Judgment at Nuremberg

Judgment at Nuremberg (in Spain , Judgment at Nuremberg? ; In Latin America , the Nuremberg trial or trial in Nuremberg ) is a film American of 1961produced by Philip Langner and directed by Stanley Kramer with an ensemble cast of American and European stars.

The film is based on a written script for television . 1 had been issued as the result episode of the anthology series Playhouse 90 , the CBS ; In it Maximilian Schell and Werner Klemperer represented the same characters as in the 1961 feature film, which focuses on the historic Nuremberg trials and is carried out with the perspective of fifteen years since the end of World War II .

The film develops in such a crucial moment the position of certain people, especially judges who applied the Nazi law during the Third Reich of Germany , underlining the historical dilemma of the possible responsibility of the German people with respect to the Holocaust . The trial of the film is based on the true “Katzenberger case” in which a Jewish man was accused of “improper relationship ” with an Aryan woman and sentenced to death in 1942 .

It is part of AFI’s 10 Top 10 in the category of “Films for Law”.


Dan Haywood, a retired US magistrate arrives in 1948 to the city of Nuremberg to undertake the difficult task of judging, once processed the Nazis, four judges for their complicity in implementing policies sterilization and death penalty of III Reich . Before the court, defense and prosecution will confront their positions on whether or not the Nazi judges were aware of the extermination that was being carried out by the German government on the basis of witnesses who suffered this unjust policy. While judging the inconveniences of the defeated side, the Cold War is emerging among the victors (allied side), and occupied Germany must rebuild its country (divided in 4) and forget the vestiges of war and the previous regime.

The film examines the issues of individual complicity of citizens in crimes committed by the State, as well as a broad moral and ethical journey on the value of human rights. The script did not have propagandistic character, since it directly addresses even the most complicated issues. For example, the attorney Hans Rolfe defense (Maximilian Schell) raises thorny arguments as the support of the Supreme Court of the United States to the practices of eugenics or words of praise from Winston Churchill to Hitler . One notable scene is the testimony of Rudolf Petersen (Clift), a German baker who, with poor mental faculties, was sterilized by mandate of the Nazis, according to the social laws of the Third Reich.


Interpreter Paper
Spencer Tracy Chief Judge Dan Haywood
Burt Lancaster Dr. Ernst Janning (Judge charged)
Richard Widmark Colonel Tad Lawson (attorney for the indictment)
Marlene Dietrich Mrs. Bertholt
Maximilian Schell Hans Rolfe (chief defense lawyer)
Judy Garland Mrs. Irene Hoffman Wallner
Montgomery Clift Rudolph Petersen (prosecution witness)
Ed Binns Sen. Burkette
Werner Klemperer Emil Hahn (Judge charged)
Torben Meyer Werner Lampe (Judge charged)
Martin Brandt Friedrich Hofstetter (accused judge)
William Shatner Captain Harrison Byers (Haywood’s assistant)

Awards and nominations

Judgment at Nuremberg was well received in terms of awards and nominations in the year of its premiere, being one of the favorites in the Oscars with 11 nominations. Some of these awards are:

Awards 1961

Category Nominated Result
Oscar for Best Picture Stanley Kramer Candidate
Oscar to the best director Stanley Kramer Candidate
Oscar for best actor Spencer Tracy Candidate
Oscar for best actor Maximilian Schell Winner
Oscar for Best Supporting Actor Montgomery Clift Candidate
Oscar for best supporting actress Judy Garland Candidate
Oscar to the best script adapted Abby Mann Winner
Oscar to the best montage Frederic Knudtson Candidate
Oscar for the best photography – Black and White Ernest Laszlo Candidate
Oscar for the best artistic direction – Black and White Rudolph Sternad
George Milo
Oscar to the best costume design – Black and White Jean Louis Candidate

Awards Golden Globes

Category Nominated Result
Golden Globe for Best Picture – Drama Stanley Kramer Candidate of
Golden Globe for Best Director Stanley Kramer Candidate
Golden Globe for Best Actor – Drama Maximilian Schell Winner
Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actor Montgomery Clift Candidate
Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actress Judy Garland Candidate
Globo de Oro to the best film
that promotes the international understanding
Stanley Kramer Candidate


  1. Back to top↑ Crowther, Bob. Judgment at Nuremberg (1961) . The New York Times . Accessed November 21, 2007 .