocking ending.

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