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"Judgement at Nuremberg" zooms?


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#1 Tim O'Connor

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Posted 30 August 2007 - 12:40 AM

I just watched "Judgement at Nuremberg" 1961 dir. Stanley Kramer, Cinematographer
Ernest Lazlo. It's pretty good but two things struck me.

1. Perhaps it was the early days of using zoom lenses but the snap zooms and
other relatively fast zooms in this movie seem to me to detract from the story
and are annoying.


2. The movie is about three hours long. That's okay but (on DVD anyway) the
beginning
has a title card "Overture" and a song sung in German that goes on for almost
four minutes. What the heck? Does this song have some special WWII significance?
This isn't a title sequence. "Overture" is the only word seen. Unless there's
something
to this song that I didn't get, what a boring way to start a movie.


A year earlier, "Inherit the Wind" came out, another courtroom drama with dir. Kramer
and cinematographer Lazlo. I liked the camera work much more in this film.
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#2 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 30 August 2007 - 04:13 AM

The zooms would have been edgy at that time... just think of the current fashion for shaky cam. Of course people used them to excess in the 1960s and 1970s and they fell out of fashion.

The Overture would have been played before the tabs (screen curtains) open to reveal the screen with the cinema house light slightly faded. As the music finishes the house lights would fade down completely and the tabs open to reveal the screen and the opening of the film. Quite a few big films of the period did this, "Lawrence of Arabia" is an example.

The same thing happened during the intermission.

It's pure theatre and sets the audience up for the film itself.
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#3 Tim O'Connor

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Posted 30 August 2007 - 09:23 AM

The zooms would have been edgy at that time... just think of the current fashion for shaky cam. Of course people used them to excess in the 1960s and 1970s and they fell out of fashion.

The Overture would have been played before the tabs (screen curtains) open to reveal the screen with the cinema house light slightly faded. As the music finishes the house lights would fade down completely and the tabs open to reveal the screen and the opening of the film. Quite a few big films of the period did this, "Lawrence of Arabia" is an example.

The same thing happened during the intermission.

It's pure theatre and sets the audience up for the film itself.


Thanks!
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#4 Rod Otaviano

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Posted 30 August 2007 - 10:39 AM

I?ve been watching Columbo so much that I guess I got used to it and today zooms don?t bother me anymore (in most cases at least). However, in ?Judgment at Nuremberg?, there?s a snap zoom at the beginning of the movie that made me laugh a little. Maximilian Schell is talking about the purpose of the tribunal. The camera booms up and zooms in on him. Very fast. Totally unexpected.

But it's a very good movie. Great compositions, and great use of deep DOF, which I love.
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#5 Tim O'Connor

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Posted 30 August 2007 - 11:34 AM

I?ve been watching Columbo so much that I guess I got used to it and today zooms don?t bother me anymore (in most cases at least). However, in ?Judgment at Nuremberg?, there?s a snap zoom at the beginning of the movie that made me laugh a little. Maximilian Schell is talking about the purpose of the tribunal. The camera booms up and zooms in on him. Very fast. Totally unexpected.

But it's a very good movie. Great compositions, and great use of deep DOF, which I love.



Yeah, but if you like "Columbo" it's like having a favorite band with not really good singers.
You put up with the raspy voices (or the snap zooms.)


It is a terrific movie but the zooms do make it a bit dated because they seem to be conspicuously used
as the new toy.
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