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Lars Kraume
Burghart Klaussner, Ronald Zehrfeld, Lilith Stangenberg
Writing Credits:
Lars Kraume, Olivier Guez

The story of the man who brought high-ranking German Nazi criminal Adolf Eichmann to justice.

Rated R

Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
German DTS-HD MA 5.1
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 105 min.
Price: $30.99
Release Date: 1/10/2017

• “Making of” Featurette
• Deleted Scenes
• Trailer
• Previews


Panasonic TC-P60VT60 60-Inch 1080p 600Hz 3D Smart Plasma HDTV; Sony STR-DG1200 7.1 Channel Receiver; Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player using HDMI outputs; Michael Green Revolution Cinema 6i Speakers (all five); Kenwood 1050SW 150-watt Subwoofer.


The People Vs. Fritz Bauer [Blu-Ray] (2015)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (January 3, 2017)

A look at the criminal and political aftermath of World War II comes to us via 2015’s The People Vs. Fritz Bauer. Set in 1957, various authorities seek to bring Nazi war criminals to justice, though much of official Germany wants to keep this history in the past.

Despite that resistance, German Attorney General Fritz Bauer (Burghart Klaussner) pursues the notorious SS officer Adolf Eichmann (Michael Schenk). This leads Bauer on a multinational crusade – and into a bad spot when he becomes accused of treason.

The fact People exists as a German production gives it a form of bite that prior films in this vein lacked. As the tale implies, German authorities wanted to ignore their ugly past, so a view of this era from such a personal point of view adds heft to the proceedings.

Even without that connection, though, People would offer a solid effort, mainly because of the quality of the production. The film gives events enough tension to make them involving but it doesn’t seek to over-dramatize matters either.

This becomes an especially sticky area given the ways in which the movie involves the homosexuality of some characters. While those moments threaten to become problematic, they never do, as they serve the story in a succinct manner.

As a narrative, the movie builds well. People portrays Bauer as invested in his pursuit and on the border of obsessed but it avoids pitfalls that might paint him as a crazy old man.

Instead, Bauer remains a believable character, one brought to life well by Klaussner. He brings nuance to the role and helps carry much of the movie since so much of the tale resides on his shoulders.

Ultimately, People winds up as a compelling drama. It focuses well on the investigation at its heart while it also integrates other elements in a concise way. These factors make it memorable.

The Blu-ray Grades: Picture B+/ Audio B/ Bonus C-

The People Vs. Fritz Bauer appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.35:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. This became a strong presentation.

Sharpness consistently pleased. Only a sliver of softness ever occurred, so the vast majority of the movie looked tight and accurate. I witnessed no shimmering or jagged edges, and the movie lacked edge haloes or source defects.

Most period pieces like People opt for an amber feel, and some of that materialized here, but much of the movie went for standard orange and teal. I wasn’t wild about that choice as a stylistic decision, but I couldn’t fault the reproduction of the hues, as they came across well.

Blacks were deep and dark, and low-light shots offered smooth, clear elements. All aspects of the image satisfied.

As for the film’s DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack, it seemed more than capable for a character drama such as People. The mix managed to open up on occasion and use the five speakers in an involving manner. For instance, a scene in Israel offered signs of battle in the background, and thunderstorms also boasted nice life.

However, those moments remained fairly infrequent, as the majority of the film focused on dialogue and general atmosphere. This left us with a mostly unambitious soundscape, which was fine with me. A movie like this didn’t need a dynamic soundfield, and the end result created a good feel for the settings.

Audio quality appeared pleasing. Music was lively and lush, while speech appeared distinctive and concise. Effects showed good clarity and accuracy, with nice low-end when necessary. I felt the audio suited the story.

Minor extras flesh out the set. Making of The People Vs. Fritz Bauer goes for 13 minutes, 32 seconds and provides info from director Lars Kraume, screenwriter Olivier Guez, production designer Cora Pratz, costume designer Esther Walz, co-producer Barbara Buhl and actors Burghart Klaussner, Laura Tonke, and Ronald Zehrfeld,

The show examines story/characters, factual elements and liberties, cast and performances, period details, costumes and production design. Though we get some decent notes about a few filmmaking areas, this remains a fairly superficial overview.

Five Deleted Scenes fill a total of eight minutes, 38 seconds. We see “Vorzimmer” (1:00), “Stuttgart” (2:16), “Shinnar” (1:48), “Taxi” (1:20) and “Cellarclub” (2:14).

All of these concentrate on Bauer, and we get a little more background about his life as well as aspects related to his pursuit of Eichmann. None of this seems essential, but the clips add some interesting moments.

The disc opens with ads for Come What May, Three Films from Claude Chabrol and Howards End. We also find a trailer for People.

A fairly good historical drama, The People Vs. Fritz Bauer delivers an engaging take on its subject. The movie illuminates about past events and does so in an involving manner. The Blu-ray brings us positive picture and audio but lacks notable supplements. Even without useful bonus materials, People deserves my recommendation.

Viewer Film Ratings: 3 Stars Number of Votes: 1
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