These films were released in 1961

Judgment at Nuremburg


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

West Side Story


Day One of my own little Robert Wise Film Festival

It was just a coincidence that I had West Side Story in my DVD player the day that director Robert Wise passed away, but as long as I did, I thought it would be a good time to go through his films and include him in this diary. In the next few days, I’ll do The Day The Earth Stood Still, The Haunting, Star Trek: The Motion Picture, Run Silent Run Deep, The Sand Pebbles, The Hindenburg, Citizen Kane and an update to my earlier review of The Andromeda Strain.

On with the review:

While I’m anything but a scholar on film musicals, it was instructive for me to watch West Side Story right after viewing Singin’ in the Rain earlier in the week. This wasn’t a conscious decision on my part. I use a computer program to track my DVD collection and it has the ability to spit out randomly picked titles that I haven’t watched recently. So, purely by coincidence, I watched the two most famous musicals in American movie history back to back (except for a few episodes of Lost in between).

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