Lawyers on film

The cover story of the latest ABA Journal is the 25 Greatest Legal Movies. I’m not at all surprised at that top two but was very pleasantly surprised that My Cousin Viommy ws third. I never tire of this movie, which contains perhaps the most concise opening statement ever: “Everything that guy just said is bullshit. Thank you.”

Since I can’t resist a list like that, here’s my record on viewing the films. The ones I’ve seen are in bold and I’ve underlined those I think I’ve seen but don’t recall for sure (it sucks to be old).

  1. To Kill a Mockingbird
  2. 12 Angry Men
  3. My Cousin Vinny
  4. Anatomy of a Murder
  5. Inherit the Wind
  6. Witness for the Prosecution
  7. Breaker Morant
  8. Philadelphia
  9. Erin Brockovich
  10. The Verdict
  11. Presumed Innocent
  12. Judgment at Nuremberg
  13. A Man for All Seasons
  14. A Few Good Men
  15. Chicago
  16. Kramer vs. Kramer
  17. The Paper Chase
  18. Reversal of Fortune
  19. Compulsion
  20. And Justice for All
  21. In the Name of the Father
  22. A Civil Action
  23. Young Mr. Lincoln
  24. Amistad
  25. Miracle on 34th Street

For anyone wondering why I haven’t seen the three films in the top 15 I’ve missed, I can explain two by saying I am not a fan of Julia Roberts or musicals.

[H]e’s the Prince of fucking Darkness.

Mickey Morrissey (Paul Newman), The Verdict

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2 comments to Lawyers on film

  • Breaker Morant should not be so high on a lawyer movie list, but it belongs high on a war movie list. War is not just about combat on the screen.

  • j

    Breaker Morant is also a great trial movie, with three Aussies on trial for enforcing rule “303” (for the enfield .303 caliber rifle). It belongs on the list. It isn’t just about the Boer War but the larger issues of legal responsibilities and war crimes, and in this case, whether the Aussies are scapegoats or criminals.
    Anatomy of a Murder is the classic Jimmy Stewart movie where Jimmy explains the theories of possible defenses to murder to Ben Gazzara, really on the verge of suborning perjury. Well worth seeing by any lawyer.