Nuremberg (2000– )
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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 .
The Nazi leaders of course are villains of the worst sort but they're shown as humans too. After the surrender, an ebullient Goering, Brian Cox, unexpectedly drives up to an American Air Force base with his wife and child, dismounts from his chauffeur-driven car, and formally hands over his sword to an astounded General Spaatz -- "one airman to another." After being feted publicly, the victors soon round him up and place him in a cell, as had been done with the other prisoners. An American lieutenant, Tex Wheeler, is posted as Goering's personal guard. Scott Gibson gives a convincing performance. Wheelis will play a larger role in Goering's fate later.
Alex Baldwin is Robert H. Jackson, who more or less runs the show. His assistant Jill Hennessy is a fox and the rest of the cast is quite good. There are too many airy conversations about moral superiority and the viewer is urged to want Baldwin to treat Georing on the stand as the despicable, conniving swine he is. Should he? How does the word "disinterested" differ from "uninterested"? The most chilling testimony comes from the Commandant of Auschwitz, who describes the camp's activities precisely and dispassionately -- showing neither indignation or remorse.
Unfortunately, the prosecution insists on presenting not just documentary evidence but witnesses too, in order to deliberately heighten the drama behind the trial. It's pretty sickening, naturally, and to many adults it's repetitive. We know about the medical experiments in which Jews were kept in freezing water until they died. And so we sit through the familiar revolting images of the charred skeleton in the oven, the walking cadavers, the old man praying as he lies on a stretcher, the waxlike naked bodies piled on one another in mounds, the bulldozer shoveling them into the empty pit. I doubt that anyone needs to be REMINDED of what happened. But maybe it's just as well that we go through it all again because I'm not sure how much of this material has faded from our collective memory. One in six English youngsters thought Auschwitz was a World War II theme park, and one in six thought Hitler was a football coach.
And, at that, there are some insights into what has always been a blank at least in my mind. Goering was head of the Luftwaffe. So? What did he have to do with the treatment of the Jews and other devalued minorities? Simple. The experiments that froze subjects to death in ice water were undertaken at his request in order to discover how Luftwaffe crew might best survive if shot down in northern waters. Except for a few, the defendants all seem like unregenerate Nazis. Well, except for Rudolf Hess too, because he was nuts. It may seem like a mistake to have Julius Streicher portrayed as a rabid anti-Semite, pounding the table, ranting against Jews, his features in a cataleptic sneer. But that was the kind of guy he really was. He wasn't a military man but his railing against the Jews amounted to paranoia. He combed the pages of the Talmud and the Old Testament in search of passages that painted Judaism as harsh or cruel, rather like some of us are now doing with the Koran. It's easy.
Some of the prisoners, like Albert Speer, the architect who became Hitler's Armaments Minister, admit their guilt. Others rely on the rationale that they were only following orders. This excuse is always dismissed by civilized people but mistakenly in my opinion.
Not in this case, perhaps, but for "only following orders" substitute "doing what I was expected to do," and we're all guilty, even if the "orders" are sometimes unspoken, in which case they're known as "command pressure" or "peer pressure" or "keeping up with the Joneses." One doubtful ex-Nazi, Hans Frank, puts it this way: "I wanted to keep my job." Suppose, instead of "job", we substitute "public opinion" or "the respect of my community"? From a sociological point of view, the intricacies are myriad.
Safe to say that this video covers all the well-known trivia and 'phrases' remembered from the NTs. It isn't horrible...after all, you've got some very capable actors in the lineup. It isn't for want of drama, as it is relying on the NT and all the drama surrounding one of the most well-known trials of the 20th century, along with one of the most 'interesting' of defendants ever put on trial, Hermann Goering. Having said that, it would be probably be hard work to screw this up... but it looks like they tried, lol.
First off, there's a squeamish, cheesy sort-of romance going on between the lead prosecutor and his secretary that has nothing to do with the story. I can only assume this was done in keeping with a modern tradition of putting chick-flic crap into every movie, no matter the genre in an attempt to broaden the target audience to include ditzy females.
Secondly, the pace and dialogue is hurried and brief. You won't find any 'great' dialogues or epic/memorable scenes here, even when they try. The performances are capable, the directing is functional, the costumes and sets are fairly accurate.... remember: "Made for television" ;) IF, ( I stress, IF) you have never known anything about the NTs and are getting your 'feet wet', I suppose this is an easy enough starting point.
As far as performances, I'd say Brian Cox steals the show as HG. He is a great actor and effortlessly fulfills his duty here. Baldwin is.... well, Baldwin. He's in a lot of stuff bc he himself is such a 'pliable' personality, that he can basically be himself in just about any role, lol. But, he does alright. There are some others yo may recognize, like Plummer, who also is kinda himself in every role, but he does it (himself) so well, you don't mind, lol. Von Sydow is in there as well as Feore, both great actors doing great with what little they have been given to work with.
