DVD Review: “Judgment at Nuremburg” Was a Verbal Sparing Match of the Third Order


Genres: Drama and Adaptation
Running Time: 3 hrs. 10 min.
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
United Artists Films

Directed by: Stanley Kramer

JJ Rating: A+

Four Nazi judges are to be judged by a tribunal if what they did, when they sat on the bench, is worthy of a punishment that will have them in prison, or should they be set free? Judgment at Nuremburg.

Personally I dislike chatty movies. Those are the movies that all they do is talk, talk, talk, talk. However, I really liked this one. I liked the ideas that were presented and the way it was filmed. I think that all the actors in this film were really good and that this could be one of those films that would be difficult to remake and make better than the original.

I knew that Spencer Tracy was in this film but I did not know that William Shatner (playing a Captain har har) and Judy Garland were in this film. Julie Garland’s character Irene Hoffman was a different character than I’ve seen her play. She played a very emotionally vulnerable person and it was odd, because at first I couldn’t see where July Garland was. She did a fantastic job. Burt Lancaster was also fantastic, because for most of the movie he sits and watches and all he had was his facial expressions to give off what his character was thinking. The expressions were sometimes very subtle, but they were perfect for his role.

The closing statements that were given by Hans Rolfe (Maximilian Schell) were powerful. I thought that what the Nazis did was atrocious and that what the judges did was down right asinine, but when the lawyer made his closing statements about who could be to blame I felt a bit convinced. He did have a really valid point. I enjoyed that part because it got me thinking. There were other good parts throughout the film, but I liked that one and the line that ends the movie. That line is so potent and damaging that it was a perfect spot to end the film and give people pause to what it is they believed.

There are lots of conversations that happen between each character that helps lead people to that final line. I really like the lines in this film and how things were handled. I don’t see how this movie could be any better. It may not be historically accurate 100% but I believe it is enough so to give people an idea of what had occurred during that trial.

I find it amusing that Judgment at Nuremburg clocks in at over 3 hours and I was not at all bored by the film. I was engrossed from beginning to the end even though people should know the ending. It did not steal from my enjoyment.

Should people be blamed for doing as they are told during war time? Should they be held responsible for their actions that are influenced by those who are higher up on the totem poll? These are questions that arise during the film and they are answered full heartedly and passionately.

These judges did horrible things and they justified their actions. But one of the judges was likable and he seemed to have regret for what he had done. I was amazed that I felt bad for him and the situation he was in. He really seemed to regret his part in the badness that Nazis proliferated.

I liked how during the court room scenes they wore the headphones to listen to the translators. It added a bit of realism to the film as did when the one of the Tribunal ask for someone to repeat something because he did not hear, or that a lawyer told the witness to wear the headphones or not to wear the headphones. It was just small things I found neat. I guess the small things DO matter. Ha.

Judgment at Nuremburg is long and 100% talking and some yelling. If talk movies are boring to you as is history then this will not be a film that you’d want to rent. But if you are a lover of history and enjoy extensive conversation then you won’t be wasting your time. I am thinking about buying this film. I could see myself watching it over and over again and remembering the lines that are powerful to hear and think about. Judgment at Nuremburg is a verbal sparing match and is one powerfully charged mind movie that is very enjoyable from the first word to the last word.


Sly Hoax said...

I recommend on old movie named "Hud" if you get the chance.

J_Jammer said...

I'll check it. :D

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