When a young woman takes her blind father to meet her boyfriend and his father he recognizes the smell of his cologne, a smell which takes him back to the war as only one other man wore that cologne the notorious Nazi Adolf Eichmann (Robert Duvall - Phenomenon). His tip off leads Mossad, Israel's Secret Service, to follow up on this lead and they discover that Eichmann has set up a life for himself in Argentina as Ricardo Clement, a respectable family man who loves his children and grandchildren. Mossad lead by Isser Harel (Jeffrey Tambor - Tangled) set about capturing Eichmann who having been held at a secret location following his capture starts revealing all to Peter Malkin (Arliss Howard - The Time Traveller's Wife).
So I've mentioned it before but feel that I should mention it again, my historical knowledge is extremely basic and as such had never even heard of Adolf Eichmann. But after coming into possession of two movies with "Eichmann" in the title and the fact that "The Man Who Captured Eichmann" stars the always impressive Robert Duvall I thought I would give it a go. And for a TV movie from the mid 90s "The Man Who Captured Eichmann" is a solid drama surrounding the capture of Adolf Eichmann in the early 60s with the actors doing a good job of bringing their characters to life, but it didn't blow me away.
Now "The Man Who Captured Eichmann" starts with the scene of the blind father meeting the future son-in-law's father and smelling his cologne. It is a simple but detailed scene where we see the number of the father's arm, the change of look when he recognizes the cologne and the unease of Eichmann when he sees the man's number tattooed on his arm. That scene lifts your expectations of what is to come as it is beautifully constructed.
What is to come or at least what feels like the bulk of the movie is the men from Mossad plotting on kidnapping Eichmann in order to take him to trial. What we get in between some spying and some planning is some clashing as there are disagreements between the men as to who should be involved and what should be done. It works but it is not a fantastic drama although this does lead in to the third part of the movie which all I am going to say is confession and let you see for yourself.
Now the thing about "The Man Who Captured Eichmann" is the calibre of its cast and it is these actors who make a difference. Robert Duvall, Arliss Howard and Jeffrey Tambor all bring different aspects to their character and bring them to life. It is as simple as that, they make the characters come across as people with worries and fear which is what is so often missing from the TV movie genre.
What this all boils down to is that "The Man Who Captured Eichmann" is a solid drama and a lot better than your usual made for TV movies. But whilst interesting and entertaining it lacks the production which the calibre of the cast deserve.