1 9 7 5 (USA)
2 x 110 minute episodes
An adaptation of the Leon Uris novel about Jewish American author Abe Cady (Ben Gazzara) who accuses anti-Communist Polish doctor Adam Kelno (Anthony Hopkins) of assisting medical crimes at a Nazi death camp. The doctor sues for libel.
Written by Uris from his own experience – he had been taken to court in Britain by one Dr Wladislaw Dering for a derogatory reference in his book Exodus – it was windily directed and scripted and mindfully ignored the complexities of history.
Its importance mostly lies in its format. Transmitted in two chunks of 110 minutes, it was one of the foundations of the phenomenon which came to be known (erroneously) as the “mini-series”.
Jack Hawkins (Justice Gilroy) was suffering from throat cancer during the filming. His voice was dubbed by Charles Gray.
The ‘QB’ in the title stands for ‘Queen’s Bench’ and VII (seven) is the number of the courtroom in which the climactic trial occurs.
Dr Stanislaus Lotaki