Nuremberg (TV Mini-Series 2000– ) Poster

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It's compelling, but maybe not the way it was intended.
Clive-Silas19 April 2004
Hidden inside this purported battle between surviving top Nazi Hermann Goering and American prosecutor Judge Robert Jackson is, I think, the adaptation the writer probably wanted to do - the story of psychologist E.M. Gilbert and his backstage verbal tusslings with men who either refused to acknowledge any guilt (Goering, Streicher) or conversely were overflowing with it (Frank, Speer).

When you see Alec Baldwin appear a second time in the credits, as Executive Producer, you feel that Nuremberg was probably conceived as a vanity project for him. Fortunately it is quite easy to let the early scenes of the Court's setup just wash over you, and of course Jill Hennessey is always easy on the eyes. Much of the first half of the first episode is more or less soap opera. Jackson has to persuade Judge Biddle to go to Nuremberg, then to relinquish the Presidency of the court to the British. The bantering relationship with his secretary (Hennessey) serves as a prelude to their becoming lovers during their time in Germany.

At this point Hermann Goering appears (the great Brian Cox on top form), totally dominating the trial, totally dominating this mini-series, and your attention is grasped and held. Cox almost wipes Baldwin off the screen. Unfortunately it's very hard not to gain a great deal of sympathy for Goering, particularly when he is with his family, or in the heart-to-heart chats with his G.I. prison guard, Tex. We see Goering as he undoubtedly saw himself, but in reality he wasn't like that at all. The Nuremberg trial and the general travails of imprisonment were an excellent opportunity for him to smarten himself up: prior to his arrest he had become a dissolute and overweight drug addict. Unfortunately no sign of this weakness of character was carried over into the script, leaving an impression of Goering as a noble, principled man - irrespective of whether you agreed with his principles.

Also very watchable was Matt Craven in the role of Gilbert the aforementioned psychologist, and Christopher Plummer as British prosecutor David Maxwell-Fyfe (although the real Maxwell-Fyfe was the younger prosecutor, not an elder mentor as depicted here). Particularly gratifying is the scene in which Maxwell-Fyfe tells Jackson that "your documentary approach is legally impeccable - but as drama it's absolutely stultifying" - which might stand as an apt description of Baldwin's part in this series.

A last little curiosity, and not to make any personal remarks about Herbert Knaup, but I did find it strange that they cast Knaup, a slightly odd-looking actor, to play Albert Speer, by fairly common consent the handsomest and most photogenic of all the Nazi leaders, particularly as Speer was portrayed here in a sympathetic light. Other than Knaup, many of the actors were very close in looks to their real-life counterparts, most notably Roc LaFortune as Rudolf Hess, almost a living double.
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Well made, historically accurate
matlock-61 May 2002
The primary complaint about this will probably be "it's too long". The actual Nuremburg trils went on for much longer than three hours, however, so imagine how much had to be left out!

Brian Cox is brilliant as Hermann Goering, portraying him as the vain and egotistical, yet clever and often easily likable person he could be, despite his history as one of the most horrible people of all time. Nuremburg goes beyond showing him as the faceless Nazi monster; as a proud soldier and pilot (he was head of the Luftwaffe during WW2, and in WW1, had been a decorated pilot himself), and a man capable of humor and kindness. Particularly powerful scenes include one towards the beginning when he entertains a group of GI's by playing the accordion and singing, and another towards the end, when his wife asks him if she can take home some of the food that had been provided for what would probably be his last meal, and he very "normally" says, "I don't see why not," and looks for someone to ask. The last scene must be viewed to fully understand what I mean.

The movie seems to have been made with historical correctness in mind. Small bits of fact that never would have been included in a big budget hollywood picture make it here, like the scene in which the defendants give their pleas, and Goering attempts to make a statement but is cut off by the judge. Also historically correct is the way in which Goering initially made the prosecutors, representing the allied forces, look like idiots, while he endeared himself to everyone in the room with his witty remarks.

The friendship between Goering and the American soldier "Tex" is also completely true, and the movie insinuates one of the two most popular explanations for how Goering got the cyanide ampule into his cell, despite the fact that it and he were searched regularly. Nuremburg seems to say that Goering asked his friend to retrieve a bag of personal items for him to go through and give away. The other belief is that the American knowingly brought the ampule to Goering, rather than Goering tricking him. The reality will probably never be completely known.

For history buffs, this is a must see. Probably for everyone else too...
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Overall, Great Mini-Series, However, Not enough air-time for the defendants
sports211923 August 2005
I have read a few books on the Nuremberg trials, as well as books on The Third Reich in general. Though the portrayals of the defendants were fairly accurate, they were not given the appropriate amount of air-time.I mean, without the defendants, there wouldn't have been a trial. Here's the top 10 things that should have been added (and especially subtracted from the movie.)

