Monday, May 24, 2021

Legal Battles Worth Viewing

Two of my all-time favorite movies will be aired Wednesday on Turner Classic Movies—“To Kill a Mockingbird” and “Inherit the Wind.” Scenes in their courtroom sequences mesmerize me by the brilliance of the dialogue and skill of the actors to dominate the screen.

Interestingly, both films deal with life in small Southern communities during the first third of the 20th century. For the most part, residents of neither community could be held up as models for what American values should be, except those displayed by the protagonists, Atticus Finch fighting racial injustice in Mockingbird, Henry Drummond battling religious fundamentalism’s crusade against science, specifically evolution versus the Bible, in Inherit the Wind.

Watch them, or record them for later viewing, if you can. In addition, here are films with legal or courtroom scenes worthy of your time and attention (send me any additions, or subtractions, you deem appropriate):

Anatomy of a Murder


A Few Good Men

The Verdict

Judgement at Nuremberg


Adam’s Rib

A Man for All Seasons

Witness for the Prosecution

12 Angry Men

Erin Brockovich

Dark Waters

Kramer vs. Kramer

My Cousin Vinny

Legally Blonde


The Trial of the Chicago Seven

Sergeant Rutledge

Breaker Morant

Paths of Glory

A Tale of Two Cities

The Court Martial of Billy Mitchell