Worthy, righteous and overwrought, Stanley Kramer's courtroom drama could be twice as powerful if it was half the length. Still, this three-hour piles-provider poses the thorny, still-relevant moral question of who shares the blame in the actions of the state.
Spencer Tracy delivers his usual effortless decency as a US judge presiding over a war crimes tribunal in 1948 Berlin. On trial: four German judges accused of delivering Nazi `justice'. So, should they take responsibility or were they just doing their jobs? And if they are guilty, argues Oscar-winning-but-OTT defence counsel Maximilian Schell, then what of the world that allowed Hitler's rise to power?
The issue's engrossing, even if the style's quite flat, while the prosecution case amounts to a Holocaust 101: a devastating account of human cruelty.