2019 Blind Spot Series: Judgement at Nuremberg


What I knew going in: I had seen parts of this on TV before.

Judge Dan Haywood (Spencer Tracy) goes to Germany in 1948 to oversee three former judges being tried for their crimes during the Nazi regime. 

I enjoyed the way the courtroom scenes were staged. The standout is still Maximilian Schell playing the German defense attorney. I'm glad he's the one who went home with an Oscar that year. 

This was one of the films I was most looking forward to on my Blind Spot list because I enjoyed the parts I've seen previously. I realize now that I must have been watching an edited version on TV because a lot of the non courtroom scenes were completely new to me. The run time for is over three hours and I did feel that length at times.

I'm glad I finally saw this in one sitting. It wasn't as thrilling as I had hoped it would be now that I got to take it all in at once. I'm struggling to talk about it a bit because I didn't love the one thing most people seem to about this film, and that's Spencer Tracy. He was fine, Haywood in theory is an interesting character, but I walked away far more impressed with other actors instead.

Recommended: Yes

Grade: B-

Memorable Quote: "It came to that the first time you sentenced a man to death that you knew to be innocent." - Judge Haywood (Spencer Tracy)



8 comments:

  1. I love this film which was so fresh from the real Nuremberg trials. Marlene Dietrich was excellent especially since she loved her German heritage but hated what happened and how many German people tried to state they didn’t know( many knew, many were complicit but many were victims because, let’s face it, what would you do if you knew your children would be taken away and your husband sent to a camp if you were even suspected of being against the regime....my Oma had one child taken out which was my mom. Lost 2 sons in the war and her husband was sent to a camp). I loved Judy Garland in the role as well as Schell. Tracy was already very ill due to His alcoholism and ailments plus he did say he would just go throu* the motions so maybe you picked up on this. Did you notice Captain Kirk aka William Shatner?

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    1. I did notice Kirk! I read that about Dietrich in the IMDb trivia.

      I think Garland was a bit miscast, she didn't nail the accent but her emotions were there so it wasn't terrible.

      I know how that goes, my family is from Germany too. They moved to the U.S in the 70's.

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  2. For a moment there, I was like oh no, I missed it again but then I was like, ah, still got a week and a half left to watch 2 films again.
    Anyway, I haven't seen this one and I'm not sure if I will. It just doesn't sound like something up my alley even in a blindspot series.
    Nice review though!

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    1. I have to get to mine early or else I'm scrambling at the end of the month lol

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  3. I haven't seen this yet but I hope to one of these days as I'm about to finish the review of my most recent Blind Spot.

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  4. I watched this years ago, because with that cast how could you not?, and while it was gripping it was also longer than it needed to be.

    Tracy was good as he always was but really I think its the other performers who made more of an impact. Judy might not have nailed the accent but the raw emotion was what mattered in her role, as it did with poor broken Montgomery Clift and there they both hit you full force.

    Lancaster's role wasn't showy but he did well by it as did Richard Widmark as the prosecutor but Schell did do a great deal in making his part more than it was.

    Marlene Dietrich's sad weariness and wariness did a great deal to tinge her scenes especially with Tracy with a pathos that I'm not sure they would have contained without her. This was more or less the end of the line for her in films (by her choice) she only made two more appearances-both cameos, one nearly wordless and the other 18 years later singing a song and a few snatches of dialogue in David Bowie's Just a Gigolo.

    I'd say I appreciated it more than enjoyed it, it's far too heavy and bleak for that, and I was glad I watched it but its nothing I've ever revisited despite my admiration for the entire cast.

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    1. That's a good way to describe it, an appreciation more than an enjoyment.

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