10) Should have emphasized the alliances between the defendants. Speer wasn't the only one to stand up to Goering. Von Schirach, Funk, and Fritzsche were all against Goering.

9) Give Defendent #2 Rudolf Hess more that four words.

8) Clarifiy why Hess goes crazy at the end.

7) Make sure the audience knows that Speer's penitence could be him saving his hide.

6) Emphasize that Franks conversion was due to him finding God.

5) Talk about the defendants personal lives, try to explain why they would commit these atrocities.

4) Tell what happened to the defendants who were acquitted or had their sentences carried out at Spandau.

3) They should of had the story include Von Schirach and Von Neurath, the youngest and the oldest defendants, so they would have more of a age perspective to the story.

2)All of the Defendants positions should have been named at least once.

1) The Jackson/Secretary affair probably took at'least a half an hour out of the mini-series, Which could have been dedicated to, I don't know, making sure the audience at least knows the defendant's's names. Besides, I don't now one person who saw that movie who actually liked the couple.
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Outstanding drama that serves as a chilling reminder
FlickJunkie-228 January 2001
`Nuremburg' is a chilling and disturbing look at the Nuremberg trial of Nazi war criminals after WWII. The story is historically accurate and captures the political and psychological climate of the times. It also serves as a distressing reminder to a young generation that has not experienced war in its lifetime of the horrors of which humanity is capable.

The film examines a number of fascinating angles of the trial. Instead of just focusing on the trial itself (of which there is plenty), it also offers a look at the political rivalry and infighting of the victorious nations, and a number of character studies of the prisoners. The most prominently portrayed of these is Hermann Göring (Brain Cox), Reich Marshall of the Third Reich and a member of Hitler's inner circle. Göring is portrayed as a cunning and charismatic adversary, who almost succeeds at making a sham of the entire trial.

The haunting question that must pervade anyone's mind that ponders the atrocities that occurred in WWII Germany is verbalised in the film by Elsie Douglas (Jill Hennessey). She says, `How could civilised human beings ever do that to other civilised human beings?', to which Justice Jackson (Alec Baldwin) replies, "Maybe civilization is overrated." This film provides some insight into the motivation of the German leaders, examining the warped perspective of the perpetrators who attempt to rationalise the horrors they committed to themselves and to the court. They point to the German sense of duty and obedience that is ingrained into their culture. After all, they were only following orders. There is also the undercurrent of Hitler's ruthlessness in using the SS to eliminate all opposition. In a particularly lucid moment, Göring says that if you look up and down the cellblock all you see is `yes men' because all the `no men' are six feet underground. Göring also points out the hypocrisy of the criticism of German hatred of the Jews by a U.S. society that interred millions of Japanese citizens, and tolerates segregation and hate-crimes against blacks.

Certainly, this is no justification for the systematic annihilation of 10 million of their own citizens, and as the film progresses a number of the prisoners begin to express deep remorse for their actions. Still, it shows that these weren't a group of sociopathic monsters in the conventional sense. They were otherwise normal men who had accomplished the inconceivable by dehumanising their victims to the point where the horrors they committed every day were no more disturbing to them than hunting deer to trim the herd. This is the most frightening thought of all, because it portends the possibility that such unthinkable acts could happen again. As long as we are able to believe that these men were a gaggle of homicidal maniacs, a freak societal aberration, we can reassure ourselves that this couldn't ever recur. However, when it dawns on us that normal people are able to rationalize such behaviour, we realise that under the right circumstances the potential for such inhumanity always exists. Complacency is an inadvertent ally of oppression, and this film should shock even the most casual viewer out of it. In this regard, it is instructive and enlightening.

The direction by Yves Simoneau is excellent and rises well above his mostly TV credits. The mood of the period is realistically rendered with a great deal of period accuracy. The costumes and period props are excellent with an eye for detail. He does an outstanding job creating background reaction shots, especially among the prisoners, that show their sarcastic disdain for their captors and display their smug superiority. He brings great power to numerous scenes using various camera angles. The holocaust footage used is some of the most disconcerting and inclusive I have ever seen. If there is any criticism to be leveled against the crafting of this film, it is that it delved too deeply into minutia, especially the sexual undercurrents between Jackson and Elsie Douglas. However, given the fact that it was produced as a TNT miniseries, the director was forced to fluff it up for the additional runtime.

