Volume 4, Issue 10, (Originally Published on 7 October 2013)
Judgment at Nuremberg is the rare combination of important and good.
The importance comes from the subject matter: the Justice Case at the Nuremberg Trials. Two questions are put forth to be answered: are the law¬yers and judges legally culpable for their conduct in the Third Reich, and how could this have happened? It should not be a spoiler to reply yes to the first. The second question requires more space and soul searching than available here.
The quality of the film is evident in all aspects. The spotlight is on Spencer Tracy, who is terrific as the small-time judge from Maine, arriving after all the big fish have been gutted. His point of view allows us to see many aspects of German society to attempt to give con-tent to the second question. The servants at his house are the common people; Marlene Dietrich, the upper crust, shows Tracy around to show not all Germans are monsters. The non-procedural nature means examination-in-chief is shown, the rarest of depictions, and it’s even useful for the drama because the viewer knows as much as Tracy.
For the law nerd, there is also material for questions addressed by Advocacy, Evidence, Legal Theory and Legal Eth¬ics. International Criminal Law rarely. International Criminal Law rarely gets depicted on screen, so its lovely to have an Oscar- winning film to do so.
Watch it. Its compelling viewing.