Judgement in Berlin (1988)

PG   |    |  Drama

Judgement in Berlin (1988) Poster

American judge in Germany must decide if the hijacking of an East German plane into West Berlin was justified.



  • Max Volkert Martens in Judgement in Berlin (1988)
  • Sean Penn and Sam Wanamaker in Judgement in Berlin (1988)
  • Martin Sheen in Judgement in Berlin (1988)
  • Max Gail and Jutta Speidel in Judgement in Berlin (1988)
  • Martin Sheen in Judgement in Berlin (1988)
  • Sean Penn in Judgement in Berlin (1988)

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Reviews & Commentary

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User Reviews

14 September 2006 | maryszka
| Fantastic study of the Americal legal system
Having been stationed at Tempelhof Central Airport in the 1980s, this movie had particular significance. The book is a difficult read--full of legal terminology and political machinations, but in short--the story of a Jewish judge, sent to Berlin not-so-many years after WWII to try East Germans for hijacking an aircraft to freedom in the West. The movie misses a lot of the subtleties, but is detailed enough to give a good picture of the political climate at the time. A federal prosecutor, Judge Stern was selected to head this trial after many other judges resisted taking on this political "hot potato". The theory is that a Jewish judge in post-war Germany would go along with what was originally envisioned as a sort of "sham" trial intended to lead directly to convictions. Stern insisted that the defendants receive, according to the American Constitution, a trial by a jury of their peers --fellow Germans. An interesting concept for our country, which offically occupied West Berlin until the 1990s. Could conquerors try the conquered in occupied territory with a jury of their (conquered) peers? For anyone who is cynical of our position in the world arena as the unofficial "watchdog" of freedoms, this is a wonderful drama showing that justice will, if given the chance, win out. Highly recommended for anyone interested in our legal system or our nation's post-WWII history.

Critic Reviews


Release Date:

6 May 1988


English, Russian, German

Country of Origin

West Germany, USA

Filming Locations

West Berlin, Berlin, Germany

Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$113,743 8 May 1988

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:


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