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Judgment at Nuremberg (1961)

Spencer Tracy , Burt Lancaster , Stanley Kramer  |  NR |  DVD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (168 customer reviews)

Price: $107.25
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Product Details

  • Actors: Spencer Tracy, Burt Lancaster, Richard Widmark, Marlene Dietrich, Maximilian Schell
  • Directors: Stanley Kramer
  • Writers: Montgomery Clift, Abby Mann
  • Producers: Stanley Kramer, Philip Langner
  • Format: AC-3, Black & White, Dolby, Letterboxed, NTSC, Special Edition, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 1.0), English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: MGM (Video & DVD)
  • DVD Release Date: September 7, 2004
  • Run Time: 186 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (168 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0002CR04A
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #22,723 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Judgment at Nuremberg" on IMDb

Special Features

  • "In Conversation: Abby Mann and Maximillian Schell" featurette
  • "A Tribute to Stanley Kramer" featurette
  • "The Value of a Single Human Being" featurette (Abby Mann reads from Judgment at Nuremberg)
  • Photo gallery

Editorial Reviews

Nominated* for eleven Academy AwardsÂ(r), including Best Picture, Judgment at Nuremberg is "magnificent" (Los Angeles Times), "continuously exciting" (The New Yorker) andboasts brilliant performances by an all-star cast. American judge Dan Haywood (Spencer Tracy) presides over the trial of four German jurists accused of "legalizing" Nazi atrocities. But as graphic accounts of sterilization and murder unfold in the courtroom, mounting political pressure for leniency forces Haywood to make the most harrowing and difficult decision of his career. *1961: Actor (Maximilian Schell, won); Actor (Spencer Tracy); Supporting Actor (Montgomery Clift); Supporting Actress (Judy Garland); Director; Adapted Screenplay (won); Cinematography (B&W); Art Direction (B&W); Film Editing; Costume Design (B&W).

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
169 of 174 people found the following review helpful
Format:VHS Tape
This is truly an astonishing movie. After seeing it one wonders that Spencer Tracy did not win the Academy Award for his performance here. Of course, another actor in the cast, Maxmillian Schell, playing the German defense attorney, did! In many ways the movie is the senior brother to "Schindler's List", acting to probe thoughtfully through the mist of euphemisms, excuses and exaggerations of the era. And sifting out some remarkable, memorable, and noble notions about what human beings should be held responsible for in terms of their social attitudes, civic behavior and public actions.
Ostensibly, the action takes place after the more sensational trials of the Nazi hierarchy, when the public appetite for blood, revenge, and harsh justice had been somewhat abated. Tracy plays a relatively obscure retired rural American judge called upon to act as one of the three presiding judges in overseeing the trials of prominent German jurists who had co-operated, collaborated, and then presided over the gradual civil drift from a nation whose conduct and laws were based on a corpus of jurisprudence to one characterized by crackpot eugenic policies, blatant racism, & officially-sanctioned violence and mayhem.
Burt Lancaster plays a pre-eminent German judge, one famed for his legal treatises and international reputation as a jurist. Through the prism of the testimony of both the judges on trial and their cross examination by a zealous American military prosecutor played masterfully by a young Richard Widmark, the viewer begins to understand much more about the slippery slope most of the jurists had unwittingly embarked upon.
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82 of 84 people found the following review helpful
Format:VHS Tape
There's a serious and timeless theme to this award winning 1961 courtroom drama of four former Nazi judges on trial for war crimes in occupied Germany in 1948. It's not the story of the military leaders who had already been tried and convicted. Rather, these were the men who survived the war by following the laws that ruled the nation. There are deep moral questions here, such as what a judge's responsibility is. After all, judges do not make the laws; they just carry them out.
Stanley Kramer, the director, had great material to work with. The screenplay by Abby Mann was powerful. And the cast included some of the finest actors of the time. Spencer Tracy plays the judge, a widower from Maine with simple tastes. He's a bit embarrassed to be given a large house, formerly occupied by a high ranking Nazi officer whose surviving wife is played by Marlene Dietrich. The judge has a difficult job and he ponders it as he walks through the ruins of the city with wide-eyed wonder. How could all of the horror have happened? And who is responsible?
Responsibility, however, which is the theme of the film, is not so clear cut. And as the trial progresses, all the shades of gray involved in this concept are brought to light. Burt Lancaster is cast as one of the judges on trial, a dignified and respected man of the law. Richard Widmark is cast as the prosecuting attorney, a colonel who had personally been present at the liberation of the concentration camps. And Maximilian Schell, in an Academy Award winning performance, plays the part of the defending attorney whose outstanding legal expertise keeps shedding new light on the evidence. Judy Garland is one of the witnesses, and so is Montgomery Cliff. The entire cast is excellent.
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40 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great film about the War-Crime trials. April 5, 2001
Format:VHS Tape
With an all star cast, Judgment at Nuremberg certainly delivers with powerful acting and great directing by Stanley Kramer.

