Judgment at Nuremberg (1961)
Director: Stanley Kramer
Three hour films require a commitment of time and concentration. The good ones keep you till the end; the best ones make you think 'was that really three hours?' This is how I felt watching Judgment at Nuremberg; I was so caught in the story that in no time I found myself halfway through the film (I have a bad habit of looking at the time as I watch films at home).
This is a brilliantly acted, scripted, directed, designed and edited film. It takes us to post-World War II Germany as it is trying to move on from the horrible atrocities of the war. In order for justice to be served, distressing memories from the recent past have to be re-lived, threatening to distract Germany's attention from the future. This delicate and complex balance is beautifully presented through the film. I cannot think of many cast ensembles that are this great; I wish they had an award at the Oscars for the whole cast, not just singling one out (though I have no quibble with Max Schell's win).
Many of the stories presented, though fiction, are based on fact and are quite distressing. There is even actual footage from the death camps, taken by British soldiers. It would be impossible not to be affected by this film. It is worth devoting three hours of your life to, and will stay with you for days after.