Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The Boys from Brazil

In 1978, the film adaptation of the bestselling Ira Levin book, "The Boys From Brazil," was released. It starred Laurence Olivier and Gregory Peck.

It was rightly tagged as science fiction and a thriller. The plot revolved around an attempt to clone Adolf Hitler. The antagonist was Josef Mengele, played by Gregory Peck. Mengele was a real person in the inner circle of Hitler. He was brought into the story to bring chilling authenticity. Mengel was known as the "Angel of Death" in concentration camps and performed experiments on human beings, particularly twins.

The rest of the characters were fictionalized, although the character Ezra Lieberman was based on real-life Nazi hunter Simon Wiesenthal.

So why am I writing about this movie? It's because those who oppose human cloning bring up the fear that madmen such as Adolf Hitler might be cloned. Like the tag of the movie and book, this idea is purely science fiction. It will take more than just implanting DNA in a woman's womb to replicate an exact clone of anyone.

To clone someone such as Adolf Hitler and have him lead a Fourth Reich would also mean replicating the exact same circumstance, environment and prejudices that the original Hitler lived in. But, then again, this still would not be a guarantee. The clone might even grow to be a pacifist instead of a madman bent on exterminating certain races of humans. The effort would be too expensive and all-encompassing with almost fruitless results.

It would be much cheaper making a science fiction thriller of a movie.

If you haven't watched the film, Amazon has it and you can order it through this link. It costs less than $7.00 last time I looked.