big time cast and long film led to 10+ aa nominations for this one. the cast is uniformly good and i thought that clift really stepped out of himself for his role. tracy is solid as always. it’s a good script that looks at the aftermath for some of the nazi supporters. it was a difficult time and there are some thorny issues here. in the end, if you’re on the losing end everyone judges you and if you’re on the winning end then history is more kind. of course, the nazis were especially bad, but not all germans were nazis as many films like this and das boot have pointed out. though all the subjects of this trial went to jail “for life” it is also pointed out that all of them were out within 12 years when the film came out.
like hunt for red october this film uses the camera to indicate a transition from the actors using their native tongue to speaking purely in english. i like the device because it sets up the realistic portrayal first and then transitions to the more convenient one later. it’s a technique that is unique to film and moves everything along much more quickly than if they had to wait for the translation throughout the courtroom scenes.
it’s a good movie, but it’s also long. note that the piano piece that is being played during the concert that tracy attends is later used in a seinfeld episode (the pez dispenser) wherein jerry makes fun while george’s girlfriend is playing the piano. i pretty much guarantee that larry david and jerry seinfeld were aware of the fact that the same piece was used in this film as they are both jews and aren’t averse to poking fun at holocaust films. cheers to them.