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Judgment in Berlin (1988)

PG | | Drama | 6 May 1988 (USA)
American judge in Germany must decide if the hijacking of an East German plane into West Berlin was justified.

Director:

Leo Penn

Writers:

Herbert J. Stern (based on the book "Judgment in Berlin" by), Joshua Sinclair (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Martin Sheen ... Herbert J Stern
Sam Wanamaker ... Bernard Hellring
Max Gail ... Judah Best
Jürgen Heinrich ... Uri Andreyev
Heinz Hoenig ... Helmut Thiele
Carl Lumbly ... Edwin Palmer
Max Volkert Martens Max Volkert Martens ... Hans Schuster
Cristine Rose ... Marsha Stern
Marie Louise Sinclair Marie Louise Sinclair ... Kim Becker (as Marie-Louise Sinclair)
Joshua Sinclair ... Alan Sherman
Jutta Speidel ... Sigrid Radke
Harris Yulin ... Bruno Ristau
Sean Penn ... Guenther X
Burt Nelson Burt Nelson ... Colonel Heller
Malgorzata Gebel ... Beata Levandovska (as Malgoscha Gebel)
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Storyline

American judge in Germany must decide if the hijacking of an East German plane into West Berlin was justified.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Only two things stand between him and freedom. The Iron Curtain... and the United States.

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

West Germany | USA

Language:

English | Russian | German

Release Date:

6 May 1988 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Escape to Freedom See more »

Filming Locations:

West Berlin, Berlin, Germany See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$229,556
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Black and White (archive footage)| Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Sean Penn: witness at trial. Sean Penn is the son of Leo Penn, who directed this film. See more »

Goofs

The year of the trial is supposed to be around 1973 (date of Sigrid Radke's coerced confession), but the film was shot in contemporary Germany. In a street scene, Gunther X (Sean Penn) walks by a Berlin electronic shop advertising compact disk players (introduced in the early 1980's). Also, Judge Stern refers to the Nurenburg Trials as having occurred "45 years ago", which would refer to the present as around 1990. See more »

Connections

Features The Blue Angel (1930) See more »

Soundtracks

Ich bin von Kopf bis Fuß auf Liebe eingestellt
Sung by Marlene Dietrich
[Friedrich Hollaender]
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Fantastic study of the Americal legal system
14 September 2006 | by maryszkaSee all my reviews

Having been stationed at Tempelhof Central Airport in the 1980s, this movie had particular significance. The book is a difficult read--full of legal terminology and political machinations, but in short--the story of a Jewish judge, sent to Berlin not-so-many years after WWII to try East Germans for hijacking an aircraft to freedom in the West. The movie misses a lot of the subtleties, but is detailed enough to give a good picture of the political climate at the time. A federal prosecutor, Judge Stern was selected to head this trial after many other judges resisted taking on this political "hot potato". The theory is that a Jewish judge in post-war Germany would go along with what was originally envisioned as a sort of "sham" trial intended to lead directly to convictions. Stern insisted that the defendants receive, according to the American Constitution, a trial by a jury of their peers --fellow Germans. An interesting concept for our country, which offically occupied West Berlin until the 1990s. Could conquerors try the conquered in occupied territory with a jury of their (conquered) peers? For anyone who is cynical of our position in the world arena as the unofficial "watchdog" of freedoms, this is a wonderful drama showing that justice will, if given the chance, win out. Highly recommended for anyone interested in our legal system or our nation's post-WWII history.


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