After settling his differences with a Japanese PoW camp commander, a British colonel co-operates to oversee his men's construction of a railway bridge for their captors - while oblivious to a plan by the Allies to destroy it.
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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
By the time this film was finished, all of the men who had been convicted and imprisoned in the Nuremberg trials that were held in the American Zone had been released. See more »
When the defense lawyer Hans Rolfe (Maximilian Schell) is questioning a witness, he first asks if they had sworn to "The Civil Servant Loyalty Oath of 1934". However, then the prosecutor's assistant is asked to read the oath from "The Reich's Law Gazette, March 1933". See more »
Judge Haywood... the reason I asked you to come: Those people, those millions of people... I never knew it would come to that. You *must* believe it, *You must* believe it!
Judge Dan Haywood:
Herr Janning, it "came to that" the *first time* you sentenced a man to death you *knew* to be innocent.
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If this is not considered as one of THE great films of all time, then all of us film fans should pack up bags and go home I cannot fault anyone, any scene, anything in this film. The dialogue races along in its smooth yet supremely captivating style. You grab a film like this, see a whole host of famous actors, and wonder if such a mix could ever work. It does, believe me, it really, really does.
Tracy. He was given the most powerful of dialogues, he presents it to us in a way that does not shout at you, yet holds you in a vice like grip every time he comes on screen. With his characteristic method of looking down whilst talking, hands in pocket, that small sly look up that he does, vintage Spencer, just how you would imagine a judge to be, or should be.
The supporting cast, again, never lets the film down. Some have the opportunity to step up a notch, Snell, Widmark, and others play their roles in a more subtle manner, Garland and Dietrich. And others just wipe away the floor with their presence, Clift and Lancaster for example.
And the story by Abby Mann - incredible.
Shot in black and white, it makes you think, it makes you smile, it will make you sad, and in the end you will be all the better for having seen one of the greatest films ever made, you will be richer for the experience, and you will be wiser.
You will also be able to say that you saw what Hollywood can do, you saw what great actors can do when put amongst their peers and are not 'stars' of a movie but are part of a larger ensemble.
And you will also see why this particular group were, genuinely, the very best Hollywood had to offer, period.
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