The acting is also outstanding. Alec Baldwin gives a solid performance as Robert Jackson, a man obsessed with justice. Baldwin has never been known for his passion, but he elevates his game in certain parts of this film. Jill Hennessey is also excellent as Elsie, rendering her as a tough and smart woman who is a guiding force in the entire proceeding. However, by far the best performance is delivered by Brain Cox as Göring. His is a brilliant and complex performance that brings the reprehensible and magnetic Nazi leader to life in a way that is both attractive and loathsome. Colm Feore also gives a spine tingling performance as Rudolf Höss, the Commandant of Auschwitz concentration camp, who cavalierly discusses the efficiency techniques of eliminating prisoners, with the cold precision of an industrial engineer.

This terrific drama rises far above its TV roots. I rated it a 9/10. It is important viewing which reminds us that we cannot become complacent about tyranny, and we must be ever vigilant to guard against its recurrence.
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Well done film of a difficult theme
anana1130 April 2003
My first impression of this film was that it was excellently done. It provoked my curiosity and I am glad to say the film held up under my further investigation of the trials.

The accurate representation of the grayness of a subject most would consider black and white was particularly courageous. It would be easy to paint the Nazis as monsters without souls, but so often terrible things are done by perfectly ordinary people. In fact that is what is so terrible about people's actions in WWII. Malevolence would certainly be easier to accept than what this film shows was at the source of the Nazi behavior -- indifference and lack of empathy. Who hasn't felt indifference toward someone they met in everyday life, the cashier who was too slow, the person in the car ahead, the telemarketer?

The acting was excellent, particularly Brian Cox, who showed us how well charm can mask evil. I did not think Goering was white-washed. This was shown most clearly in his pathetic attempt to shrug off the concentration camp film. Even his manipulative skill couldn't ease that shock, and his American friend was silent. If Alex Baldwin pumped up his drama a little, well, take a look at transcripts of the trial, which are drier than the Sahara. The use of documents was extensive during the trial and how often does the layperson want to hear that? The use of the concentration camp film was a cold dash of water in the face of such dryness. Some other comments question the inclusion of the relationship between Jackson and his secretary. I didn't see it as a "love story", but more as an "adultery story" used to show on a more personal level that despite his side's claim to superior "morals" Jackson was also weak. I think the Soviet involvement and the Polish massacre was left out because it would have been too long to include in all its convolutions. It is an interesting part of the story, however, so I recommend researching it.

I was glad to see on the comments that those who know more than I pointed out its accuracy. Too rarely does Hollywood actually attempt that.
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Excellent representation of the trials, shame about the subplot
aphrodite_00716 July 2010
Warning: Spoilers
I'm a graduate student doing my thesis on the Nuremberg Trials and so for the past few months I've been immersed in the transcripts, diaries and all the different interpretations of the Trials.

I think that the documentary is actually a very good representation of what happened. The most striking aspect of it was the visual side of things. The locations were perfect, with the reconstruction of a bombed-out Nuremberg as well as the courtroom being absolutely perfect. As well as this, the actors playing the defendants looked remarkably similar to their real life characters and had clearly studied their mannerisms and facial tics. Streicher's excessive chewing, Jodl's upright posture and Hess' craziness were all really well represented- attention to detail was clearly a priority in the casting.

I am prepared to put aside minor artistic licenses they took with the plot- not giving the minor characters many lines (although I think they did well to introduce them all at one point). I think they did well to include most of the 'highlights' of the trial (the trial itself was mostly a dull affair, partly due to Jackson's insistence on using documentary evidence, as was touched upon in the film), whilst at the same time staying very faithful to what happened in the courtroom. The differing tales of how they all ended up in the dock (Frank being roughed up by the Soviets, Goering and Speer coming from relative opulence in the American Zone) are well represented, as are some of the challenges concerned with the trial. For me, what carries this performance is both the brilliant cinematography and attention to detail, as well as the performance of Brian Cox and Hermann Goring. He conveyed his personality, from his playful humour to his shocking lack of regret brilliantly and really mastered his character in a way which is very rare to see. Honorable mentions also to Sam Stone (as Streicher), Roc LaFortune (as Hess), Colm Feore (as Rudolf Hoss, whose testimony was brilliantly chilling) and also to Christopher Plummer, who really captured the dry wit and legal mastery of Maxwell-Fyfe.

However despite it being mostly excellent, there are a few problems I had with the film: 1) The romantic sup-plot between Jackson and his secretary Elsie Douglas was ridiculous. Not only was it patently unture, it added nothing to the plot. There are so many more interesting avenues that could have been explored within the US prosecution case (eg the fact that many of them were not on speaking terms due to disagreements about the merits of documentary vs witness evidence).

