Saturday, February 1, 2014

Maximilian Schell - RIP

Maximilian Schell has died. He was 83 years old.

Schell will forever be best known for his breakthrough performance in his second American film, the courtroom drama Judgment at Nuremberg, where he stole the show as the fiery German defense attorney Hans Rolfe, who thoroughly explains with great detail that the world isn't black and white and the blame for World War II and its atrocities rests on all nations. He easily won the Oscar for Best Actor of 1961.

His booming voice and imposingly handsome figure would later be utilized in movies such as Topkapi, The Odessa File, and Cross of Iron. He was Oscar nominated for later roles in the 1970's, The Man in the Glass Booth and Julia. He also was blessed enough to be touted for his directing efforts, namely First Love and The Pedestrian, both of which were up for the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film.

Other than Nuremberg, most viewers will remember Schell for his work in sci-fi fare, such as the madman villain of Disney's The Black Hole and Téa Leoni's estranged father in Deep Impact. Cult TV aficionados also will recall his presence in a late episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000, where Mike and the Bots riffed on him and the direly filmed German production of Hamlet.

His last most well-known performance was Diamond Dog, the antagonist with the menacing voice in Rian Johnson's The Brothers Bloom.

He will sorely be missed.

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