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>
It is mentioned that Mrs. Bertholt's husband, a German army general, was executed for his role in "the Malmedy incident". In 1944, during the Battle of the Bulge, German SS forces captured a unit of American soldiers near Malmedy, Belgium. Instead of sending them to a POW camp, the prisoners were trucked to an open field, where they were unloaded, herded into the middle of the field and then machine-gunned, killing 84 of them. After the war several German officers involved in the incident were convicted of war crimes and imprisoned, although none were executed. See more »
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 »
"My counsel says we were not aware of the extermination of the millions. He would give you the excuse: We were only aware of the extermination of the hundreds."
This quote is one of the most shocking and yet truthful quotes I have ever heard. It is one of many shocking and intense quotes in the movie. Furthermore Judgment at Nuremburg is one of the most absorbing movies I have seen. Even though most if not all of it is dialog it is very much a haunting film. This film is loosely based on the trials in Nuremburg in 1948. Right from the start the movie captures your mind and never lets it go.
The acting was collectively amazing. One of the best casts ever assembled which included Spencer Tracy, Montgomery Clift, Judy Garland, Richard Widmark, Burt Lancaster as well as international stars Maximilian Schell and Marlene Dietrich. It is not just the fact that this is a star studded cast that made it so great, it was the way everyone appeared to blend in together. Maximilian Schell gave the performance of his life in this film playing the defense lawyer for Burt Lancaster who give two superb narratives that will certainly stay in your mind forever. Schell's character use of logic is that of something which will mesmerize use you whether or not you agree or disagree with what he says. Richard Widmark playing the prosecutor gave the type of supporting performance that was necessary for Schell to shine. The way both actors fed off each other was a joy to watch. Then of course the tiny appearances of Garland and Clift were excellent and worth every second they spent on camera. I usually find myself frustrated with cameos and actors receiving recognition for them but this film used cameos the best way I have ever seen. Then of course Spencer Tracy and Marlene Dietrich provided such great presence were perfect for the lead.
The direction of Stanley Kramer was spectacular as the film intensified more and more as it wore on. It was always engrossing and never let up. The writing of Abby Mann was great, filled up with great material and narratives allowing every actor in the cast to give a superb performance. There were many memorable quotes as well. The writing carried the film forward and allowed all the potential and talent to push this film to another level.
Judgement at Nuremburg is not just another movie. It is a very thought provoking movie. More than that though it is haunting. Just thinking about the course of the events being talked about in the movie became subtly haunting in a way I really didn't expect. What was the most compelling though was the way we need to separate what we feel with what has to be truly done, with what is truly right.
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