Years & Movies: 1961

According to FilmGourmand, the best film of world cinema of 1961 was Stanley Kramer's film "Judgment at Nuremberg".

The premiere of the film "Judgment at Nuremberg" took place in the Congress Hall of West Berlin on December 14, 1961. The premiere was attended by 300 journalists from 22 countries, for whom simultaneous interpretation was provided in German, Spanish, Italian and French. There was no translation into Russian.

The film received 16 film awards, the most prestigious of which are the two American Golden Globe Awards (for Best Drama and Best Director), the Danish Bodil Prize for Best Non-European Film and the Italian David di Donatello Stanley Kramer Award for Best Foreign Producer.

In addition, the film received 25 nominations. The most prestigious of them, namely the Oscar nominations in the Best Film and Best Director categories, “Judgment at Nuremberg”, lost to the film “West Side Story” and, accordingly, its directors Jerome Robbins and Robert Wise. Nominated for the British BAFTA Award in the Best Foreign Film category "Judgment at Nuremberg" lost to the "Ballad of a Soldier" by Grigory Chukhrai.

The financial indicators of the picture cannot be said to be very impressive: with a budget of $ 3 million, the film raised $ 5 million. But for a film devoted to such a difficult, if not to say, painful topic, and completely devoid of any entertainment, such indicators are more than worthy.

As for the reviews of professional film critics, the most interesting was the review by Bosley Crowther from The New York Times. Bosley Crowther writes: "ЭThis issue, deceptively simple in basic moral terms but highly involved and perplexing when set against hard realities, is the question of how much responsibility and guilt the individual must bear for crimes committed or condoned by him on the order and in the interest of the state. Viewed, as it is in this picture, with potent reasoning and sympathy being thrown on the side of the Germans who claimed innocence of the Nazi crimes out of ignorance and national expediency, it emerges as a double-edged issue when the interest of those who seek justice is raised, they are urged to compromise their own moral principles and shirk responsibility....They (authors of the movie - FG) have cut through the specious arguments, the sentiments for mercy and the reasonings for compromise, and have accomplished a fine dramatic statement of moral probity. They have used the motion picture to clarify and communicate a stirring, sobering message to the world."

We well know that Crowther, as a rule, is looking for something to complain about in any film production. And therefore we were puzzled by the question, what was the reason for such a flattering, if not to say, laudatory review? The answer was given by Crowther himself in the same review: "the tension is drawn to resolution in a question of compromise for the sake of not offending the German people, needed in the "Cold War." And the judges make their ruling honestly". In other words, Crowther praises the Stanley Kramer film for its truly virtuoso condemnation of German Nazism without offending the German people. The people that America needs in the Cold War. Why the premiere of the film was held in Berlin.

And then the fact that by the time the filming was over, all the convicted Nazi criminals held in the American zone of German occupation had already been released, did not cause much bewilderment.

And else. In 1961, when this movie was released, up to 29 states in the U.S. had eugenics boards which actively performed forced sterilizations. Also, miscegenation laws were active and legal in many states in the U.S. until 1967. This movie skims over this fact. So, when the Nuremberg trials of the Nazi judges were going on in Germany (1947), these same laws were still in effect in the U.S., and did not disappear until 1961 (miscegenation) and 1979 (eugenics).

74% of IMDB and Kinopoisk users around the world gave this film a rating of 8 to 10. Based on this and the above success indicators of the film, its rating according to FilmGourmand was 9.283, making it the 110th Rank in the Golden Thousand.

In addition to Stanley Kramer's film "Judgment at Nuremberg", the following films were included in the "top ten" of the best films of world cinema of 1961 according to FilmGourmand:

- Divorzio all'italiana (Divorce Italian Style). Director Pietro Germi, Italy. Movie's Rating - 9,046; 156th Rank in the Golden Thousand.
- Såsom i en spegel (Through a Glass Darkly). Director Ingmar Bergman, Sweden. Movie's Rating - 8,848; 202nd Rank in the Golden Thousand.
- La notte (The Night). Director Michelangelo Antonioni, Italy. Movie's Rating - 8,789; 221st Rank in the Golden Thousand.
- Viridiana. Director Luis Buñuel, Spain. Movie's Rating - 8,707; 242nd Rank in the Golden Thousand.
- Ningen no joken III 人間の條件 III (The Human Condition III: A Soldier's Prayer). Director Masaki Kobayashi, Japan. Movie's Rating - 8,686; 250th Rank in the Golden Thousand.
- Jules et Jim. Director François Truffaut, France. Movie's Rating - 8,593; 283rd Rank in the Golden Thousand.
- The Hustler. Director Robert Rossen, USA. Movie's Rating - 8,585; 285th Rank in the Golden Thousand.
- Девять дней одного года (Nine Days of One Year). Director Mikhail Romm, USSR. Movie's Rating - 8,569; 288th Rank in the Golden Thousand.
- Девчата (Girls). Director Yuriy Chulyukin, USSR. Movie's Rating - 8,352; 386th Rank in the Golden Thousand.

10 most "cinegenic"*, in our opinion, events of 1961:

- The first man in space. In the USSR, the first manned space flight was made. Cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin on the spaceship "Vostok" spent 108 minutes in space.
- Berlin Wall. A wall was erected, dividing Berlin into two parts. The wall became the symbol of the "iron curtain" that divided Germany, Europe and the whole world into two opposing camps.
- Operation in Cochinos Bay. The United States severed diplomatic and consular relations with Cuba. After that, an unsuccessful attempt was made by CIA agents to invade Cuba in the Cochinos Bay with the aim of overthrowing the government of Fidel Castro in Cuba.
- The assassination of Patrice Lumumba. The national hero of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the first prime minister of this republic after the proclamation of its independence in June 1960, was shot along with his associates. The shooting was carried out by Katangian soldiers under the command of Belgian officers. The next day after the execution, the corpses were dismembered, dissolved in acid, after which the remains were burned. The Belgian media attributed the murder to the residents of the local village, although the king of Belgium was aware of the impending assassination, and the Belgian government provided all possible support in the implementation of this action.
- Kurenivka tragedy. As a result of the erosion of the dam, thousands of tons of pulp from Babiy Yar near Kiev flooded the Kurenivka district and led to numerous victims, according to various estimates from 150 to 1,500 people.
- Plane crash over Yuba City. In the United States, a B-52G strategic bomber with two nuclear bombs on board crashed in the air over North Carolina. When the plane crashed, two W39 thermonuclear bombs were thrown out of the plane's wreckage when hitting the ground, but the bomb protection devices prevented the explosion, and there was no radioactive contamination of the area.
- Paris pogrom. In Paris (France), the police brutally suppressed the protests of immigrants from Algeria. According to some reports, up to 200 people were killed and drowned.
- Military coup in South Korea. As a result of the military coup in the South Korea Pak Chong Hee came to power and ruled for 17 years. He became the "father of the Korean economic miracle."
- The death of the S-80. A diesel submarine with cruise missiles with part of the crew on board sank in the USSR. 68 military sailors were killed.
- Tsar bomb. The USSR tested a 50 megaton nuclear device. This is the most powerful nuclear test in history.

Besides Peter Jackson, Stephen Daldry were born.

* -With "cinematic" in the present context, we mean events that either have already found their reflection in world cinema, or deserve to become the basis of the plot of a future film.