by Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski)

This docudrama about the post-capture, pre-trial interrogation of the prominent Nazi Adolf Eichmann is a powerful film which builds its power in an unusual way. In the first thirty minutes it almost seems to be using the holocaust to deliver an exploitation film, ala Ilsa the Wicked Warden. The interrogator seems to be concentrating unduly on Eichmann's sex life, and various flashbacks portray the Nazi's sexual encounters with three women: his wife and two mistresses. As it turns out, those scenes are part of the film's master strategy to establish Eichmann's cold-hearted nature through a typically cinematic means of character development, and the point of each scene is an important part of the big picture. This sort of oblique approach tends to be necessary in a biography of Eichmann because there was no extremely obvious "smoking gun" which clearly linked him to the Nazi policy of genocide. Although history remembers him as a big wheel, he was actually a mere lieutenant colonel, and his trial defense was that he was only a transportation officer. As he pictured the situation, more senior officers told him that he needed to create efficient rail lines between various places, and that he needed to do everything necessary to get the tracks laid, the trains constructed, and the schedules in place.

Given that there was some legal validity to that defense, the film aspired to condemn him by showing that his disregard for life, especially Jewish life, was part of an overall behavior pattern, and his sexual liaisons were an integral part of that pattern.

  • He abandoned his first mistress in Austria with no notice, even though he had known in advance that he would be transferred. He was living with the mistress on a farm which had been expropriated by the state for his use. A car showed up for him one morning, at which time he told the woman he was leaving for good, and then had all the slave laborers shot (according to this account), leaving the woman alone on the farm. She asked, "now what will happen to all the animals?" His curt response was, "Shoot them."
  • In Hungary he managed to link up with a truly twisted and bloodthirsty baroness who became sexually excited by Eichmann's claims to have been responsible for various mass deaths and his role in the ethnic cleansing of several countries. They would talk about his brutal crimes during sexual encounters, with the aristocrat's sexual excitement directly proportionate to the cruelty in Eichmann's boasts. I'm not sure how accurate this portrayal could be, since those two people are the only ones who could verify the details of their grotesque pillow talk, but if it is true it certainly establishes Eichmann's truly demented and sadistic nature.

Of course some people will be shocked by the sex scenes in this film, but the combination of dramatized flashbacks, actual newsreel footage, and actual interrogation transcripts ultimately builds an Eichmann who seemed to deserve the hanging sentence he received. In that sense, the film is effective. Where the film fails is in the various sub-plots which take place in Israel circa 1960-62. Avner Less, the Israeli policeman assigned to interrogate Eichmann, is portrayed in some depth, and every time the story focuses on him it loses all its momentum.

Avner plays with his children. His wife's health is failing. Who the hell cares? The story is supposed to be about Eichmann, not Avner. Did the screenwriter forget the name of the film? The sub-plot problem is compounded by two minor characters who seem to have been written in just to get two internationally recognized actors,  Stephen Fry (as Avner's boss) and Franka Potente (as Avner's wife), into the film for marketing purposes. Both roles could have been eliminated completely without losing anything important from the film.

The structural problem in Eichmann is precisely the same as the one in Hollywoodland, which was a fascinating movie when it concentrated on George Reeves, and a poor one when it focused on the home life of the private detective investigating his death. Despite what seem to be exploitation elements in the early going, Eichmann is actually quite an effective film when it focuses on Eichmann. Unfortunately, it does not always do so.


At the moment of our publication, no North American DVD info is available. Pre-order information is available for a Region 2  DVD at Amazon.uk



No reviews found online.


6.3 IMDB summary (of 10)






No reported theatrical release.




  • Tereza Srbova showed her breasts and buns in a (deliberately tasteless) sex scene.
  • Judit Viktor did full frontal and rear nudity in getting out of bed.
  • An uncredited actress (as Eichmann's wife) showed her breasts briefly.


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Our Grade:

If you are not familiar with our grading system, you need to read the explanation, because the grading is not linear. For example, by our definition, a C is solid and a C+ is a VERY good movie. There are very few Bs and As. Based on our descriptive system, this film is a:


An OK movie which seems to have been capable of greatness, but missed the mark.