1961. dir. Stanley Kramer, starring Spencer Tracy, Burt Lancaster, Richard Widmark, Maximilian Schell, Marlene Dietrich.
Seen it before? No
Sam wrote, "This DVD has been sitting on the entertainment unit for about a week and a half. Staring at us with its unblinking eye. Taunting us. Daring us to watch it. "I'm 3 hours long! In black and white! I'm about the Holocaust!" So finally we watched it, and I have to say, we were riveted the whole time. Did not feel 3 hours long." It's like he took the words right out of my mouth! Another surprising movie that I stayed up for. And we watched it pretty late in the night if I recall.
A middle of the road judge from the northeastern part of the United States is flown to Germany to be the judge over a trial of former Nazi judges (including Burt Lancaster)...the defense attorney was impressive - passionate, willing to do virtually anything to lessen the sentences of the (sorry, I am totally judging) clearly guilty Nazi judges...Burt Lancaster as the judge who knew what he did was wrong and showed remorse was just amazing. Marlene Dietrich, who played Mrs. Bertholdt, was stunning (as usual).
I don't think I'll ever fully understand what happened in Nazi Germany. I don't ever want to time travel to that era in our world's history to find out. But I can tell you this right now...the actors in this movie played out the complexities of what it must have been like to be a part of something so cruel, so vicious, so unnecessary, with such elegance, stoicism and grace that you would have to be a vegetable not to see how terrific this movie is.
Watch it again? ABSOLUTELY
Own it? Sure
PS Sam, you spelled judgment incorrectly...
Last notes - Judy Garland looked like Liza does now...horrible and Chris Pine (who plays Capt. Kirk in the newest Star Trek) really does resemble the young Shatner... Finally...why does America always seem to be throwing down judgment on other countries? I so don't understand that.