After World War II, many important figures in Hitlers command escaped Germany and were rumored to be living in South America. Adolf Eichmann, wanted in connection with millions of deaths, is suspected to be living incognito in Argentina. Mossad, Israels secret intelligence organization is determined to bring Eichmann (if it is him indeed) to justice.
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This review is from: The House on Garibaldi Street [VHS] (VHS Tape) THE HOUSE ON GARIBALDI STREET(1979) Directed by Peter Collinson. Based on the book by Isser Harel. Starring Topol, Nick Mancuso, Martin Balsam, Leo McKern(as David Ben-Gurion), Charles Gray, John Cater, Edward Judd, Gareth Hunt and Alfred Burke as Adolph Eichmann. The docudrama style story of Israel's tracking down, capture and smuggling out of Argentina one of the achitects of the Final Solution SS Colonel Adolph Eichmann. This is the type of history that 70s telefilms did so well and this film is no exception. Straight forward, factual---as far as I know---and well acted by one of those great casts of familiar faces that one does not get anymore. It is interesting that the film can tell a story set in 1960 with the cars and clothes of the era with little effort while today they would probably have to cgi everything up the wazoo. A very likable film with one caveat that soured me towards the film somewhat near the end. There is a conversation between two Mossad agents about the Six Million Jews killed by the Nazis and how no one cared etc etc etc and I found it an extremely unwise scene since we have two characters going on about how no one cared about the Six million Jews the Nazis killed yet not once does the film acknowledge that the Nazis killed Twelve million people...the other six that these two Jewish characters and the film do not care about. Let alone the several million Armenian Christians murdered by Moslims during World War One and the six million killed by Lenin and the 20 by Stalin. The film's attitude is that terribly destructive one that genocide is when Nazis kill Jews....which immediately gives everyone else a free pass to start genociding away as long as they do not march to the Fuhrer and invade the Soviet Union. A lesson our Muslim friends have been quick to discern. That said. I found this a good viewing experience and decent history. Topol, Balsam, Gray and McKern are very good. Burke could be better as Eichmann. I think the film was afraid of allowing him to be too powerful a character but dramatically it leaves the last section of the film a little limp.
This is a short review. The title needs to be on DVD, because it is a story that needs to be told and retold and to be available in the latest media.
This is a very dated and often poorly-written movie, but does have someredeeming aspects. There is a certain amount of suspense in the build-uptothe capture of Eichmann. Also well done are the interrogation sessionswithhim - more of these would have been better. The whole process of how hewassmuggled out was intriguing.The final scene at the airport also has some suspenseful moments.All-in-all, this is no "Schindler's List", but not a bad film for itstime.I think it would have been fascinating to portray the actual trial and thereaction of the world and Israel to it. Perhaps that is anothermovie...
A few years ago they made another film for TNT called The Man Who CapturedEichmann where Robert Duvall played the man who said "I will leap into mygrave laughing with the knowledge that I sent six million people to theirdeaths". This version is good as well. Martin Balsam gives a greatperformance as the head of the team, determined to bring this monster tojustice. Topol gives another great performance as an agent who saw hislittle brother murdered at Auschwitz before his eyes. The best scene is thescene where he interrogates Eichmann and asks him if he ever tried to saveanyone. The actor who played Eichmann also did a great job. He is so nerdyand unassuming that you can't believe the monsterous things he did. It showsevil can come in all forms.
As a retired history teacher, I am a VERY tough audience for historicalfilms. Again and again, I'll spot the flaws and this seriously impactsmy enjoyment of the film. I am sure this is true of most (if not all)history teachers. So, with films like "The House on Garibaldi Street",it's nice because they actually cared to get the facts straight, as thefilm was designed less as entertainment and more a testament to theteam responsible for the capture of the notorious Nazi war criminal,Adolf Eichmann.At the end of WWII, many Nazis tried to hide or escape from Alliedjustice. Some (such as Himmler), were caught and others, such as Dr.Mengele and Adolf Eichmann managed to escape to South America.Following the war, it's not surprising that Israel devoted a lot ofenergy into tracking down these evil men. The most famous of all thosethey captured was Adolf Eichmann--one of the architects of the 'finalsolution' and the man who helped run the camps at Auschwitz. However,he was living in Argentina and was being protected by folks inauthority, so when the Israeli Mossad learned he might be there, theyhad to move quickly and VERY quietly to try to capture him. And then,once captured, they needed to find a way to sneak him out of thecountry. This film is about this operation.As I mentioned above, the film gets the facts straight. Apart fromthat, the acting (with the likes of Topol and Martin Balsam) was quitegood. My only complaint, and it's a VERY minor one, is that the filmwas a bit too cerebral and deliberately paced for the average viewer. Ididn't want them to spice it up by changing facts, but perhaps ifthey'd showed a portion of the trial or his subsequent execution itmight appeal more to the average person. Well done.By the way, the one historical problem I DID notice was the hair andfashions. It looked quite late 1970s--not 1960 like it should have.