Burt Lancaster portrays one of four-nazi judges convicted of war crimes at the Nuremberg trials. The year is 1948, two years since the main Nuremberg trials concluded and 3 years since World War 2 ended. Throughout the film, mention is made of the cold war. The invasion of Czechoslovakia and the Berlin Airlift are mentioned. Also, Emil Hahn (Played by Werner Klemperer, the future Colonel Klink) states, after he is sentenced, "...Tomorrow the Bolsheviks sentence you!" Speaking of perfromances, fine performances are also given by just about the entire cast, from Spencer Tracy as Judge Dan Heywood, to Montgomery Clift playing Rudolph Peterson, a victim of nazi atrocities. Judy Garland and Marlene Dietrich also give great performances. But it is Lancaster, Richard Widmark and Maxmilian Schell (Who won an Oscar for Best Actor) who steal the show.

In addition to everything listed above, the film's music fits it like a glove. The cinematography is also good. In addition, this version also includes the original theatrical trailer.

This is definately one of my ten favorites and deserves a spot in the collection of any film buff (It has a spot in mine).
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34 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Responsibility? December 4, 2002
Format:VHS Tape
Spencer Tracy stars as an American judge who travels to Germany in 1948 to take part in the Nuremberg trials. For eight months he chairs the panel trying four German judges, one of whom is respected scholar Burt Lancaster. Defense Attorney Maxmillian Schell makes the case that the men were simply following the law as written in Nazi Germany and cannot be held accountable for the brutality inflicted on those found guilty. Prosecutor Richard Widmark argues that the men knew what they were doing and understood the fate of those found guilty and that they acted inhumanely. Both men argue their cases well in a trial marked by emotion and great drama. Judgment at Nuremberg is a powerful movie, since it deals with atrocities and wounds that may never be completely healed. It also deals with a fundamental question that surrounds war: Are people who are simply following orders (or the law as it exists in their country) to be held responsible for their actions and the fate of those they affect. The film's screenplay is sharp, honest, and makes points on both sides, although emotion certainly affects how one answers the questions it raises. More than anything, however, this movie is about acting. Tracy is the rock that centres the film, the weight of his characters decisions ever present on his face and in his motions. Schell and Widmark have plenty of chances to set off fireworks as the lawyers, and they take full advantage of the opportunity. Lancaster is quietly strong and imposing, never getting much dialogue, but establishing a presence throughout the whole film. Judy Garland and Montgomery Clift have brief scenes as victims of Nazi laws who testify against the defendants. Both actors give outstanding performances, almost uncomfortable to watch they are so real. Read more ›
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Judgment at Nuremberg
Great movie to use in home schooling. Helps get discussion going about not just the trial but also about propaganda, true justice, world involvement in other countries affairs,... Read more
Published 8 days ago by TK
5.0 out of 5 stars The implacable truth...
There is not one single weak moment
in this excellent three hours long film!
Everything is so good: Monty Clift's
moving performance, five years after his
1956... Read more
Published 25 days ago by elisheva guggenheim
5.0 out of 5 stars Film classic, and a piece of history
This is the kind of movie that's not really made any more; one for grownups, that examines morally complex questions in a thoughtful and provocative way, free of cheap effects,... Read more
Published 28 days ago by Jenny T
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best "trial" movies ever made.
I thought these were German on German crimes and should have been tried by a German court. Not an International Tribunal with American judges. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Tom
4.0 out of 5 stars good but pricey
good recording! just wondering why it was so expensive. for a black and white regular dvd it costs 5X compared to others
Published 1 month ago by Richard C. Lim
5.0 out of 5 stars Cliff, Garland< schell, tracy, et.al.---Superb!!
03-3702014 Let's face it, movie fans, there aren't a lot of triasl movies, and so, this one is unique. Read more
Published 1 month ago by TONY L ENGLETON CNMT
5.0 out of 5 stars Lovers of historical data will like this oneq
While a movie, it provides interested folks with some
historical knowledge as information re WW11.
The acting is very good and realistic.
Published 1 month ago by Jerome G. Pavlov
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent film
If you have never seen it, it's a must. Spencer Tracey is perfect on the panel of judges during the trial. And Maximillian Schell is also outstanding. Read more
Published 2 months ago by K. Shaw
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, serious, and thoughtful
Excellent, serious, and thoughtful. . .

What do you do when a whole nation endorses the diabolic policies and actions of its elected leader? Read more
Published 2 months ago by rwx
4.0 out of 5 stars CRIMES AGAINST OURSELVES
The most telling line in the movie is the last line spoken by judge Haywood when Dr. Ernst Janning tells him "you have to know . . . Read more
Published 2 months ago by R. Childers
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