STORY – 1
DIRECTOR – 1
ACTOR – 1
MUSIC – 0
CULT – 1
VERDICT – 4/5
1) Powerful acting, great monologues, and brilliant writing. This 3-hrs long black & white courtroom-drama is the epitome of good cinema.
2) The colossal presence of Burt Lancaster in the courthouse as the guilt-ridden Nazi judge. He was silent most of the time but the monologue he delivered in the 3rd act of the movie was impending from the very first minute.
3) The movie depicts post-war German people trying to exonerate their guilty conscience by gaslighting themselves about not knowing what was happening in the concentration camps during the Nazi regime.
Ernst Janning: My counsel says we were not aware of the extermination of the millions. He would give you the excuse: We were only aware of the extermination of the hundreds. Does that make us any less guilty? Maybe we didn’t know the details. But if we didn’t know, it was because we didn’t want to know.