The Man In The Glass Booth

  • 1975
  • Movie
  • PG
  • Drama

Originally done as a stage play by actor-writer Robert Shaw (who was so good as Quint in JAWS), THE MAN IN THE GLASS BOOTH is a roman a clef about Adolf Eichmann and is an excellent and graphic portrait of the Nazi war machine. Schell is a wealthy Jewish businessman living in New York City, or is he? He's captured by Israelis and brought to trial for the...read more

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Originally done as a stage play by actor-writer Robert Shaw (who was so good as Quint in JAWS), THE MAN IN THE GLASS BOOTH is a roman a clef about Adolf Eichmann and is an excellent and graphic portrait of the Nazi war machine. Schell is a wealthy Jewish businessman living in New York

City, or is he? He's captured by Israelis and brought to trial for the torture and murder of millions of victims, Jews and otherwise, during WW II. As the film unspools, we are even more confused about Schell's true identity, as he denies everything. Instead of employing flashbacks, the film lets

the witnesses deliver the accusatory and anecdotal material. Director Hiller though the material was strong enough to stand on its own and didn't need the cinematic "opening up" that would have been done in the hands of many other directors. So he elected to stay close to the play's text in form

and style and let the actors be the stars, rather than enlisting any camera tricks. Schell is riveting as the impostor living a life of ease until the mask is stripped from his face. Eichmann had been seated in a glass booth for the duration of his trial, hence the title. The picture raises many

questions concerning the guilt those who have oppressed others might feel long after their deeds become memories. (Though, in truth, real cases of captured Nazis have shown they harbor almost no regrets for what they did.) Adler as the presiding judge and Nettleton as the prosecutor are among the

fine supporting cast, but Schell radiates the evil of the Nazi so well that his is the performance one recalls. He was nominated for an Oscar that year but lost in the sweep of ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO'S NEST.

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  • Released: 1975
  • Rating: PG
  • Review: Originally done as a stage play by actor-writer Robert Shaw (who was so good as Quint in JAWS), THE MAN IN THE GLASS BOOTH is a roman a clef about Adolf Eichmann and is an excellent and graphic portrait of the Nazi war machine. Schell is a wealthy Jewish b… (more)

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