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Nuremberg [VHS]

4.1 out of 5 stars 107 customer reviews


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Product Details

  • Actors: Alec Baldwin, Brian Cox, Christopher Plummer, Karen Belfo, Frank Burns
  • Writers: David W. Rintels, Joseph E. Persico
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English, German
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Number of tapes: 1
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • VHS Release Date: July 10, 2001
  • Run Time: 180 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (107 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000056B67
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #276,571 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

The trial of Nazi war criminals following the Allied victory in Europe in World War II is dramatized in this uneven TV movie starring Alec Baldwin as Robert Jackson, a U.S. Supreme Court justice who served as the chief prosecutor for the Allies. The gravity of the controversial concept of having a war crimes trial, and the political maneuvering between Britain, France, the United States, and the Soviet Union that made it possible, is explained fairly well in the early portions of the film, even if Baldwin at times delivers lines that seem to have been lifted from a high school history textbook. Scenes of Nazi officers being rounded up and jailed are evocative, as are scenes of a ruined Germany. But a subplot involving Baldwin's character having an extramarital affair with his secretary, played by Jill Hennessy, seems utterly extraneous. Perhaps the intent was to show that even someone taking a moral stand on a global stage can be flawed, but Baldwin's Supreme Court justice faces no consequences from his infidelity. Baldwin dominates the courtroom scenes as the outraged prosecutor, while Hennessy has little to do beyond looking great in her 1940s wardrobe. And as the film progresses the brilliant performance of Brian Cox as Hermann Goering simply seizes all attention, as Hitler's deputy is uncannily portrayed as a brilliant manipulator to the very end. Nuremberg is consistently interesting, and to its credit it does contain much serious material on the Nazi war crimes, but it is in the end a flawed production. --Robert J. McNamara

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
The other reviewers have pointed out the importance of this film, so I would like to make a few points that may be important.

(1) As in so many Western films, the Russians (or, actually, Soviets) are a caricature-they are portrayed as uncouth louts.

I wasn't happy with the scene of the party at Jackson's house where the German butler and his wife refuse to serve the Russian judge because their son was killed on the Russian front.

Jackson's secretary tries to calm the situation without showing any understanding of the Russian's response that most of the victims of Nazism's horrors were residents of the USSR, simply dismissing it as politics. In reality, everyone admitted that the Soviet role in the trial was basically fair and constructive, in spite of the fact that the Soviet judges were totally under the thumb of Soviet dictator Josef Stalin who really was no better than Hitler and his Nazis whom they were supposed to be judging.

(2) Albert Speer is portrayed as a truly penitent Nazi technocrat. Many people, including Airey Neave (the British officer who presented the indictments and who was tragically murdered by the Irish Republican Army in 1979) felt that it was unfair to execute Nazi Labor chief Sauckel and to let Speer off to become a prosperous, professional "ex-Nazi" when all Sauckel did was round up laborers for Speers armaments industries. Speer does admit that he was always pressuring Sauckel for more laborers, but Neave and others feel that his remorse for what he did was mainly to get sympathy from the judges and that he never really confronted his own, direct personal responsibility for the horrors of the Nazi regime, rather than just the collective responsibility he accepted.
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Format: DVD
To the mind of many historical observers, nothing so defines the striking manifest differences between the horrific nature of the Third Reich from the more rational and compassionate constitutional democracies that largely comprised the Allies as the way in which the defendants of the trials at Nuremberg were handled. With painstaking precision (and at extraordinary cost in terms of international arm-twisting and back-door deals), the proponents of a judicial proceeding designed to illustrate the manifest individual guilt of the various Nazi officials forged a result that still stands today as a model of a non-retributive effort in the face of extraordinary pressure. In this carefully reearched and terrifically presented movie depiction of the events, one comes to appreciate the problems facing the Allies in proceeding with the trials. And while one can hardly describe the Nuremberg trials as unflawed or perfect, they did prove to the world that the Allies were willing to subscribe to the existing canon of law to judge the actions of the Nazis.
Doing so was anything but easy, Indeed, achieving a fair result that would literally convince the watching world of the guilt of the participants in the war was anything but easy, and moving toward that deliberate goal is a theme providing an interesting theme punctuating the pace of the book. Churchill wanted revenge by way of summary trials and quick retribution, while the Russians just wanted to string up the whole group in a mass hanging. Yet American Supreme Court Justice Robert Jackson (Alex Baldwin) was able to resolve the differences well enough to proceed, although at times the viewer wonders if the trials will be anything like the fair-minded judicial event he has in mind.
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5 Comments 30 of 32 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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By A Customer on April 24, 2001
Format: VHS Tape
I thought that Nuremberg was a great depiction of the war crimes trial. Alec Baldwin did a great performance as Robert Jackson. Brain Cox played a good Herman Goering. The other actors also gave good performances in there roles (The actor who played Psychologist Gustav Gilbert was especially good).
Nuremberg is however not problem proof. The hangings for example are not accurate. Several of the convicted slowly strangled to death instead of dying instantly, like in the film. Also, Streicher made a bigger performance in the gallows than simply saying `Heil Hitler' before he was hung.
All of the Defendants are shown. But some star only briefly. Rudolph Hess, for example, spends most of the film quiet and pretending to be insane. He speaks for about 30 seconds total. That is about the total screen time Robert Ley has before committing suicide. Arthur Seyess-Inquart has only one major scene, and that is when he enters his plea.
All in all, Nuremberg is a good movie, with good acting. A great beginners lesson on the trial. But for people looking for a great Nuremberg film, Judgment at Nuremberg (Though not based on the first trial) and Nuremberg: Tyranny on Trial are also available.
1 Comment 26 of 28 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: DVD
This Nuremberg DVD is a factual account of what happened. Most people do not realize that there was more than one Nuremberg trial. There were two movies made about the trials and it should be known that this DVD covers the first, and most important, trial of Hitler's fellow criminals. It's superbly acted and directed. If you purchase this DVD, you must purchase the version staring Spencer Tracy. It's a continuation of the incident at Nuremberg.
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