The 25 Greatest Legal Movies
If only we could all be Atticus Finch. No doubt, the 1962 film, "To Kill a Mockingbird," is the greatest movie ever made about law and lawyering. But what other movies merit mention as the greatest legal movies? In The 25 Greatest Legal Movies, the August ABA Journal asks 12 prominent lawyers who teach film or are connected to the business to pick what they believe to be the best movies ever made about lawyers and the law. The judging panel ranges from a real judge, U.S. District Judge James B. Zagel in Chicago, who has appeared as an actor in two films, to a solo practitioner in Massachusetts, Lynne Spigelmire Viti, who teaches law, literature and film at Wellesley College. Their selections start with Gregory Peck's classic portrayal of small-town lawyer Atticus Finch and end with the 1947 film that put Santa Claus on trial, "Miracle on 34th Street".
At the magazine's Web site, you can browse a gallery of images from the top-25 films and then vote for your favorites from among them. Accompanying all this is the feature article, "How I Learned to Litigate at the Movies," in which four top trial lawyers reveal lessons they've learned about litigating from watching Hollywood movies. Steven O. Rosen, for example, cites the influence of the 1996 summer blockbuster, "Independence Day". "Amid the special effects excitement and a rousing climactic battle—the aliens lose again!—the writer and director of Independence Day give us an important lesson about how to tell a story and how to persuade: Start big and end big," he writes. "To borrow a term from astrophysics, it’s the big-bang approach."
Posted by Robert J. Ambrogi on July 22, 2008 at 12:42 PM | Permalink
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