**SPOILERS** The true story of how a number Israeli Mossad Agentstracked down and captured fugitive Nazi war criminal Adolph Eichmann,Alfred Burke, back in 1960 in Buenos Aires Argintina.Eichmann using the allies Ricardo Clement had eluded justice for some15 years and blended in with the local population, in Buenos Aries, asan autoworker at a Mercedes car plant in the city. It was in Israelthat the head of the Mossad Issar Harel, Martin Balsam, got a tip froma reliable source that Eichmann was indeed alive, he was reported tohave been killed in 1945, and well in South America. Getting IsraeliPrime Minister David Ben Gurion, Leo McKern, to dispatch a three man,really two men and one woman, kidnap squad to capture Eichmann the taskproved to be far more difficult then first expected.Having Mossad agents Michael Ari and Hedda, Topol Nick Mancuso & JanetSuzman, to do the leg work in tracking down Eichmann was the easy part.It was getting the Nazi war criminal out of the country that was farmore difficult. Eichmann himself turned out to be somewhat of a flakein that he seemed to be totally unaware that he was the "Main Man" inwhat the Isralie Government made him out to be in executing what wasknown as the "Final Solution"; The annihilation of the Jews in Europeduring the Second World War.When captured Eichmann was flattered that he was considered, by theIsraeli Government, to be so high up in the Nazi hierarchy that he, inbragging about his exploit's in the war, gave his captors all the ropethat they needed to hang him with! Which they did two years later onthe night of May 31, 1962-in Israel's Ramla Rrison-after he wasconvicted in a Jerusalem court room of war crimes and crimes againstthe Jewish People.Michael as the leader of the Mossad kidnap squad had to control himselfevery time he was within reach of the captured Eichmann in that he wasnot just the only member of the squad who could positively identify himbut had seen his younger brother, as well as thousands of other fellowJews, brutally murdered in a Nazi concentration camp. This all happenedas Eichmann, who took part in the massacre, calmly watched and tookdown notes. Hadda was also having a difficult time in trying to keepfrom killing the captured Nazi war criminal and almost spiked his rice,with arsenic, when she was giving him his dinner. Ari was about theonly person who didn't try to do Eichmann in knowing that him beingalive and standing trial, in Israel, for his crimes was far moreimportant the just killing him on the spot. That was to be done whenthe law, after Eichmann's conviction, meted out final justice to him.Eichmann despite his late found, post May 1960, notoriety was almostunknown before his capture, reaching the rank of only a let. Colonel,to the world at large as a major Nazi war criminal unlike his far morewell known superiors like Hitler Himmler and his immediate boss, thearchitect of the "Final Solution", Reinhard "Hang Man" Heydrick. It wasthe fact that Eichmann eluded the long arm of the law for so long thathe worked himself up to the top, by just surviving, as the the head manin executing Hitler's "Final Solution". That after those Nazi big wigswho were above him were either captured killed or just disappeared offthe face of the earth!
I've seen a couple of films from Israel like this-they seem to be sofearful of overstating their case that anything other thanstraight-ahead recording of given reality will detract fromauthenticity, or believability, or...authoritative presentation of theFACTS. Would it kill them to make a film that's well-written andslickly produced? This looks like a real low-budget job, like somethingfrom the History channel, but with unusually good acting. When IsserHarel goes to Ben-Gurion to get the Go-ahead for pulling off theEichmann snatch, it's shot with one camera, and the script makes sureHarel identifies the prime minister twice for the benefit of theaudience(All right all ready, some of us out here know who Ben-Gurionwas!). Fortunately, there was enough suspense built in to the actualoperation so that the filmmakers couldn't squander ALL of it. In thefilm's favor, there are enough solid details, decent performances, andconvincing location sequences(Heck, all of it seems to have been shoton location in Argentina!) to give it the look, at least, of adocumentary, so it could be worse. Five years after this film came out,we got The Little Drummer Girl. I suspect that some sections of thisfilm were models for the later one, so maybe I'm not considering someof the elements that were shown first in Garibaldi Street,and haveinfluenced later films. OK, taking that into consideration, It's worthseeing, but it could have been done better.
This review is from: The House on Garibaldi Street [VHS] (VHS Tape) As a made for TV movie on VHS one should not expect too much. Actually the script and general direction is pretty good and the subject matter of great interest. The color and sound are more than adequate. The let down is the acting, especially Topol. He was brilliant in Fiddler on the Roof but here he is stilted and seems to lack confidence. Perhaps this type of drama is just not his scene. The others were no more than acceptable which is a pity as this had the potential to be much better. Despite these faults this is well worth a watch and it is a pity it has not been released on DVD. The Man Who Captured Eichman with Robert Duvall is rather better but both are a good take on a spectacular catch.