2) The film totally overplayed and built up Robert Jackson. In reality, his cross-examination of Goering was seen to have been a total flop. Although he did pick it up by the end, it didn't redeem what was a really poor performance; probably because Jackson was actually a Supreme Court judge and had little experience of it. It was felt to David Maxwell-Fyfe to rescue the prosecution case with one of the best cross-examinations in history, something that wasn't really mentioned in the film. Jackson was well aware he'd made a mess of it and was in an awful mood for the rest of the Trials, frequently quarrelling with the Tribunal. His opening and closing statements were very good though. On a physical level, Jackson was a short, bespetacled man, not an Alec Baldwin type at all!!

3)The film also made the Soviets look like idiots, which really wasn't the case in reality. While the Soviet judge took occasional orders from Moscow (such as the dissenting judgement), during the trial and the London Conference he was actually pretty fair and reasonable. The Soviet prosecutors were also competent and did a good job.

And there are some things left out which I think were worthy of inclusion:

1) The case of Karl Doenitz. This was a very interesting case, in which it was established that Doenitz behaved no differently to the American or British admiralties, however still broke the law. This was a very interesting case which raised all kinds of moral issues about 'victor's justice' and would have been interesting to bring up.

2) There were actually some fairly humorous elements in what was a fairly slow-moving trial which could have been good to include instead of the romantic strand. An example was the arrival of a Russian government member, who at a meeting with the judges proposed a toast to the 'speedy death of all the defendants'. The judges toasted without hearing the translation and were pretty annoyed afterwards! A fairly cruel joke that could have been quite funny if put on the screen. Also, there was the comic scene of Hess sitting through a hearing on whether he was fit to stand trial or not (after he'd been claiming to have amnesia for weeks). Just as the judge was about to deliver the verdict (and probably call him insane), Hess rose and declared himself sane and says he was putting it on all the time. The court collapsed in laughter with no-one sure what to say. I feel this could have been included, whilst still leaving ambiguity about whether he was putting it on or not.

3) I was surprised more wasn't made of the process of actually coming to a judgement. There was some very interesting compromises and trade offs made behind the scenes which could have been worth inclusion. It would certainly have explained the inconsistencies such as Sauckel being sentenced to death, whereas Speer had his life spared. Also, the fact that the Soviet judge dissented from a few of the judgements could have been highlighted.

On the whole it was excellent and the most accurate portrayal of Nuremberg I've ever seen, but I can't help thinking with a few tweaks it could have been a true classic.
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Electrifying depiction of the world-famous trials
delh117 July 2000
I was only a teenager when the Nuremberg trials began, and I (as most other people throughout the world) had very little true knowledge of the horror stories of the victims of Nazi atrocities. When the truth burst upon the world, many people could not believe what they saw. (Some neo-nazi fools still deny everything.)

This is not an easy film to watch, especially with actual films of the frightful deathcamps, but one is drawn into the story because it was such a momentous event - that the major Allies of WWII united to have fair and open trials not just of single criminals, but of an evil governmental system.

Alec Baldwin has done a magnificent job in his role as Robert Jackson, who was the Chief Prosecutor. I wish I could thank him, as co-producer of this fine mini-series, for such a vivid rendering of those years.

Yes, there are still horrors being perpetrated on innocent victims in many parts of the world today, but the world IS watching, and in many cases, is resisting these evil governments.

I suggest that it is of UTMOST IMPORTANCE that young people today watch this film. Too many young (and many older) people think of WWII as only a rather heroic glorious time; I want them to know what some human beings were doing to other innocent victims. Believe me it is NOT boring. Yes, there were many, many heroes. I know. I married a young man who had fought with the Greek resistance movement and suffered greatly, but his spirit, as that of many others, could not be conquered. We must not forget!
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Dramatization of a True Event
Claudio Carvalho29 September 2007
In 1945, after the end of the World War II with the defeat of a ruined Germany, the Allies decide to give a fair trial to twenty-one Nazi leaders POW as an example of intolerance of the governments against hideous atrocities in war. The defendants are accused crimes of war and against humanity, and the American Chief Prosecutor Robert Jackson (Alec Baldwyn) is assigned to organize an international tribunal at Nuremberg with representatives from France, Russia and England. The prisoners under the leadership of Hitler's second-in-command Marshall Hermann Goering (Brian Cox) dispute the control in a juridical battle in the courtroom.

"Nuremberg" is an irregular movie about the trial of criminals of war in Nuremberg. The movie has great moments, with footages from the concentration camps; the strong performance of Brian Cox; the dialog about racism and anti-Semitism between Goering and Capt. Gustav Gilbert; and the reconstitution of the destroyed German city. However, in many moments the story recalls a soap-opera, changing the focus of the trial to melodramatic and shallow situations. Further, Alec Baldwyn has a weak performance in the role of a powerful authority. Last but not the least, the movie is very cold, and with the exception of the footages of the concentration camps, it brings no emotion to the viewer. My vote is six.

