Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actors: Michael Caine, Tilda Swinton, Alan Bates, Jeremy Northam, Charlotte Rampling
Director: Norman Jewison
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Horror, Mystery & Suspense, Military & War
A former Nazi executioner becomes a target of hit men and the police.
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Member Movie Reviews
Richard W. (rewfilmmaker) from NAPLES, FL
Reviewed on 4/1/2013...
This is one of the better, more believable thrillers with it's roots in history. It's based on a novel about France's WWII Vichy government that collaborated with the Nazis to exterminate Jews. Michael Caine's character was one of the enforcers who, years later, finds himself being pursued by different factions who all want him to pay for his crimes. Originally, I chose to watch this movie because Tilda Swinton plays a overzealous judge/prosecutor and I like to watch her conjure up a performance. One of the overarching themes is how people, during difficult times, do what they have to do, to survive. In this case that includes the Catholic Church pledging it's support for him but then hanging him out to dry. Some good lessons on life in this movie.
4 of 4 member(s) found this review helpful.
Betty T. (BettySunshine) from WARNER ROBINS, GA
Reviewed on 2/5/2010...
Excellent movie. Michael Caine is great, as usual. Intriguing story.
A Superior and Thoughtfull Thriller
steve b | Dudley England | 03/23/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I note that another reviewer has complained that this film is slow and compared to the normal thrillers which depend on car crashes, explosions and impossible feats of human agilty I expect it is. It is also a very good film which whilst being entertaining also makes you think. Some people have seen it as anti Catholic, but it is true that elements within the Catholic Church were pro Nazi and did help war criminal escape justice not only in France but in many other countries.
Michael Caine is outstanding as an aging French war criminal who forty years after the end of the world is finally facing justice of a sort. Caine plays Pierre Brossard a minor French war criminal who was responsable for the murder of seven French Jews. I say minor only because others murdered many thousands more and it is clear from this film that others did worse and continued to prosper in post war France.
Brossard has been hidden for years with the aid of the Catholic Church but it appears that a Jewish group has tracked him down and is planning his murder. Unknown to Brossard the Jewish group is a ruse and the real people out to kill him are his former allies in the French establishment and police for whom he has become a liabilty.
At the same time a judge (Tilda Swinton) and a Gendarmerie Colonel (Jeremy Northam) are trying to find him before the killers do.
It is Caine's skill as an actor which allows us to be repulsed by Brossard, he is a coward and a bully, whilst at the same time feeling sympathy for him, he is a frightened old man betrayed by his friends.
Frank Finlay and Edward Petherbridge are also very good in smaller supporting roles.
The fiqure of Brossard was inspired by Paul Touvier who in 1994 was sentenced to life imprisonment after being sheltered by the Catholic Church for years.
All in all a superior and thoughtfull thriller