Made in 1961, more than 15 years after the end of WWII, this Best Picture Oscar-winning drama is a well-meaing yet still splashy Hollywood take on the Nuremberg trials conducted in 1948.
Most of narrative unfolds in the courtroom and features a parade of Hollywood notables: Spencer Tracy plays Dan Heywood, the American judge who heads the tribunal; Burt Lancaster is one of four judges on trial for enabling the Nazis' policies; Maximilian Schell is the defense attorney; and Marlene Dietrich is the widow of a Nazi officer, with eyes for Heywood. Judy Garland and Montgomery Clift portray two of the witnesses who provide searing accounts of Nazi torture.
Despite its Hollywood provenance, the film does not shy away from trenchant issues. For instance, it deals with the reticence of American officials to indict Germany, as the Cold War has reared its head, and Germany is now an ally of the U.S. Thus, Heywood and the other judges must walk a fine line between pleasing the Western powers and meting out justice.
The review of this Movie prepared by Elana Starr