Title (Brazil): "Julgamento em Nuremberg" ("Trial in Nuremberg")
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Compelling stuff
rps-213 September 2000
This is a strange subject for a modern TV series designed to entice an audience to whom World War II is as distant as the Pelopenesian Wars. Yet this is a tough, well produced, historically accurate and thoroughly compelling film. Brian Cox steals the show with a masterful recreation of Hermann Goering as a beguiling rogue. And the production techniques excel, for example the sound track as silent film of the concentration camps is shown to the trial. It puts the horror in context without exploiting it or sensationalizing it. A brilliant piece of historical film making.
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Bullshit! I hate movies with an agenda.
Tudor M27 November 2004
American movies about war and Nazis simply cannot be good. They can not refrain from becoming idiot and following an agenda. All Nazis are bad, crazy, too proud, and Americans are so modest yet so capable and sensible and human. Come on, stop this bullshit. The main character says something like "by this trial, we have to make aggressive war a crime". Is America a peaceful nation with its world #1 $420 billion "defense" budget (#2 China with just $51b)? Is it simply spent in this without any... ROI? Why portray America as a peaceful nation when it isn't? I deeply dislike movies with an agenda - they throw art to hell and try to persuade us into believing something. Hollywood should put a label on movies, just as record companies have that "parental advisory" label. We should have a "bullshit advisory", "propaganda advisory" or a "politically correct advisory" label on some movies. This is one of them.
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Movie made solely to feed the ego of Alec Baldwin
JGnino18 July 2000
This movie was disappointing. It was incomplete and dull. While Alec Baldwin tried to portray himself as the Perfect fair and just prosecutor (not to mention executive producer), the movie never showed any of the defense counsels or tried to challenge the audience with an actual meaningful debate on the subject of how a country could be led down such a terrible path.

Sure, nobody wants to defend the Nazi's point of view, but THAT WAS THE POINT of the Nuremberg Trails! Four hours of simply bashing on the Nazi's.... c'mon! Thats been done already!

I really think Alec Baldwin should just stick to being Kim Bassinger's husband.

Right after the movie ended, TNT showed the 1959 movie, Trail at Nuremberg. That movie is FAR superior.
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Baldwin's wooden performance creates sympathy for NAZIs
22732231 July 2000
Forget this one. Tracy, Lancaster, and Dietrich just did it sooooo much better. The movie failed to make the connection between the criminals in the dock and the horrors witnessed by the actual footage of the death camps.

Hermann Goering was a pervert as well as war criminal. In this movie he comes off as an elder statesman.
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Both good and bad moments.
yenlo21 July 2000
Parts of this made for TV mini-series were very good and others were not. It seemed that Alec Baldwin was sort of feeding his ego in his role as the Chief Prosecutor. It was a tad heavy on the Herman Goring parts and the other defendants ended up as just window dressing. Michael Ironside delivered a performance as a first class jerk jailer. Then again maybe the real life American Colonel was. Some interesting topics were brought up. Mostly what Goring said was true the Germans were being tried because they lost the war. The German generals obeyed orders as military leaders are supposed to and ended up swinging on a rope because they remained loyal to their country. One of the better TNT originals.
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Not that good
Luveh Keraph18 July 2015
Quite a few reviewers seem to be taken by the historicity of this movie. It's true that many of the details are correct - but it is also true that many others are wildly incorrect. The most egregious one is the romantic liaison between Justice Jackson and his assistant. I guess that the producers introduced the romantic element for the sake of a wider appeal, but the fact is that, in light of the actual events, this looks ridiculous. Which is a shame, for the movie would have been far more valuable without that silliness. It's mostly because of this that I don't think that it deserves more than 5 points. The bright sides are Brian Cox's and Michael Ironside's performances, and also, but to a lesser extent, Christopher Plummer's and Matt Craven's. Alec Baldwin delivers the same kind of underwhelming performance that he usually does, and Jill Hennessy does whatever she can with her inane and fictitious part.

In summary, it could have been a good movie, but it is just a decent one.
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Brian Cox A Winner
Signet11 November 2002
Brian Cox picks this mini-series up by the scruff of the neck and runs off with it. It is an amazing testimonial to his talent and his craft that he suceeds in making Field Marshall Hermann Goerring the most appealing and charming character in this rehash of the Nuremburg trials. His "seduction" of the young American non-com is not only plausible but gratifying. It is amazing that this performance has one cheering on the second in command of the Third Reich as he cheats the hangman's noose.
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Nuremberg is the shame of the USA
Pelle22 August 2005
Apparently most viewer knows nothing about the history of Europe, including Germany, Hungary and the whole Central and Eastern Europe as well as the Hitler and Stalin Era. Nuremberg (and a lot of forgotten trials all over Europe) was a revenge and injustice of the winners. What do you think, why were not any American, British, French or Soviet defendants after the WWII? There were no American, British etc. war crimes? There were no Hiroshima, no Nagasaki, no Tokyo, no Dresden, no Hamburg, no Berlin, no Katyn and so on? The Germans had war crimes too, but in Nuremberg the justice was not a real consideration. The main point was: Vae victis! Germany must perish! (That was also a book title in America, 1941.)

