"I’m always interested in the story behind the story" -Maximilian Schell
A few days have passed now and not only am I deeply saddened by the death of Maximilian Schell but by the fact that very few have mourned him.
Schell’s name may not be familiar to most, but if you’re a vintage movie fan, or movie fan in general, you should be familiar with this great man’s work. Judgement at Nuremberg is probably Schell’s most recognisable film, a powerful story of a lawyer defending four Nazi generals on trial - which awarded him is first and only Oscar.
However, despite his notable work as an actor and his impressive filmography, I believe Schell to be a hero and an inspiration. In 1938 he was forced to flee of his country of Austria due to the Nazi occupation and he became a refugee on the run from Hitler. After seeking refuge in Switzerland, he fled to America to become an actor. On arrival, after Schell told him that he was here ‘To make a film’, the customs officer replied ‘Good luck, boy’. After accepting his Oscar for Judgement at Nuremberg (his second film he ever starred in, may I add) he said, in reflection to the customs officer’s comment, ‘I got it’.
Maximillian Schell is an inspiration and despite the lack of media coverage, I will remember him fondly. Will he get a mention in the Oscar remembrance section? Probably. Is it enough? No.