The Playwrights Database
ABBY MANN (1927 - 2008)
An American screenwriter and producer. Perhaps best known for writing the screenplay for Judgment at Nuremberg, for which he won the Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay, Mann would later adapt the film into a stage play to be produced on Broadway in 2001. His other films include Port of Escape, A Child is Waiting, The Marcus-Nelson Murders and The Atlanta Child Murders.
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Judgment At Nuremberg
the story of Judgment at Nuremberg is the same as the one told in the famous 1961 film. Dan Haywood, an obscure American judge, arrives in Nuremberg in 1947 to preside over the trial of four German judges, who are accused of crimes against humanity for their role in carrying out heinous laws enacted by the Nazi regime. It's a tricky case because the judges didn't make the laws they administered; loyalty to one's government and one's country is being weighed against duty to some greater "good." In addition, as is often the case, the trial is affected by political considerations, as the simmering Cold War with the Soviet Union begins to seem more pressing than meting out justice for some relatively low-level Nazis. abby Mann's script condenses and focuses the events of this Tribunal into a compelling and wrenching exploration of the nature of justice and the nature of responsibility. In a world of expediency and extremists, can an absolute morality exist? arguing for the prosecution is a tightly-wound American military lawyer, Colonel Parker; his opponent is the brilliant, highly logical, horribly conflicted young German Oscar Rolfe. the defendants are led by ernst Janning, a jurist of international reputation who toed the Nazi line until well into the 1940s, an enigmatic and charismatic figure whose desire for redemption after unspeakable evil propels the Drama. adjudicating are a team of American judges, led by Haywood, who searches the hearts and minds of everyone surrounding him--from Mrs. Habelstadt, the servile woman assigned to be his housekeeper, to Mme. Bertholt, the sad, proud widow of a celebrated German general--to try to understand how such a thing as the Holocaust ever could have happened.
National Actors Theatre
LA Theatre Works
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