One of the greatest courtroom dramas in history, NUREMBERG shows how the international prosecutors built their case against the top Nazi war criminals using the Nazis' own films and records. The trial established the "Nuremberg principles" -- the foundation for all subsequent trials for crimes against the peace, war crimes, and crimes against humanity. Commissioned by Pare Lorentz in his capacity as head of Film/Theatre/Film in the U.S. War Department's Civil Affairs Division, it was written & directed by Stuart Schulberg, who completed it in 1948. Written by
The film interweaves the courtroom proceedings with excerpts from "The Nazi Plan" and "Nazi Concentration Camps" - evidentiary films compiled by John Ford's OSS Field Photo Branch/War Crimes team. See more »
While this film is described as being produced in 1948, the film that is making the rounds in theaters in 2011, is a different remastered version of that film, with a new translation that was produced by Sandra Schulberg, the daughter of the original producer.
This second film, I'll call it the 2011 version, should have it's own place on IMDb. This is a new product that used the existing film that was in the public domain and is now copyrighted by it's producers. The translation and English narration is part of this 2011 version.
I saw the presentation of this film with a talk by the producer Ms. Schulberg, which was quite informative. However in the absence of such discourse, or explanation of the history of the film and the world between the time it was shot in 1946 and first released in Germany in 1948, this film has no context. It is an example of anti-German propaganda, that contains exaggerations and blatant distortions. For instance in spite of the films narration, Germany did not initiate the attack on Pearl Harbor by the Japanese.
As far as the film being suppressed as the advertisements claim, that is not quite accurate. it was not released, and was available for anyone who was interest to copy or to distribute for the last fifty or so years. It was not released because between the shooting and completion, Germany became our ally against the Soviet Union, and vilification was no longer in order.
As a beginning of discussion this film should be rated a ten, but in the absence of such dialog, it is an historical artifact of the value of propaganda, whether for good or for evil. This is not entertainment, and is painful to watch the graphic horrors of the Nazi era.
Watching this film can only be the beginning of a quest for understanding. Ms. Shulberg does have a web site that provides some of this context that I recommend as part of this experience.
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