I would like to 'warn' anyone, and I don't really consider this a 'spoiler', that there will be films of the concentration camps shown, and they are gruesome, to say the least. It is not what I would consider 'suitable for children', and I wouldn't show it to my child less than about 15-16 years of age, unless they are only a few years younger but very mature, or you censor that part by having them leave the room/fast- forward past it, etc.
Like I said, I won't go into the actual NT and the 'pros and cons of war', but without a doubt, this was a very 'simplistic' representation of what happened during WWII and the Nuremberg Trials and chock full of good ol' 'USA is the greatest' point of view. Don't get me wrong, I'm a vet and very patriotic about the my country, the US, but the "Nazis are bad and the US are heroes" is a very one dimensional narrative of WWII.
"The victors will always judge the vanquished"... it has been true for thousands of years, and it'll never be any other way.
The original, phenomenal, 'Judgement at Nuremberg' (1961) is as in- depth and esoteric as this one is superficial... this one is simplistic, about the main trial for the Nazi leaders, and the 1961 film is complex, nuanced and about the judges' trial... a much more intense and dramatic film, one of the best.
Overall, I'd say it's worth watching, just keep in mind that it was a modest budget', made for TV' video.
In summary, it could have been a good movie, but it is just a decent one.
However, what is missed is that part of Goerring arrogance during his direct examination, had to do with his slow, and painful recovery from both his morphine addiction, and his gross obesity.
By the end of the war, as mentioned by Goerring's wife in the film, the former Reichmarshall, had been stripped of his title and in fact, an SS squad had been sent to kill him.
Goerring had become a bumbling, bloated drug addict, incapable of performing almost any function.
And to Colonel Andrus credit, he made sure that Goerring got healthy before the trial.
Yet, it was just that, and Goerring's return to the former WWI flying ace status (Goerring replaced the Red Baron as Germany's greatest combat pilot during that war) that helped lead to his confrontation with Jackson.
As has been mentioned here, despite Alec Baldwin needing to "redeem" Jackson, in fact, there was really no redemption.
The transcripts of the trial are available to all, and Jackson's examination of Goerring was an unmitigated disaster, prosecutorially.
It was only Maxwell-Fyfe's brilliant cross that saved the day and it is a legal moment still studied by prosecutors to this day.
The so called affair between Jackson and the Jill Hennesy character is also silly.
As a final point, the unquestioned view of Albert Speer as remorseful is questionable at best.
One gets the impression from his "Inside the Third Reich" that it is likely that Speer was simply looking out for himself, and, having served his sentence, left Spandau and became a successful raconteur.
However, Speer was arguably the most important man in the Reich by the end of the war, and in fact, had made the Reich and the war effort even more efficient at the end, than the beginning. He was a long term member of the Nazi party (from 1931), and being in charge of everything in Germany, including the trains, which he claimed at the trial to not know were being used to transport death camp victims, his claim of not knowing rang very hollow.
The "conflict" between Speer and Goerring was also overplayed. Speer looked at Goerring still as the corpulent drug addict, while he was the regal Nazi. Tall, good looking and oh so efficient.
As for trying to kill Hitler, Speer himself said that he never actually meant to, and it was merely puffery.
When someone says: "Made-for-TV" movie one would expect characters that are miscast at worst misplaced and numerous mistakes such as modern cars deep in the background, a cheaply made background. But Nuremburg shatters this common stereotype. The characters are 3 dimensional and worth remembering. Alec Baldwin's performance is a commanding and selfless figure...very reassuring almost to sickening levels. Christopher Plummer and Jill Hennessey are very inoffensive supporting cast. They aren't as motionless as the scenery. The most riveting performance aside from Baldwin's is Brain Cox's portrayal of Reichmarshall Hermann Goering is spot-on and very intellectual.
The films also gets high marks not only for its moral message about justice and democracy. It gets high marks for one particular scene of the liberation of the Nazi concentration camps shown in very explicit and very painful detail. You would actually feel the shock and numbness of the audience. The oral testimony of the survivors also cannot be forgotten as it too explained the Nazi oppression in details just as painful. However, the Nazi officers standing trial remain either unmoved or motionless seeing their crimes from the opposite side of the law. Unfortunately, the accused only show a sliver of their humanity in the face of their ultimate fate: prison time or an execution.
