The Boys from Brazil (1978) Poster

Laurence Olivier: Ezra Lieberman



  • Ezra Lieberman : Did you kill Wheelock?

    Dr. Josef Mengele : [sarcastically]  No, he's in the kitchen mixing us some cocktails!

  • Ezra Lieberman : Not Mozart. Not Picasso. Not a genius who will enrich the world. But a lonely little boy with a domineering father, a customs officer who was 52 when he was born. And an affectionate doting mother who was 29. The father died when he was 65 when the boy was nearly 14... Adolf Hitler.

  • Professor Bruckner : Cloning. What if I were to tell you that I could take a scraping of skin from your finger and create another Ezra Lieberman?

    Ezra Lieberman : I would tell you not to waste your time on my finger.

  • [last lines] 

    Ezra Lieberman : You know, there was a nurse here, an angel of mercy called Miss Hannah, who actually gives me cigarettes. You know what she said to me the other day? She said, Mr. Lieberman, if you can escape Buchenwald, and you can escape those bullets, then a few cigarettes will not hurt you.

    [suddenly lights the list on fire] 

    Ezra Lieberman : Isn't that a nice thing to say?

  • Ezra Lieberman : You're not a guard now, madame! You are a prisoner! I may leave here today empty handed. But you... are not going anywhere.

  • Barry Kohler : Okay, I'm running it down now. It will only take a second.

    Ezra Lieberman : Take your time, old men don't go back to sleep once they've been awakened.

  • Professor Bruckner : He was nothing but a sadist, really.

    Ezra Lieberman : A sadist with an M.D. and a Ph.D.

    Professor Bruckner : Well, some people would say the perfect definition of a scientist.

  • Sidney Beynon : Have you any idea how many men in their mid-60s die every day?

    Ezra Lieberman : I try not to think about it.

  • David Bennett : We have the right and we have the duty.

    Ezra Lieberman : To do what? To kill children?

  • [Bruckner begins listing the boys' common features on a chalkboard] 

    Professor Bruckner : Now, Mengele would certainly know that every social and environmental detail would have to be reproduced. Plus, if the parents were divorced when the boy was ten, this would have to be arranged...

    Ezra Lieberman : [in horrified realization]  Dr. Bruckner... the one who is cloned, the donor, he has to be alive, doesn't he?

    Professor Bruckner : Not necessarily. Individual cells, taken from a donor, can be preserved indefinitely. With a sample of Mozart's blood, and the women, someone with the skill and equipment could breed a few hundred baby Mozarts. My God... if it's really been done, what I'd give to see one of those boys.

    [turns around and sees the room is empty] 

    Professor Bruckner : Herr Lieberman?

  • Professor Bruckner : No, it's impossible.

    Ezra Lieberman : What? Dr. Bruckner, what is impossible?

    Professor Bruckner : Mononuclear reproduction.

    Ezra Lieberman : Oh, Doctor...

    Professor Bruckner : Cloning.

  • Professor Bruckner : [explaining cloning to Lieberman]  It was first done with plants. A cutting taken from a plant and transplanted grew to be an exact duplicate of the donor plant. Now we are doing the same thing with laboratory animals.

    Ezra Lieberman : You mean, you can produce an animal from itself?

    Professor Bruckner : We take the unfertilized egg of an ovulating female, and destroy all of its genes and chromosomes. We then implant a nucleus of a donor's cell, which could be taken from a blood sample, or even a skin scraping. That cell, with its genetic material intact, eventually becomes an embryo and is born as a living creature.

    Ezra Lieberman : Without parents?

    Professor Bruckner : Well, it has no father because the egg was never fertilized, no mother because its genetic code comes from another being. Can you follow that?

    Ezra Lieberman : And this creature... is an exact duplicate of itself? Oh, Doctor, how can that be?

    Professor Bruckner : Come along. Our experiments began with the simplest of animals: shrimps, frogs, animals in which the female's eggs are fertilized externally. Then we moved on to mammals. We tried several laboratory animals, and found the rabbit most convenient. I had to develop instruments which could accomplish the operation, and a whole micro-injection system. I'll show you how it's done...

  • Professor Bruckner : Is Mengele... trying to reproduce himself?

    Ezra Lieberman : No! No, he has brown eyes, and he comes from a very wealthy family.

  • [Ezra explains why he is searching for Josef Mengele] 

    Ezra Lieberman : He was the chief doctor of Auschwitz, who killed 2.5 million people, experimented with children - Jewish and non-Jewish - using twins mostly, injecting blue dyes into their eyes to make them acceptable Aryans... amputating limbs and organs from thousands without anesthetics.

  • Ezra Lieberman : [on cloning]  And this can be done with humans?

    Professor Bruckner : If the surgical technique were precise enough.

    Ezra Lieberman : It's monstrous, Doctor!

    Professor Bruckner : Why? Wouldn't you want to live in a world full of Mozarts and Picassos?

See also

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