Unlike the theatrical film JUDGMENT AT NUREMBURG (1961), which focused on the sheer magnitude of Nazi perfidy, this painstaking, made-for-television drama envelops viewers in the legal maneuvers of the historic war crimes tribunal. Justice Robert Jackson (Alec Baldwin) accepts the challenge of prosecuting the surviving architects of the Third Reich, but hates the Washington politics he must manipulate in order to do so. The married Jackson is also distracted by Elsie Douglas (Jill Hennessy), who accompanies him to Germany as his secretary but is also his mistress. In accord with the Allied powers, Jackson chooses to prosecute two dozen representatives of Germany's military, political and economic hierarchy, but the self-aggrandizing Nazis, led by egomaniacal Hermann Goering (Brian Cox), try to seize control of the proceedings. If Jackson is going to succeed he must outfox Goering, a master at twisting the truth to sugarcoat his ideology. And he must find a way to prevail against the "I was just following orders" defense. First and foremost, this is compelling courtroom drama of the first order. David W. Rintels's cogent screenplay, based on Joseph E. Persico's Nuremburg: Infamy on Trial, argues the evidence from two perspectives: Goering's and Jackson's. Sparks fly as the Nazi apologist and the Democratic advocate square off, and Cox's canny portrayal of Goering rejects the distilled-essence-of-evil stereotype: His Goering is a loving family man whose job happened to be mass murder. The screenplay's only false step, whose commercial motivation is obvious, is emphasizing Jackson's illicit romance. Given the volume of gripping historical material telescoped into a three-hour running time, the triviality of such a gossipy detour from the real business at hand is magnified.
Cast & Details See all »
- Released: 2000
- Rating: NR
- Review: Unlike the theatrical film JUDGMENT AT NUREMBURG (1961), which focused on the sheer magnitude of Nazi perfidy, this painstaking, made-for-television drama envelops viewers in the legal maneuvers of the historic war crimes tribunal. Justice Robert Jackson (… (more)