Jack Palance makes a big impression in his film debut about a New Orleans street thug exposed to a deadly strain of plague in Elia Kazan’s lean, gritty story of an obsessively determined health official (Richard Widmark) who only has two days to head off an epidemic.
Stanley Kramer’s second courtroom drama starring Spencer Tracy in as many years is mostly an actor’s tour de force, but surprisingly not for the film’s nominal stars, Tracy and Burt Lancaster. Both of these veterans step back and let a handful of others take center screen. The talent pool is so deep in this film that the fifth-billed actor, Maximilian Schell, took home a Best Actor Oscar, the deepest that award has gone into a film’s “bench.”
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The film is a heavily fictionalized version of the actual Judges Trial during the Nuremberg Trials after World War II. Continue reading