A Warning to the World
- Judgment at Nuremberg review by QOW
This is an incredible film. What are the implications of the decisions that we are making in the world today? What started as a temporary measure created fertile ground to spawn unthinkable atrocities. Can it happen again? This will certainly make you think.
7 out of 7 members found this review helpful.
Soul-searching Courtroom Drama
- Judgment at Nuremberg review by CV
Writing a review concerning a crucial and heart-searching courtroom drama, which had ensuing profound moral and political implications, seems very strange while at the present moment leaders of the once national victors of WWII are riding roughshod over their own legal procedures. What on earth would those officers of law make of our travesty of government today?
Four former German judges practising under the Nazi regime are charged with complicity and knowledge of the mass extermination programme instigated under Hitler. The prosecution is naturally visceral and passionate including horrific images of the death camps being shown on film during the procedures. But the defence draws attention to the hypocrisy of the allied nations who one way or another have supported Hitler's regime before armed conflict and compares the atrocity of the devastation of the atom bombs with that of the concentration camps.
The case is conducted during the beginning of the Cold War(1949) and it is of paramount importance that the West can rely on German co-operation if things turn adverse in the East. Germany needs to regain self-respect and credibility in order to resist communism and so the verdict on the four once eminent German judges is a very sensitive issue.
The strength of the drama itself rests on a triumvirate of great American actors of the past: Spencer Tracy, Richard Widmark and Burt Lancaster as one of the German judges.
3 out of 3 members found this review helpful.
Warning from History.
- Judgment at Nuremberg review by Steve Mason
Meticulous and intelligent adaptation of Abby Mann's 1959 television play mostly set within the single space of the courtroom. Four judges from the Nazi era in Germany are on trial for crimes against humanity, but it seems increasingly unclear who is actually responsible for these atrocities.
In fact as the Soviets enter Prague, it becomes evident that neither side is interested in pursuing these convictions as the west needs Germany as a bulwark against Communist expansion and the Germans seek to bury their past. There is even the rather alarming insinuation that the Republican politicians just want the men released and consider the trials to be the obsession of Liberal extremists.
There is a lot of talk over three hours in Judgment at Nuremberg, but it works brilliantly as entertainment because its ideas are so fascinating and the performances so incisive. There is a pair of poignant, very raw cameos from Montgomery Clift and Judy Garland as victims of depraved Nazi injustice. Maximilian Schell won the best actor Oscar as the lawyer defending the judges. But the central role of the American judge was played with real dignity and authority by Spencer Tracy.
He has many long passages of speech to articulate including a very lengthy edit in summing up in which he manages to remain objective to many interested parties and deliver a stirring and wise verdict. And this is that the end never justifies the means, however expedient.
0 out of 0 members found this review helpful.