Arthur Hiller directed this pedestrian, which was produced and released as part of the American Film Theatre.
The screenplay, by Edward Anhalt, was adapted from Robert Shaw’s 1967 novel (and 1968 stage play), of the same name.
The plot was inspired by the kidnapping and trial of the Nazi officer Adolf Eichman, one of major organizers of the Holocaust.
Maxmillian Schell was nominated for his second Best Actor Oscar for playing Arthur Goldman, a Jewish death camp survivor.
A rich industrialist, he now lives luxuriously in Manhattan. He banters with his assistant Charlie, often shocking him with his outrageous irreverence for Jewish life.
Israeli Secret Agency officers kidnap Goldman and take him to Israel for trial on charges of being a Nazi War criminal. Goldman’s trial forces his accusers to face his presumed guilt as well as their own.
Goldman falsified the dental records which the Israelis used to identify him in order to bring about the trial. When the deception is revealed by the Israeli prosecutor, Goldman is left standing in the trial court’s bulletproof glass box as a broken man.
With his mental health shattered, he becomes catatonic, at one point reliving in his mind a Nazi execution.