Judgment at Nuremberg

Judgment at Nuremberg. Metro Goldwyn-Meyer 1961.

Before watching the movie:

I don’t really get why trying Nazi war crimes can fill a whole three hour courtroom drama, but the reason I don’t is probably why it needs that much time.

This film is indirectly responsible for my initial awareness of Spencer Tracy. In order to talk William Shatner into allowing himself to age publicly, Tracy was used as an example, and turned out to have been one of Shatner’s personal icons, having worked with him on this very movie. As much as I like Star Trek, I find Tracy’s performances very likeable for an entirely different reason from why Shatner is fun. Continue reading


Breakfast at Tiffany’s

Breakfast at Tiffany's. Paramount Pictures 1961.
Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Paramount Pictures 1961.

Before watching the movie:

Apparently this is about a socialite falling in love with a writer. I don’t see from that description why this is one of Audrey Hepburn’s most iconic films. I expect that must be coming from the writing and the performances, because the synopses I’m seeing aren’t particularly persuasive, and nobody ever talks about why this is such an enduring movie, they just namedrop it and others are expected to know. The least glowing reference I can think of is the couple in the song of the same name agreeing that they “both kind of liked it” as the first common ground they can think of to save their relationship. And there’s an entire, very catchy song about that. Continue reading

Battle of the Worlds

Battle of the Worlds. Ultra Film 1961.
Battle of the Worlds. Ultra Film 1961.

Before watching the movie:

I found this while looking for b-movies for Movie Monster Month, but it didn’t look like it had a monster focus, so I left it. However, it looks like it makes up for it by having an insanity focus.

With a title that sounds like an H.G. Wells knockoff, this is a story about trying to avoid a planetary collision between Earth and a rogue planet headed right for it. Pretty much a “turn your brain off and have fun” concept. But then on top of that, this movie was filmed in Italian, but they cast Claude Rains in a prominent role, and his performance is in English. It’s probably going to be distracting having only one character not dubbed, and would be even if I hadn’t found out ahead of time.

I’m not certain if I’ve reviewed any foreign movies in the past (aside from the raw material making up What’s Up, Tiger Lilly?, which is a special case), but I can think of a few I’ve wanted to include but decided against for that reason. I guess that barrier is as broken as documentary film is now.

Continue reading