QB VII is an American television miniseries produced by Screen Gems; it was also the final programme from Columbia Pictures’ television division to be made under the Screen Gems banner.
Adapted to the screen by Edward Anhalt from the 1970 novel QB VII by Leon Uris.
Dr. Adam Kelno, a Pole, escapes from a Nazi concentration camp. During his recovery, he romances his nurse, Angela, and eventually marries her and settles in England.
After the end of World War II, the communists try to extradite Dr. Kelno for war crimes as a doctor working for the Nazis, performing medical experiments on Jewish prisoners. They fail to prove their case and Kelno is vindicated, but he takes his wife to the Middle East to escape the notoriety afterward.
During World War II, Abraham Cady was wounded, also marrying his nurse, Samantha, though he cheats on her, eventually taking up with Lady Margaret. Initially atheistic, Cady reconnects with his Jewish heritage while in Israel to see his ill father, who dies shortly after his arrival.
Cady writes a book, called The Holocaust, naming Dr. Kelno as a Nazi collaborator who performed forced sterilisations on Jewish prisoners. Kelno brings a lawsuit for libel against Cady, which is heard in the London courts.
Kelno insists on his innocence. Cady is defiant when confronted by Kelno and reporters outside the courtroom. Kelno denies in court sterilising healthy Jews at the behest of the SS, but Cady’s barrister presents evidence that Kelno castrated hundreds of healthy Jews as punishments or as medical experiments, and that some of them died as a result.
Kelno is devastated when his son turns on him and throws him out. Cady, too, loses his son, the young man dying while serving in the Israeli military.
The jury finds in favour of Kelno but only gives him damages in the sum of one half-penny, “the lowest coin in the realm”, for damages to Kelno’s reputation.
Outline (Part 02)
Ignoring the advice of his wife and son, Sir Adam Kelno insists on suing Abe Cady, who has accused him of castrating Jews in a best selling book, for libel.
Part 01 here.
- Ben Gazzara as Abraham Cady.
- Anthony Hopkins as Dr. Adam Kelno.
- Leslie Caron as Angela Kelno.
- Lee Remick as Lady Margaret Alexander Wydman.
- Juliet Mills as Samantha Cady.
- Dan O’Herlihy as David Shawcross.
- Robert Stephens as Robert Highsmith.
- Anthony Quayle as Tom Banniester.
- Milo O’Shea as Dr. Stanislaus Lotaki.
- John Gielgud as Clinton-Meek.
- Edith Evans as Dr. Parmentier.
- Jack Hawkins as Justice Gilray.
- This was Jack Hawkins’s final movie role.
- He had already had a laryngectomy for throat cancer, and used oesophageal speech in his speaking parts.
- He died soon after filming was completed.
- Judy Carne as Natalie.
- Kristoffer Tabori as Ben Cady.
- Joseph Wiseman as Morris Cady.
- Anthony Andrews as Stephen Kelno.
- Signe Hasso as Lena Kronska.
- Sam Jaffe as Dr. Mark Tesla.
- Alan Napier as Semple.
- Julian Glover as Zaminski.
- Vladek Sheybal as Egon Sobotnik.
- Grégoire Aslan as Sheik Hassan.
- Lana Wood as Sue Scanlon.
- Michael Gough as Dr. Fletcher.
- Leigh Lawson as Dicks.
- Geoffrey Keen as Magistrate Griffin.
- Robert Hutton as Ambassador Richards.
- Clement von Franckenstein as party guest (uncredited).
- QB VII was released as a Region 1 DVD on 29 May 2001.
- The six-and-a-half-hour miniseries won seven Primetime Emmy Awards of the 14 for which it was nominated.
- This mini-series, and the original novel, are a fictionalised version of the real-life lawsuit filed against author Leon Uris by Dr. Wladislaw Dering over a one-line reference in Uris’ best-selling novel, “Exodus,” about Dering’s wartime record in a Nazi concentration camp.
- As in this mini-series, the concentration camp surgical records were produced, but on loan from the Polish government, not after being kept in hiding.
- Dering, like Adam Kelno (Sir Anthony Hopkins), collected only one half-penny in damages, and was forced to pay his own substantial legal costs.
- The original script began with Adam Kelno (Sir Anthony Hopkins) doing volunteer work in the jungle.
- After two days of shooting in the jungle, the jungle setting was scrapped and changed to a desert.
- The same thing happened during the shooting of Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope (1977).
- Despite a 1975 Emmy Award for Film Sound Editing, none of the 13 sound editors received on-screen credit.
- The first ABC “novel for television” that launched the mini-series form on network television.
Production & Filming Details
- Tom Gries … (2 episodes, 1974).
- James H. Brown … associate producer: United States (2 episodes, 1974).
- Douglas S. Cramer … producer (2 episodes, 1974).
- D.N.C.R. MacDonald … associate producer: England, Israel (2 episodes, 1974).
- Edward Anhalt … (written by) (2 episodes, 1974).
- Wilford Lloyd Baumes … (concept) (2 episodes, 1974).
- Leon Uris … (novel) (2 episodes, 1974).
- Jerry Goldsmith … (2 episodes, 1974).
- Byron ‘Buzz’ Brandt … (2 episodes, 1974).
- Irving Rosenblum … (2 episodes, 1974).
- Douglas S. Cramer Company.
- Screen Gems.
- American Broadcasting Company (ABC) (1974) (USA) (TV).
- Columbia TriStar Domestic Television (2001) (USA) (TV) (syndication).
- Sony Pictures Home Entertainment (2001) (USA) (DVD) (complete mini-series).
- Sony Pictures Television (2002) (USA) (TV) (syndication).
- Sony Pictures Home Entertainment (2014) (USA) (DVD) (entire series, 2-disc set).
- BBC One (1976) (UK) (TV).
- RCA/Columbia-Hoyts Home Video (1985) (Australia) (video).
- Videosonic (1987) (Greece) (VHS).
- Release Date: 29 April 1974 to 30 April 1974.
- Rating: 12.
- Running Time: 390 minutes (total running time).
- Country: US.
- Language: English.