A Simon Wiesenthal Center operative finds something big. All around the world.
A 1976 novel by Ira Levin, it was adapted into a 1978 film starring Creator/LaurenceOlivier (in his last Academy Award - nominated role) as Nazi hunter Ezra Lieberman and Creator/GregoryPeck as Dr Josef Mengele. The Academy - Award nominated score was composed by JerryGoldsmith.
The novel and film are a speculative fiction type story involving infamous real-life Nazi scientist Mengele (known as the "Angel of Death" for the extent of death he inflicted upon his victims during the Holocaust) trying to resurrect the Third Reich by cloning Hitler and recreating the events of his youth in order to make sure his Hitler Clones become as much like the original as possible.
Unfortunately for him, Mengele has a group of devoted Nazi hunters on his trail...
!!Tropes featured in this work include:
* AllYourBaseAreBelongToUs: Villainous example, as Mengele's superiors torch his base and kill his men.
* AndStarring: "And Introducing Jeremy Black." Black never had another screen credit, though he did do some stage work.
* AngryGuardDog: The Wheelock family has about a dozen well-trained dobermans.
* ArgentinaIsNaziland: Paraguay and Brazil, in this case.
* CarFu: In the film, one of the assassins uses his car as a weapon to murder a German postman.
* CassandraTruth: Mengele tells [[spoiler:one of the Hitler clones]] his true origins. It fails.
* ChildrenAreInnocent: In spite of the fact that most of the boys from Brazil are clearly budding sociopaths, Lieberman is against their assassination, since they haven't committed any crimes.
* CloningGambit: [[spoiler:Mengele's plot is to create new, original Hitlers by cloning him and recreating his upbringing.]]
* CrazyPrepared: Their back up plans have back up plans.
* CreepyBlueEyes: The Paraguayans in Mengele's compound and all of the cloned Hitlers.
* DatedHistory: The movie puts Mengele in Paraguay (though the mothers of the kids are Brazilian), his speculated real life location. He truly went there for sometime, but in the 1970s he was ''really'' in Brazil (where he died in 1979, meaning that besides the deteriorated health he could have seen the movie).
* DecoyProtagonist: [[spoiler:Barry in the movie]].
* TheEndOrIsIt: [[spoiler:In the ending, one of the Hitler clones gets really absorbed and excited about his pictures of Mengele's dead body. There are still up to 94 more of them around the world, ticking timebombs.]]
* ExpendableClone: Averted. While Mengele's superiors want the project scrapped, Mengele's very aware that his clones are aging in real time, and that each is irreplaceable.
* EvilDetectingDog: The dogs don't like Mengele.
* GoneHorriblyRight: Mengele suddenly finds himself wishing that his cloned Hitlers weren't quite so sadistic.
* HoistByHisOwnPetard: Mengele finds himself at the mercy of one of his cloned Hitlers. Oops.
* HuntingAccident: One of the parents' murders is disguised as such.
** Josef Mengele goes from, essentially, a psychotic State-sponsored SerialKiller who was, in reality, a totally incompetent scientist; to the DiabolicalMastermind behind both a cloning project at least a century ahead of its time, and an elaborate political scheme to recreate the Fourth Reich.
** UsefulNotes/AdolfHitler, too, in the sense that merely creating a clone of him (and raising him in a near-identical way) is enough to potentially bring about TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt. If nothing else, he is [[TheDreaded dreaded]] enough that everyone fears this outcome. Social, political, economic factors and everything else be damned!
* LargeHam: Both protagonists are enjoying their roles, particularly Peck.
* OohMeAccentsSlipping: James Mason has a truly fake attempt at a German accent.
* SocietyMarchesOn: The description of cloning is painstakingly detailed, as the concept was relegated to more futuristic scifi at the movie's release.
* StatingTheSimpleSolution: Mengele asks his superiors why he can't "[[WhyDontYouJustShootHim just shoot him]]", only to be denied...
* YouClonedHitler: Probably the TropeCodifier.
* YouKilledMyFather: [[spoiler:The Nazis plan is to kill the boys' fathers to replicate Hitler's origin story. But one of them, after knowing Mengele killed his old man, sends the dogs to attack him.]]