Now for the things I felt were lacking in this film, I didn't find that many. I don't hate this film but it's not on the level of the 1962 "Trial At Nuremberg". It should be a full-length silver screen modern adaptation. I didn't like the scenery that was obviously a CGI construct i.e. "the place of justice". There is a lot of emotions in this film like in the big-budget blockbuster. However, it's sanitized, too neat, and *ahem* not controversial enough. I prefer my docudramas with a little controversy albeit a safe dose. In conclusion, this is a wonderful film that is a little too clean and safe given this touchy subject. Nuremberg should be as intriguing as Conspiracy and moving as Schiendler's List. But it's one of the very few movies of 2000's that is my DVD pick and we can't have everything.
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.
The scenes are built with attention to details, the narration doesn't become pedant and the screenplay avoid most of the clichés about WW2. Alec Baldwin gives a good work in portraying Robert Jackson in a war fought mainly against Reichsmarschall Hermann Goering, wonderfully portrayed by Brian Cox. His charismatic, manipulatory character is the best developed of the series and easily casts a shadow over the other defendants, whose similarity to the real defendants is sometimes astonishing.
There are, however, some flaws that need to be pointed out. First of all, Rudolf Hess's characters scarcely has a line to speak, and the same happens to Alfred Rosenberg. Probably it was due to the fact the two actors who portrayed them (LaFortune and Fournier) are French and their accent wouldn't have been fit to the characters, but their impact is still scarce. It would have been interesting to watch scenes about Hess's pretended mental illness or Rosenberg's intellectual arrogance and insignificance finally unmasked. Other defendants are better represented, however: the toffee-nosed Ribbentrop, the cruel Kaltenbrunner, the Admiral... ops, Feldmarschall Keitel, the (probably) guilt-ridden Frank, the coarse Streicher and Funk, and the repented enslaver Speer (even if the overall tone is a bit too indulgent towards the last one).
Another insipid part is the soap between Jackson and his secretary/mistress. Fortunately, some scenes were cut in the Italian edition, so I missed them (reading the others' review, it was probably a great deal).
In the end, "Nuremberg" is an above average TV production with good sequences and characterization. It handles a controversial historical event professionally and carefully. Cutting away some soapy parts, it wouldn't be bad even as a school projection.
*** out of 4 stars
The German enigma codes were broken by English scientists in 1943 so much of what the Germans were doing was known. During 1943 the Germans developed new jet fighters and jet bombers by companies including Arado, Heinkel and Messerschmitt. However, even if the Nazis were eliminated and the German resistance succeeded the allies wouldn't allow any democracy in the world to have jet fighters, jet bombers, high speed submarines, ballistic missiles and radio guided missiles without the USA having them first! This is where the institutionalised agenda is relevant. Consequently, the German resistance got no help at all from the allies although they always had crucial intelligence to eliminate Adolf Hitler. The 20 July 1944 coup is proof there were significant efforts by the Germans to obtain peace. Instead, the Germans got ultimatums of "unconditional surrender" and 24 hour saturation bombing in an agenda to avoid peace. The allies wanted to steal the world's greatest technology and scientists from the Germans and contain complete ownership through an "unconditional surrender." It was a premeditated allied agenda to allow the war to perpetuate and keep the Nazis in power to justify the 24 hour bombing but it took one year after d-day before allied armies advanced into Germany to steal the world's greatest technology and scientists at the barrel of a gun. However, tens of millions of people had died since the allies abandoned the German resistance for their own greed.
The allies imposed "unconditional surrender" on the Germans as a pretext to complete ownership and control of German property and government and it was done without using the German resistance to over throw the Nazis. The allies wanted to steal the world's greatest technology and scientists from the Germans to achieve world technological supremacy. Consequently, everything else took second place to the evil allied agenda which killed millions of German people in the 24 hour bombing; the concentration camps stayed open; the war was prolonged and led to the "cold war" with weapons based on German industrial achievements, technology, and scientists taken from the Germans in world war two.
The 1946 Nuremburg war crimes trials were a public relations deception and mass murder perpetrated by the allies as retrospective justice to the Nazis. It was a smoke screen to hide the evil and greedy allied agenda for world technological supremacy rather than help the German resistance overthrow the nazi political regime.
Tens of millions of people died because the allies abandoned the German resistance to an agenda but they inflicted retribution against the German chiefs of staff anyway whom paid with their lives at Nuremburg war crimes or not although the allies had perpetrated genocide to achieve world technological supremacy.
The portrayal of Göring succeeded in bringing home one of the reasons why the German public succumbed to the Nazi regime. Göring could be a powerful & charismatic performer. Here he is using these qualities to play a game with the prosecutors whilst in custody. He presents himself as a loyal and honourable but defeated leader, maintaining his pride and self-respect in the face of the Allies' contemptuous treatment of him. He uses his charisma to bolster the others on trial and to attempt to make a mockery of it. You almost think he might succeed.
