Jud Suss (1941) - Rotten Tomatoes

Jud Suss (1941)

Jud Suss (1941)

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AUDIENCE SCORE

Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

Leon Feuchtwangler's novel Jud Süss was originally about a powerful ghetto businessman who believes himself to be a Jew. Süss's ruthless business practices result in the betrayal of an innocent girl, for which he is arrested and sentenced to be hanged under the anti-Jewish laws of the 18th century. While he waits to be executed, Süss discovers he is not Jewish. Rather than turn his back on the people of the ghetto with whom he'd grown up, Süss courageously refuses to declare his "Aryan" status, even though it means he will die on the gallows. The Feuchtwangler book was designed in roundabout fashion to strike a blow against anti-Semitism. But when Jud Süss was filmed in Germany at the behest of Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels in 1940, its original message was twisted and perverted into an argument in favor of "ethnic cleansing." As played by Werner Krauss, Süss is not only genuinely Jewish, but also an amalgam of every vicious caricature ever concocted by the anti-Semitic propagandists of the past two centuries. With hooked nose and greasy beard, Krauss portrays Süss as a whining, wheedling, hand-wringing subhuman rapist; small wonder that Krauss was proclaimed an Actor of the State by the Nazis. The final scene of Jud Süss shows a screaming, protesting Süss being hanged in the public square; the scene is directed to cast Süss' tormenters in an utterly sympathetic light, and perhaps even to invoke cheers from an impressionable audience. Though disgusting beyond belief, Jud Süss should be seen at least once, if only to show what a dangerous weapon film can be in the hands of hate merchants.

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Critic Reviews for Jud Suss

All Critics (1)

One of the most vile films ever made.

January 9, 2009
Film Threat

Audience Reviews for Jud Suss

½

A rating would not fit this film. Were I to analyze it solely on the plot and the cinematographic techniques, I would say it was a very well made film, highly intriguing and overall worth watching. However, there is the small factor... okay, enormous factor, that the main antagonist is Jewish and is portraying in such vile light that the whole film is brought down to a screeching halt. Its passionate befoulment of the Jew makes this film not worth watching lest one needed to understand the Nazi's view toward Jews.

Ben Barker
Ben Barker

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