This film is an awful, ignoble American brainwashing instrument, full of error, lie, propaganda, prejudice and injustice. And first of all: full of hypocrisy. But not surprisingly... Why wasn't enough the Nuremberg process itself? This film is a nightmare. Total darkness after 60 years! This darkness (and hate and narcissism and lack of self-criticism) is the real cause of the massacres in Korea, Vietnam, Cambodia, Serbia, Iraq and so forth. And there are no American war criminals... Bravo, America! Very clever. Even Stalin would become envious of it...
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silly, contrived derivative production
Internist2 June 2006
There can be no doubt that subjects such as the Nuremberg trial or the enormity of Nazi war crimes are of tremendous gravity. But, it does not follow that depictions of, and productions about, those subjects automatically make the production itself excellent. Indeed, and as "Nuremberg" demonstrates, historical import is no guarantee of a film's quality. Among other things, there still must be a logical plot, a compelling screenplay, intelligent dialogue, fine acting, and appropriate casting. Nuremberg fails to deliver on most of these.

What could the screenwriters have been thinking when they gave the (rather vapid) affair between Justice Jackson and his secretary so much screen time? That contemporary audiences still require a subplot revolving around sex to keep their interest? Yet, that story line is included. And emphasized. Repeatedly.

And was the director not aware that Christopher Plummer's character's deep tan would appear ludicrously incongruous in a movie set in post war Germany? Along the same lines, did the director feel that audiences would relate better to a female protagonist of the 1940's whose mannerisms and demeanour are more typical of a "modern" woman of 2000?

Any film about the Nuremberg trial automatically starts off with credibility. The subject matter guarantees it. And any film about Nuremberg automatically contains the crucial elements required to move audiences, to stir their emotions. It is not just ironic, but sad, then, that Nuremberg squanders those inherent pluses; that it fails to deliver and that, ultimately it fails to move us. And that is tragic for many many reasons.
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compelling analysis of pure evil
brower823 April 2003
Warning: Spoilers
"Made for cable" ordinarily indicates a poor product -- but this is compelling. Sixty years after the horrors of nazism people need to know not just what the Nazis did -- but also what made them tick. The nazi war criminals, with the exception of the crude hatemonger Julius Streicher (whom the other defendants loathe), are not raving lunatics. Neither are they crude gangsters. No -- it's scarier -- they are people in some respects like the people who prosecute them. They have intellectual and cultural sophistication (what would you expect? Those creeps are from the homelands of Mozart and JS Bach). They have senses of personal honor. Some, like Frank and Keitel (the latter mis-identified as "Admiral Keitel", when he was an Army Field Marshal) are capable of contrition after they have damned themselves.

Goering is the scariest. Perhaps he would have had an honorable life were it not for Hitler. One sees in him some potential as a politician successful in a democratic country had he not sold his soul to Hitler. He has a great sense of humor; he has a reputation as a war hero; he isn't really a bigot. Flamboyant and narcissistic? Sure -- lots of politicians are like that, including FDR and Churchill. Milquetoastes don't go far in politics. That's not to say that he did not have the fault for establishing the Gestapo and starting the terror campaigns of aerial attack on countries that didn't deserve them, let alone culpability in commissioning the obscene experiments in which prisoners became unwilling subjects.

The deficiency among the Nazis, the psychiatrist character notes, is a lack of empathy. That is all too obvious now -- but back in the 1940s psychological insight was a rarity. People were generally still as naive about the workings of the human mind as they were about the moons of Jupiter.


There is no question that those whom the court convicted and sentenced to death eminently deserved to die dangling. With the arguable exception of Jodl, all were involved in the Holocaust, the crime that sealed the fate of them all.
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A for intentions, D for execution
TheManInOil7 October 2003
The Nuremberg trials of nazi war criminals are certainly a subject worthy of dramatization. The issues involved are global in significance and consequence. The action may be limited, but the opportunity for drama exists in spades.

So how come this movie is so dull and uninspired? How come the most interesting thing they could think of to have the protagonist do is cheat on his wife? How come, in a trial full of larger-than-life characters on the side of justice, this movie presents only Hermann Göring with any color or style? I mean, if Goring is your most compelling character, you're in trouble (even if he's played by the brilliant Brian Cox - this is a film with no shortage of talent involved - Christopher Plummer can certainly hold his own with Cox onscreen, but was given little to do here).

