Hollywood loves lawyers. And Hollywood loves judges, jurors, surprise witnesses, smoking guns, and falsely accused heroes, as well. Perhaps one of the reasons courtroom dramas are so reliable is that they follow a time-honored protocol. Whether they’re plaintiffs or defendants, we’re on the side of a plucky upstart who needs the help of a determined legal hand to fight injustice.
Usually, it’s not just the characters being put on trial. It’s the establishment, the system, the country, the past, and the future. No wonder there are so many memorable courtroom dramas. Yale film professor Marc Lapadula discusses and analyzes a broad lineup of the best and most compelling movie entries in this genre including: Judgment at Nuremberg, To Kill A Mockingbird, My Cousin Vinny, Philadelphia, and The Caine Mutiny.
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