The Man in the Glass Booth

Directed by Arthur Hiller

Year: 1975
Running Time: 117
Color Type: Color
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
Country: U.S.
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The Man in the Glass Booth

Cast
Allan Starski
Luther Adler
Lois Nettleton
Lawrence Pressman

Crew
Directed by Arthur Hiller


Director Arthur Hiller (Love Story, Silver Streak), working from screenwriter Edward Anhalt's (Becket) adaptation, transforms actor-playwright Robert Shaw's The Man in the Glass Booth into a film the Los Angeles Times dubbed, "daring, outrageous, utterly provocative, endlessly ambiguous and strikingly effective."

Millionaire Jewish entrepreneur Arthur Goldman (Maximilian Schell) benvolently rules his financial empire from a penthouse apartment overlooking Manhattan. Seemingly at the edge of sanity, Goldman holds forth on everyting from Papal edicts to ex-wives, from baseball to his family's massacre in a Nazi concentration camp. When Goldman remarks on a blue Mercedes continuously parked outside his building, Goldman's captive audience of assistant (Lawrence Pressman) and chauffeur (Henry Brown) dismiss their boss' anxiety as encroaching paranoia. But each of Goldman's passionate, seemingly capricious ravings are transformed into a shocking, inadvertent deposition when Israeli agents capture Goldman and put him on trial as Adolph Dorf, the commandant of the concentration camp where Goldman's family was supposedly exterminated. In a trial scene of unrelenting intensity, Academy Award© winner Schell (Judgement at Nuremberg) crafts what the Detroit Free Press called "a white-hot lead performance," mutating from eccentric Goldman to sociopath Dorf and beyond. The riddle of Dorf's true identity becomes wrapped in an enigma of cunning self-treachery and single-minded obsession.

Veteran cinematographer Sam Leavitt enables Hiller to coax a vividly personal and electrifying intelligent dual portrait out of Schell. The Man in the Glass Booth is a timeless drama of surprising intimacy and indefatigable courage, "possessing," declared the Los Angeles Times, "a remarkably resilient sense of lightness for all the profound questions it ponders."

Reviews

"A scintillating theater piece gets a terrific cinematic treatment in Arthur Hiller’s The Man in the Glass Booth. With an eye-opening central performance and cerebral surprises to keep a thoughtful moviegoer completely enthralled, The Man in the Glass Booth earns a firm recommendation."

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