I think this could have been an excellent small film if they'd focused on the relationship of the Jewish psychologist assigned to suicide watch for the prisoners, and his interaction with the war criminals. By making Baldwin the centre of attention, they turned the story into a lumbering beast with nothing of interest to add to that small scenario.

Ultimately, this movie is worth a watch, if only to remind us of what happened not so long ago. However, I can't escape the feeling that it was made solely as a platform from which to show some footage of death camp victims - which, as gut-wrenching and deeply saddening as it is, is a poor reason to make a film. They bore us for a couple of hours, then hit us with something horrifying and shocking, and the effect of that footage is supposed to compensate us for the lack of drama in the rest of the story. It does not.

In future, when filmmakers tackle the holocaust and war crimes trials, I hope they treat the subject with the respect it deserves and make damn sure their movie is interesting enough to warrant our attention for reasons beyond a guilty sense of obligation.

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well researched film history
jolter4121 February 2003
having previously read "psychiatrist at nurenburg" which familiarized me with the trial, i was ready to pick out inconsistencies in the film presentation. i found next to none. the love angle could be disposed with, but i suppose baldwin had to have some fun. the characterizations of the defendants were superb, esp. goering. physically, as well as mentally. except for speer's, whose actor did not really look like him. all the rest were chillingly close! the psychoanalist was sympathetically presented. a jew in the company of these jew-hating monsters. yes, as was previously reviewed, the self-justifying of the defendants, goering and speer, worked exceedingly well. the sets were very much like bombed out nurenburg. great work, all around. save for baldwin, terribly miscast; but, to give the devil his due, he did help put this masterpiece together. bravo!
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Sympathy for the Devil
Pro Jury17 July 2000
Very realistic looking sets, swift pacing and effective acting help this TV mini-series deal with the ambitious task of dramatizing the "dispatching" of Hitler's henchmen.

Oddly, but I guess accurately, the "trial" does not show the USA in the best light.

The lead American prosecutor is a "Slick Willie" Washington DC wife-cheater.

The American psychologist seemingly sent to counsel the German prisoners before and during the trial is really planted by the prosecution. The psychologist does not keep what is said to him during counseling sessions confidential. Europe's worst criminals, yet the prosecution is that insecure! The defendants are not allowed a jury trial -- an important issue best left to the reader to explore.

Brian Cox gives the strongest performance in the drama. Cox plays Hermann Göring. Göring appears to be the most brilliant mind among both sides. Göring makes the point that how the German's demonized German-Jews and how the USA demonized Japanese-Americans is only a difference of degree. Göring also dares the Americans to ponder how likely it would be for the USA to drop nuclear weapons on white German children as we did on "yellow Japanese children."

Göring argues that the communists are the greater threat. Quite shockingly, the German defendants come across as somewhat sympathetic. I am unsure if this was the intention of the producers.

Viewers who may have lost relatives in German concentration camps may want to avoid this drama.
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Historically correct in some cases...
Rottweiler10 January 2001
But....why not.. as in the real Trial, mention the warcrimes comitted by the Soviets ?

My grandfather defended his homeland (Finland) från the soviet "crime against worldpeace" As most educated people know...that the Soviet union attacked Finland and was also allied with Hitler when invading Poland in 1939. Remember that...and don't let the cries and pains on the Finnish and Polish people in this time period be "blacked" out!

The movie's very correct except the discussions the allies had about the Soviet warcrimes...that is left out. The acting is very good...Göring is just like he was in the real history.
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Good but unnecessary love-story and terrible performance by Alec Baldwin
yoshware5 May 2006
The topic was targeted quite well. This movie has very good aspects in it. For example the acting of the accused Germans (like Göring). It is historically accurate and shows everything there is to show about this very delicate topic. Sadly there is shown too much. That love story between Justice Jackson (Alec Baldwin) and Elsie Douglas (Jill Hennessy). In my opinion this is not the movie to be equipped with such a (not even well done) love story. I suppose some moviegoers want to see love in every movie. But for me this ruined it. Furthermore Alec Baldwins acting was not adequate. He showed emotions, where there are no emotions to be shown and it looked like he wanted to show off his 'talent' in this movie at every occasion possible. Which again was a big mistake.

My rating for this movie would have been 9/10 if those two things would have been regarded but with the above complaints, it will only receive a rating suitable for below-average movies.
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A very well made TNT original
FrankBooth_DeLarge4 February 2005
Warning: Spoilers
Let's face it, TNT doesn't usually do that great of a job with their original movies. If you think about it, there aren't too many good made for TV movies. Nuremberg is a good made for TV original. The cast is really good, and the cast members look very much like the people they are portraying. I saw a picture that was taken during the Nuremberg trials that looked as though it could have been a shot from the movie. That's how good of a job they did with this movie.

