It has been three years since the most important Nazi leaders had already been tried. This trial is about 4 judges who used their offices to conduct Nazi sterilization and cleansing policies. Retired American judge, Dan Haywood has a daunting task ahead of him. The Cold War is heating up and no one wants any more trials as Germany, and Allied governments, want to forget the past. But is that the right thing to do is the question that the tribunal must decide. Written by
Tony Fontana <email@example.com>
Burt Lancaster does not utter a single word in the courtroom until his outburst roughly two hours and 15 minutes into the film. However, prior to that he does speak briefly in three scenes set in the prison. See more »
The housekeeper, Mrs. Halbestadt, says that Mrs. Bertholt's husband was executed in connection with the Malmedy massacre during the Battle of the Bulge. Although many Germans were found guilty for the massacre and some were sentenced to death, none of then was ever actually executed. See more »
I'll make you a wager...
Judge Dan Haywood:
I don't make wagers.
A gentleman's wager... in five years, the men you sentenced to life imprisonment will be free.
Judge Dan Haywood:
Herr Rolfe, I have admired your work in the court for many months. You are particularly brilliant in your use of logic...
[Rolfe nods with an appreciative smile]
Judge Dan Haywood:
-so, what you suggest may very well happpen. It *is* logical, in view of the times in which we live. *But to be logical is not to be right*, and *nothing* on God's earth could ever *make ...
[...] See more »
They say that time heals all heartache. In the case of the Third Reich, I'm not sure that the old saying is true. Out of respect for the Holocaust victims, and as an important history lesson, there's something to be said for not forgetting the evils of Hitler. Fortunately, we have this great film to help us not forget.
"Judgment At Nuremberg" is a dramatization of one of the many real life post WWII Nuremberg trials of high ranking Nazis. Most of the film focuses on the 1948 courtroom trial of four judges who helped to carry out Hitler's decrees. As part of the prosecution's case against the judges, real life, graphic film footage showing the horrors of the death camps engenders a gut level impression that is both powerful and persuasive. The film thus educates viewers in ways that a dry textbook of facts and figures never could.
But there's more to the film than the trial. In other parts of Nuremberg we see ordinary Germans trying to get on with their lives as best they can, three years after the war's end, in a bombed out and bleak city. One of these persons is Madame Bertholt (Marlene Dietrich), the wife of a dead German soldier. In contrast to the harsh and contentious trial, Madame Bertholt's kindness toward the tribunal's lead judge, Dan Haywood (Spencer Tracy), provides an example of the innocence and decency of ordinary Germans, and thus adds a softer, more contemplative perspective to the ordeal. In these non-courtroom scenes, the melancholy background music and the soft production lighting create a mood of depression and sadness.
I find very little to criticize in this three hour film. Perhaps the plot could have been clearer in identifying the legal counsel of three of the four defendants. And maybe in those scenes wherein the four defendants conversed among themselves, the dialogue should have been in German, not English. But these are trivial points. Overall, this is a film that is well written and directed, a film with credible actors giving stellar performances, and most of all, a film that assures preservation of that era's historic significance, with a political and social message that has enduring value.
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