Top positive review
58 people found this helpful
will grip you start to finish
on 9 February 2008
Young German lawyer, Maximillian Schell, has the daunting task of defending four nazi judges accused of war crimes, at the Nuremberg trials. Richard Widmark is the rather 'zealous' prosecution council, who never gives up. Spencer Tracey is the senior trial judge, fair minded and who just 'wants to understand'. This was certainly the first such film, that made any attempt to give both sides a fair hearing.
The defence council finds that the evidence against his clients is just the start of his problems, when one of the accussed, Burt Lancaster, decides to declare himself and his colleagues guilty. However, the trial continues with several spectacular and electric courtroom confrontations between Widmark and Schell.
Things become more complicated when events and people outside of the courtroom start to put pressure on the key players in the courtroom. Worse still, Spencer Tracey finds out that his romantic interest, Marlene Dietrich, not only is certain that Burt Lancaster is not guilty, but had her husband executed at another trial, thanks mainly to Richard Widmark.
Montgommery Clift and Judy Garland are two victims of nazi rule, that are asked to give evidence, but will they both attend? This really is marvellous stuff, brialliantly produced and directed, with the four individual verdicts being uncertain till almost at the end of the film.
Maximillian Schell won an oscur for his barn storming performance, with Spencer Tracey, Burt Lancaster and Marlene Dietrich all being a little unlucky in not joining him. Watch out for a young William Shatner (star trek) and a brief cameo from Burgess Meredith (rocky and batman).
Five star entertainment for those into courtroom drama.