Like any other made for TV movies, there are some weak moments, but this movie has plenty of strong moments that make up for the weak ones. One of the scenes that will evoke some emotion in you is a scene where an old film is shown, showing footage taken from the death camps.

The length of this movie does get kind of long, but it isn't boring or anything like that. It just requires a comfortable seat. Try to see this on TNT whenever you get a chance, it's worth it.
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A detailed and graphic account of the known trials with an awesome acting by Brian Cox as Hermann Goering
ma-cortes16 September 2016
Magnificent film based on actual events with top-notch performances throughout proceeded by a decent star cast and specially by Baldwin , Cox , Plummer , Sydow , Heyerdahl and Len Cariou as supreme judge who presides over the trials , among others . A stimulating portrayal of the Nuremberg trials in which members of the German authorities were brought to response their crimes in the immediate post-war period .

Supreme court Justice , judge Robert H Jackson (Alec Baldwin) is asked to head up the prosecution and he decides to try a representative sample of third Reich leaders , including Hitler's 2º man Hermann Goering (Brian Cox) . The movie initiates with scenes of Núremberg , Germany , 1948 , the destruction of the war is clear everywhere , there Robert is driven through the ruined buildings . The court is formed by three judges to preside the trial against the Nazi chiefs for their complicity in Third Reich . As Robert Jackson in charge of Allied prosecution Nazi war who must resist political pressures and speeches against him , being helped by his assistant Elsie Douglas (Jill Hennessy) . In its opening declaration , the prosecution calls these defendants to account not for violation of due process or other constitutional violations but for killings , tortures , and cruelties committed during WWII . Considers to what extent an individual may be held accountable for actions committed of a superior officer . The accuser statements that the accused cannot claim ignorance that they should have known better for their high position and knowledge . And defenders argue the disobedience to the Fuehrer would have been choice between patriotism and treason for the justices with the subsequent firing squad . Finally the defending councillors explain that not only are the high staff on trial , so are the German people . They claim that the extremists are responsible , not the defendants . They say that very few Germans knew what was going on . Defense lawyers give us the uneasy feeling that the German people never really came to terms with their innocence or guilty . They claimed that the defendants stayed in their positions to keep things from getting worse . One of the more dramatic portions of the film centers around Prosecutor Robert Jackson submitted documents by which the judges and prosecutors had sent thousands to their deaths . A film was shown , a short-documentary is based on real events by means of photographs and stock-footage . As appears work camps are transformed into extermination centers to implement the policy of genocide thought at the Wannsee Conference . At the concentration camps was some minor industrial activity linked to the war effort but the main work was the execution of inmates . Millions of prisoners died in the concentration camps through mistreatment , disease, starvation, and overwork, or were executed as unfit for labor. More than six million Jews died in them, usually in gas chambers, although many were killed in mass shootings and by other means . As the documentary showed a gas chamber at Dachau , but it is a mistake because of it was never used, prisoners died from mistreatment or from execution by means other than gas . The archival footage shows tattooed skin , but Buchenwald prisoners with unusual tattoos were killed , then their skin was preserved for the tattoo collection of convicted war criminal Ilse Koch .

This is a graphic and thought-provoking account of the Nuremberg trials in which a group of high-level hierarchy are on trial , being judged in the immediate post-war period ; and subsequently brought to book by Joseph E. Persico , as this picture is based on his novel titled ¨Núremberg : Infamy on trial¨ . This consuming as well as provoking retelling contains some interesting trial scenes that generally work but there's also the needless byplay of a love story between prosecutor attorney Robert/Baldwin and his secretary/Hennessy . Prosecutor Robert H. Jackson is perfectly played by Alec Baldwin , he gives a very good acting for his impassioned portrayal of the accusation against the nasty Nazis . And also superb : Herbert Knaup as Albert Speer , Christopher Heyerdahl as Ernst Kaltenbrunner , Colm Feore as Rudolf Höß , Fournier as Reichsminister Alfred Rosenberg , Cloutier as admiral Karl Dönitz , Frank Moore as Hans Frank , René Gagnon as Reichsminister Arthur Seyß-Inquart , Benoît Girard as Joachim Von Ribbentrop , Dennis St John as Franz Von Papen , LaFortune as Rudolf Hess , Sam Stone as Julius Streicher and , of course , the always chilling Brian Cox . This deeply moving and powerful film was well -but not overly compelling- directed by Yves Simoneau . Rating : Good , better than average .
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