Conspiracy (UK/ USA, 2001)
Directed by Frank Pierson
Starring Kenneth Branagh, Stanley Tucci, Colin Firth, Ian McNeice
A lot has been written recently about the resurgence of TV drama, and how the most interesting stories and ideas are now being presented on the small screen rather than in the cinema. This is of course a big generalisation - there are still a great many brilliant films being made each year with interesting stories, just as so much of mainstream TV is utter trash. But Conspiracy is a good example of how TV movies have grown in stature and presentation, tackling a meaty subject with aplomb and boasting very high production values.
The Banality of Evil, written during the trial of Adolf Eichmann in Jerusalem, and Stanley Milgram, whose experiments in the 1960s showed how power can supersede morality. Both Arendt and Milgram believed that high-powered Nazis like Heydrich and Eichmann were just "bureaucrats shuffling papers", whose compulsion to obey their Führer overrode any kind of moral principles.
A Man For All Seasons. David Threlfall is completely unrecognisable from his later work in Shameless, turning in a restrained but imposing turn as Dr. Kritzinger. Stanley Tucci doesn't make a huge impression as Eichmann, but that is perhaps in keep with the character's status as a bureaucrat and organiser, rather than a leader.
NEXT FILM: Aladdin (1992)