Brian Cox does his job so well that we can imagine how Göring might have gained some admiration from some quarters during the trial. Indeed, sympathy and admiration are later personalised in the form of an American guard who befriends Göring. Of course, his charisma doesn't work in the end, when we later see him caught out by the prosecutor in witness box. We also see his so called "honour" disappear.
But one cannot fail to moved by the scene where his wife & daughters visit him in prison, and just before she leaves asks him if she can take some of the prison food. It's pathetic to see a once powerful and still proud leader now look around helplessly, totally powerless to help his family with this basic need. Despite Göring's imprisonment and impending doom, his wife seemed unable to comprehend or accept what was happening, and still looked upon him as a figure of authority.
Thank you Brian Cox for such a superb performance!
"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")
Limited as this two-fold solution may have been, the plan made sense to me. It's only a movie, after all. Those who wished for more out of the series can always go into the historical record. I myself have always had questions about the Hess and Donitz verdicts.
As for the "love interest," (that durable old Hollywood term!), I can always be forgiving of any movie that features Jill Hennessy, who is destined to succeed Myrna Loy as the perfect movie wife.
After World War II, the US wanted to have a trial. "Uncle Joe" Stalin more practically suggested shooting those there was no further use for and keeping the few with some promise. However Stalin bowed to his allies wishes and the Neuremberg Trials began with the Russian Judges' toast 'To Law.'
Alec Baldwin rendered a bravura performance as Justice Jackson the US chief prosecutor at Neurember capturing the arrogance, self-righteousness and political intrigue as well as the hubris when he cannot break REichsmarshall Hermann Goering on cross-examination. "All governments fundamentally operate the same," prisoner Goering tells the stunned Jackson.
The movie stays from the actual event in giving Jackson the upper hand on a second round of cross-examination and in hanging on to the end. The real life Jackson who some bouts of melancholia during the ups and downs of the trial and who had lost the honor of appointment as US Chief Justice resigned as chief prosecutor long before the verdicts were rendered and returned to Washington.
The people of the Neurenberg court were concerned with how history would see them. Will to a future generation this be seen as an attempt to impose law and order on statecraft or will it seem a bizarre form of public entertainment like the basketball game the Aztecs staged?
It is important that people get to see such footage (although I absolutely don't agree with people stating that there is no minimum age at which children can be exposed to this kind of material), but in this film it was completely ridiculous. It was purely meant to improve the impact of an ordinary TV series. It was meant to shock the audience which is very cheap and unbelievably easy. In stead of trying to move us with well-done scenes, inspiring dialogue or interesting viewpoint's, the audience is being tortured with horrible images of skin-and-bones camp inmates. It doesn't show any respect for the victims of the holocaust.
I'm very angry.
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.
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.
From a more impartial POV the movie does do justice to what it sets out to do - namely show that unspeakable crimes of atrocity happen on all sides. The movie is of course in no way a defence of Nazi Germany - if anything (and this might take a bit more historical knowledge) it shows that the issue is extremely deep, perhaps in the way Mississippi Burning asks similar questions.
For it is not the scapegoats at the trial who are culpable - it is the entire nation. Rabid ideas were implanted in the minds of children at a very young and extremely impressionable age. You don't know about this? Then ask any educated and enlightened Jew to point you in the right direction. Ample examples of this type of propaganda are archived all over our Internet. See it and not quite believe it.
Is this any better for the scapegoats at trial? No of course not. But the movie attempts to show that the atrocities of WWII were not the doing of an exclusive elite but a symptom of a greater, more deeply rooted evil. And that evil exists on all sides and perpetrates even to this day.
You cannot go into this movie with prejudices. On the other hand, you can't come out of it with anything less than utter shock and horror at not only what happened but why and how it happened - in other words hopefully with a bit of insight, and so better prepared to do your bit to see things like this stop happening everywhere across our beautiful planet.
This is not an easy movie to see. It's not a popcorn movie and it's not a mates movie and it's definitely not a chick flick. But people will need to - will want to - have something a bit more profound to think about from time to time. It can't really hurt - after all, these things really happened and we must continually be on our watch they stop happening.
It's hard to see how anyone can come away after these three and one half hours not a better person. A bit bored perhaps - it's tedious at times, perhaps a lot of the time - but important issues are bravely presented here.
As movies go - as made for television movies go - it's not going to be a big winner. It doesn't have extraordinary entertainment value. Not much time or effort is devoted to developing characters - only to expounding ideas, to asking questions. Yet there might be no better way to do this one. 6 out of 10. Anyone who's 'human' will do the same.
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.
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...
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.
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.
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.