The film strikes a fine balance between documenting the mood of the American occupation, the German population living in the ruins and pushing the story forward. Although highly entertaining and very impressively acted I felt that the German characters (all of them) were a bit too exaggerated for my taste. Burt Lancaster was interesting to watch, with his minimal reactions he somehow got me to sympathize with his character. So, morally, the judge's decision caught me unguarded - maybe the script could have played on that a bit more.
There were some great camera pans that were nicely synchronized with the action. Not Dreyer, but close at some places.