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The American Film Theatre: The Man in the Glass Booth (1975)

Cast: Maximilian Schell, Maximilian Schell, Lois Nettleton, more...
Director: Arthur Hiller, Arthur Hiller
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Studio: Kino
Genre: Drama, Courtroom, Politics and Social Issues, Courtroom, Courtroom
Running Time: 117 min.
Languages: English
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Actor/writer Robert Shaw's powerhouse stage play The Man in the Glass Booth was transferred to the screen as part of the American Film Theatre series. Maximilian Schell plays Arthur Goldman, a Jewish businessmen living in Manhattan in 1965. A group of Israeli underground agents barge into Goldman's office and kidnap him. He is brought to Israel, placed in a bulletproof glass booth, and put on trial. His accusers charge that Goldman is not a Jew, but in fact a notorious Nazi war criminal, guilty of unspeakable crimes against humanity. Robert Shaw's name does not appear in the credits of The Man in the Glass Booth; he was so displeased with Edward Anhalt's screen adaptation that he had his name removed from the project. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide

GreenCine Member Reviews

Brilliant acting, mostly brilliant script by johnnyclock March 28, 2005 - 9:36 PM PST
1 out of 1 members found this review helpful
I will be largely abstract to avoid spoilers. Rest assured, then, there are none herein:

The first 69 minutes of this 115-minute script are strong and brilliant. M. Schell's performance is brilliant throughout. But the script, in my opinion, loses its brilliance and focus in the last 46 minutes. At first the script is witty, incisive, relevant, ironic, demanding, shocking and comic at the same time. But in the latter part of the movie, the script becomes pedagogic to its own detriment. It is clear what the author wants to say, but he says it better dramatically -- which is the first part -- and in the second part he says it more directly and didactically, but it becomes less and less good theatre. The scenes in the last 46 minutes are simply not convincing. There are still brilliant speeches by the main character, played by M. Schell, and strong acting, but, for me, a lot of the procedural events in this last section seemed contrived and unrealistic. Had the movie maintained the level of the first 69 minutes I would have unhesitatingly given it a 9. As it is, I must still give it an 8.

GreenCine Member Rating

(Average 6.11)
9 Votes
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