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Judgment at Nuremberg

4.5 out of 5 stars 200 customer reviews

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(Sep 07, 2004)
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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).

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

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:
    Not Rated
  • Studio: MGM (Video & DVD)
  • DVD Release Date: September 7, 2004
  • Run Time: 186 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (200 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0002CR04A
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #20,013 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Judgment at Nuremberg" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
"Judgment at Nuremberg" is Stanley Kramer's often stagy, often stoic, though never anything less than completely engrossing, post-WWII melodrama. It's high octane film making driven by star performances and masterfully scripted dialogue; a vital, tragic, yet overall life affirming message picture about the difference between abiding the law and doing what is just in an unjust world. The film stars Spencer Tracy as the honorable American Judge Dan Haywood, assigned to supervise the trial of four German justices, including Dr. Ernst Janning (Burt Lancaster) who have been accused of sending innocent men to their brutal deaths in Nazi concentration camps. Put up in the home of a former high ranking Nazi official, Haywood gains personal insight into the aftermath of Germany's political climate through his engagement of the servants (Ben Wright and Virginia Christine) and through a chance meeting with their former mistress, Madame Bertholt (Marlene Dietrich). But the real spark of this film is to be found in the mutual bitterness between passionate Defense Attorney Hans Rolfe (Maximilian Schell) and the pronouncedly defiant Colonel Tad Lawson (Richard Widmark), who serves as lead prosecutor. In a cameo appearance Judy Garland is remarkably heartbreaking as Irene Hoffman, a middle-aged frump whose fatherly relationship with a Jewish gentleman resulting in his death. Nominated for an astounding 11 Academy Awards, and winner of 2, "Judgment at Nuremberg" remains a benchmark of 60s cinema - a powerful and emotionally satisfying film for the ages.

Although MGM's DVD is NOT anamorphically enhanced, it delivers a very smooth image that will surely not disappoint. The B&W picture is remarkably clean, with minimal film grain, accurately rendered contrast levels, deep solid blacks and very clean whites.
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Format: DVD
Judgment at Nuremberg started off as television movie. It was adapted and expanded for the big screen.

Spencer Tracey heads the star studded cast as American justice Dan Haywood. The Nuremberg trials have been going on for a while and all the high profile cases have been decided. Left are the minor defendants.

What writer Abby Mann has decided to explore is where does the blame and responsibility stop. He explores it from two points of view, minor officials and the general citizens.

Dan Haywood knows that he wasn't the first choice, nor even the tenth. But he is going to take his job as serious as if he was the first choice.

The defendants are judges Emil Hahn (Werner "Hogan's Heroes" Klemperer), Friederich Hoffsteder, Werner Lamper and Ernst Janning (Burt Lancaster).

The prosecutor (Richard Widmark) is US Army and the defense attorney (Maximilian Schell) is a young German attorney/

The key witnesses are Rudolph Peterson (Montgomery Clift), a slightly slow baker's helper who was sterilized and Irene Hoffman (Judy Garland), who as a girl was sterilized for consorting with a Jew - the man was executed.

Justice Haywood tried to understand the public atmosphere through his servants and the woman who used to live at the house he is living at, Mrs. Bertol (Marlene Dietrich).

This film brings up many questions of when do you follow the law and when do you go refuse to enforce or follow unjust laws. The original teleplay was written just after the McCarthy hearings. This was a direct attack on what happened during the hearings. But it has grown to something bigger. The basic premise is when can you follow blatantly unjust laws and say you were just following orders.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
4.5 stars. About five years ago I was in a Spencer Tracy mode, going out of my way to watch any film he had done, when I came across this gem of a film from 1961 called "Judgement at Nuremberg." The best aspects of this film are the incredible script, a phenomenal cast, and an inspired director named Stanley Kramer. The first time I saw this film I was in equal parts shocked and moved by all the excellent acting and enthralled with the magnificent screenplay. I cannot emphasize enough how well written the script is. Also, the cast is exceptional with standout performances from Spencer Tracy, Judy Garland, Maximilian Schell, and an amazing short scene from Montgomery Clift which got him an Oscar nomination for less than ten minutes screen time. All the actors here have their moments, the only slightly overdone performance coming from Burt Lancaster who conveys the proper emotional context to the fantastic words he is given, but he simply cannot speak properly with a German accent. Then there are a couple of moments shot on sound sateges with the actors speaking their lines in automobiles with a fake backdrop moving behind them; one of which was completely unnecessary. These two scenes standout mostly because the rest of the film is so honest and genuine and subsequently they feel manufactured and plastic. This film was nominated for 11 Oscars, winning 2 for Best Actor(Maximilian Schell) and Best Adapted Screenplay, respectively. The special features on this DVD are non-essentials. The most annoying being a conversation between Maximilian Schell and screenwriter Abby Mann where they basically praise each other for ten minutes or so for their contributions to the film. "No, no...your contribution was more important." "No, yours was more important." etc. This is a very solid film at a very good price. Just skip the special features section beacuse there is simply nothing special about it. Thank you.
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