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Judgment at Nuremberg (1961)

8.3
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Ratings: 8.3/10 from 33,110 users  
Reviews: 161 user | 65 critic

In 1948, an American court in occupied Germany tries four Nazi judges for war crimes.

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Title: Judgment at Nuremberg (1961)

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Top 250 #155 | Won 2 Oscars. Another 17 wins & 21 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Col. Tad Lawson
...
Mrs. Bertholt
...
...
Irene Hoffman
...
...
Capt. Harrison Byers
...
Kenneth MacKenna ...
Judge Kenneth Norris
Torben Meyer ...
Joseph Bernard ...
Maj. Abe Radnitz
Alan Baxter ...
Brig. Gen. Matt Merrin
...
Sen. Burkette
Virginia Christine ...
Mrs. Halbestadt
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Storyline

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 <tony.fontana@spacebbs.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

trial | judge | nazi | war crime | law | See All (32) »

Taglines:

The event the world will never forget. See more »

Genres:

Drama | History | War

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

18 December 1961 (Sweden)  »

Also Known As:

Das Urteil von Nürnberg  »

Box Office

Budget:

$3,000,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.75 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Selected by the Library of Congress for preservation in the National Film Registry in December 2013. See more »

Goofs

The American judges and German defendants speak through an interpreter. At first, there is a substantial delay in the dialogue while the translation takes place but eventually the reactions becomes nearly instantaneous (for example, when the judge says "You may be seated", the defendants sit down right away without waiting for translation). The translation delays were likely dropped to keep the movie from dragging. See more »

Quotes

Hans Rolfe: I'll make you a wager...
Judge Dan Haywood: I don't make wagers.
Hans Rolfe: [chuckles] 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 »

Connections

Referenced in In Conversation: Abby Mann and Maximillian Schell (2004) See more »

Soundtracks

Notre amour ne peur
(uncredited)
By Ernest Gold
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Would a film of that candor have a chance of being made today?
30 April 2007 | by See all my reviews

I watched "Judgment at Nuremburg" on PBS the other night. I had never seen it before. I expected an empty-headed, Hollywood-style, quasi-melodrama, but I was pleasantly surprised. Even Spencer Tracy, that universally beloved actor whose appeal has always escaped me, gave an honest and heartfelt portrayal of a "simple man" who was also a deeply conflicted judge.

What I liked most about this movie was that it didn't pull any punches, in the manner of other "controversial" films of its time. The defense attorney, superbly played by Maximilian Schell, weaves a simple, but undeniable web of logic:

  • Sterilization of "undesirables," one of the charges against the Nazi


war criminals, was at one time condoned by the U.S. courts, and encouraged by none other than Oliver Wendell Holmes. - Numerous leading industrialists in the U.S. contributed to the development of the Nazi war machine. - Encouragement was given to Hitler's expansionism by both Russia and England. - Churchill is quoted as having admired Hitler. - The Vatican actively collaborated with the Nazis.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but it must have taken major cojones to present that kind of message to American filmgoers in 1961. Would a film of that candor have a chance of being made today?

I tend to doubt it.

One further note. The film describes how the Nazis went about stripping the German judiciary of judges who were known for their objectivity, and replacing them with judges who were appointed based solely on their party loyalties.

The mind boggles at the implications and yes, the prescience of this well-written, well-played masterpiece.


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