November 29, 2005

THERE BUT FOR GRACE...:

Art of Justice: The Filmmakers At Nuremberg (Philip Kennicott, 11/29/05, Washington Post)

Years before he wrote "On the Waterfront," before that film brought him an Oscar, and before he earned the ire of many colleagues by testifying during the Hollywood communist witch hunt, writer Budd Schulberg had the distinct honor of arresting Leni Riefenstahl.

He was in Germany, assembling a film to be used at the Nuremberg trials as evidence against the Nazis. Riefenstahl, the legendary director and propagandist for Hitler, knew where the skeletons were. So Schulberg, dressed in his military uniform, drove to her chalet on a lake in Bavaria, knocked on her door, and told the panicked artist that she was coming with him.

"I tried to calm her down," says Schulberg, 91, remembering in a thin, dry voice an episode more than a half-century distant. But he needed her to identify the seemingly endless gallery of faces on film that he had been collecting. So, very much against her will, he drove her to Nuremberg in an inelegant open-air military vehicle, and listened to a sad and defensive argument that would define the rest of her life, and that no one would ever believe.


To his eternal credit, Mr. Schulberg had the decency to end his own collaboration with evil and join the forces of light.

Posted by Orrin Judd at November 29, 2005 11:22 PM
Comments

Wonder if Jodie Foster will be putting this moment into her film about Leni, whom she says, has been "libeled so many times" about her past.

Because, I guess, Hollywood can't survive simply on trying to prop up the reps of communists--it's time to resuscitate those of national socialists, as well.

Posted by: Ed Driscoll at November 30, 2005 10:51 AM
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