“Here on the outskirts of Jerusalem, there is a place known as the Mount of Remembrance. Each tree along its avenue of the righteous honors another gentile. Men and Women who risked their own lives to save a Jew’s during the ” – Narrator
Number of Times Seen – 2 (8/9 Apr 1985 and 8 Aug 2016)
Brief Synopsis – True story of a Swedish diplomat in Hungary during WWII who uses his credentials to save thousands of doomed Jews.
My Take on it – This is a film that I saw once when it was shown on TV in 1985.
It was shown as a two night event and I remember the fan fare leading up to the showing of this miniseries.
For the past 30 years, I have been quite interested in seeing this again because it made such an impression on me. When I did my Temporal Top Ten last year, this movie ranked #4 in 1985 based solely on my recollection of watching it over 30 years ago.
Unfortunately, this couldn’t live up to the pedestal I created for it in my mind.
Yes, it truly is a very good biopic and it tells an amazingly heroic story, but it just isn’t superb.
We get to see many of the things that Raoul Wallenberg did to save the lives of countless Jews marked for certain death and it is shown in a believable way.
Richard Chamberlain is great as the title character and he makes us easily sympathize with his character’s plight and mission.
The length of this film is part of what made it lose many “brownie” points in my opinion.
This story doesn’t really fit into 3 hours and it feels too often that scenes were stretched in order to reach the goal of making it a 2 night TV event instead of trying to focus on the story.
Despite it not being as amazing as I recall, it still is a very good movie worth watching at least once.
Bottom Line – Very good biopic that shows Wallenberg’s heroic life saving actions that helped save so many people. Chamberlain is superb in the title role. At 3 hours, it feels a bit stretched and they probably chose this length solely in order to show it on back to back nights for rating purposes. Not as amazing as I recall, but still a great effort. Recommended!
MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – In 1981, U.S. Congressman Tom Lantos, himself one of those saved by Wallenberg, sponsored a bill making Wallenberg an Honorary Citizen of the United States. He was the second person ever to receive this honor, after Winston Churchill (and unlike Churchill, neither of his parents had been born in the United States). Wallenberg is also an honorary citizen of Canada, Hungary, Australia and Israel. (From Wikipedia)
Rating – Globe Worthy
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