The House on Garibaldi Street (1979 TV Movie)
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At the end of WWII, many Nazis tried to hide or escape from Allied justice. Some (such as Himmler), were caught and others, such as Dr. Mengele and Adolf Eichmann managed to escape to South America. Following the war, it's not surprising that Israel devoted a lot of energy into tracking down these evil men. The most famous of all those they captured was Adolf Eichmann--one of the architects of the 'final solution' and the man who helped run the camps at Auschwitz. However, he was living in Argentina and was being protected by folks in authority, so when the Israeli Mossad learned he might be there, they had to move quickly and VERY quietly to try to capture him. And then, once captured, they needed to find a way to sneak him out of the country. This film is about this operation.
As I mentioned above, the film gets the facts straight. Apart from that, the acting (with the likes of Topol and Martin Balsam) was quite good. My only complaint, and it's a VERY minor one, is that the film was a bit too cerebral and deliberately paced for the average viewer. I didn't want them to spice it up by changing facts, but perhaps if they'd showed a portion of the trial or his subsequent execution it might appeal more to the average person. Well done.
By the way, the one historical problem I DID notice was the hair and fashions. It looked quite late 1970s--not 1960 like it should have.
Eichmann using the allies Ricardo Clement had eluded justice for some 15 years and blended in with the local population, in Buenos Aries, as an autoworker at a Mercedes car plant in the city. It was in Israel that the head of the Mossad Issar Harel, Martin Balsam, got a tip from a reliable source that Eichmann was indeed alive, he was reported to have been killed in 1945, and well in South America. Getting Israeli Prime Minister David Ben Gurion, Leo McKern, to dispatch a three man, really two men and one woman, kidnap squad to capture Eichmann the task proved to be far more difficult then first expected.
Having Mossad agents Michael Ari and Hedda, Topol Nick Mancuso & Janet Suzman, to do the leg work in tracking down Eichmann was the easy part. It was getting the Nazi war criminal out of the country that was far more difficult. Eichmann himself turned out to be somewhat of a flake in that he seemed to be totally unaware that he was the "Main Man" in what the Isralie Government made him out to be in executing what was known as the "Final Solution"; The annihilation of the Jews in Europe during the Second World War.
When captured Eichmann was flattered that he was considered, by the Israeli Government, to be so high up in the Nazi hierarchy that he, in bragging about his exploit's in the war, gave his captors all the rope that they needed to hang him with! Which they did two years later on the night of May 31, 1962-in Israel's Ramla Rrison-after he was convicted in a Jerusalem court room of war crimes and crimes against the Jewish People.
Michael as the leader of the Mossad kidnap squad had to control himself every time he was within reach of the captured Eichmann in that he was not just the only member of the squad who could positively identify him but had seen his younger brother, as well as thousands of other fellow Jews, brutally murdered in a Nazi concentration camp. This all happened as Eichmann, who took part in the massacre, calmly watched and took down notes. Hadda was also having a difficult time in trying to keep from killing the captured Nazi war criminal and almost spiked his rice, with arsenic, when she was giving him his dinner. Ari was about the only person who didn't try to do Eichmann in knowing that him being alive and standing trial, in Israel, for his crimes was far more important the just killing him on the spot. That was to be done when the law, after Eichmann's conviction, meted out final justice to him.
Eichmann despite his late found, post May 1960, notoriety was almost unknown before his capture, reaching the rank of only a let. Colonel, to the world at large as a major Nazi war criminal unlike his far more well known superiors like Hitler Himmler and his immediate boss, the architect of the "Final Solution", Reinhard "Hang Man" Heydrick. It was the fact that Eichmann eluded the long arm of the law for so long that he worked himself up to the top, by just surviving, as the the head man in executing Hitler's "Final Solution". That after those Nazi big wigs who were above him were either captured killed or just disappeared off the face of the earth!
One small gripe I have about the film, however, is that in one scene they show a paddle tennis match...the events of the film took place almost 10 years before paddle tennis was invented.