The plot was inspired by actual events surrounding the kidnapping and trial of Adolf Eichmann. Arthur Goldman is Jewish and a Nazi death camp survivor. Now a rich industrialist, he lives in luxury in a Manhattan high-rise. He banters with his assistant Charlie, often shocking him with his outrageousness and irreverence about aspects of Jewish life. One day, Israeli secret agents burst in and kidnap Goldman and take him to Israel for trial on charges of being a Nazi war criminal. Goldman's trial forces his accusers to face not only his presumed guilt, but their own as well.
At the end it appears that Goldman falsified the dental records which the Israelis used to identify him in order to bring about the trial. When the deception is revealed by the Israeli prosecutor, Goldman is left standing in the trial court's bulletproof glass box, a broken man, and dies.
Schell was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor and the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor - Motion Picture Drama for his performance. Edward Anhalt was nominated for the Writers Guild of America Award for Best Drama Adapted from Another Medium for his screenplay.