A new year and another round of films to entertain or bore you:) There are many films that take place in the court room but many are not thrillers so I tried to stay on this thriller genre. So you pick 3 films that corresponds to the theme each week and you can find that list over at the host, Wandering Through The Shelves. I dare ya to join:) Here are my 3....
1. WITNESS FOR THE PROSECUTION-1957
I love this film and find it brilliant in its style creating suspense and humour resulting in a tense courtroom drama that makes you think twice and thrice. It stars the great Charles Laughton as the lawyer who is defending a young man, played by Tyrone Power in one of his best roles. Marlene Dietrich plays his wife who does not seem to love her husband that much. This film keeps you guessing especially where Laughton's character hides his cigars.
2. AND JUSTICE FOR ALL-1979
I saw this film many years ago and need to revisit this. We all know Al Pacino's rant( "you're out of order, you're out of order, we're all out of order!) but this film really digs into the judicial system and the people who are convicted and the others who are freed mainly due to technicalities. We also know that nothing has changed in 40 years. A gripping film that makes you think.
3. THE VERDICT-1982
This is another film that left me cold with how cruel the system can be, yet there is a ray of hope. Paul Newman plays an alcoholic, once promising attorney who now chases ambulances. He takes a case he thinks will be simple but turns out to be anything but and finds, within himself, the reason he became a lawyer in the first place. He is up against major lawyers headed by the great James Mason and you are left wondering if anything will work and that justice will be served.
What films spring to your mind? I didn't choose To Kill a Mockingbird which is amazing but it don't consider it a thriller. I almost picked Runaway Jury...almost:)
Haven't seen the first one but the other two are great.ReplyDelete
A Few Good Men, Mississippi Burning, and The Pelican Brief come to mind.
The first 2 you mention are good but not a fan of the last one:)Delete
I don't understand what specifically constitutes a legal "thriller." To me any good courtroom drama is thrilling to watch. I know two of these films, And Justice For All and The Verdict. I saw both of them when they were first released and have seen The Verdict another half dozen times since. It is one of my favorite films of any genre and my favorite performance by Paul Newman. On New Year's Eve, Mrs. Shady and I watched the 2015 film Spotlight and it reminded me of The Verdict. Based on actual events, Spotlight tells the story of a team of investigative reporters for The Boston Globe who take on the mighty Catholic Church to expose the widespread, systemic molestation of young boys by priests. It is a wonderful film!
Thank you, dear friend BB, and happy Thursday to you!
I know what you mean but I took it as there is some danger involved and threatening although it is a thin line.Delete
We're on a roll. I've seen all three AGAIN. My first thought was Anatomy of a Murder, maybe because it is Hitchcock and was written by a Michigan Judge.ReplyDelete
Anatomy of a Murder is not Hitchcock but Otto Preminger but often thought of as Hitchcockian. I still have still have to see this film believe it or not.Delete
You are right and now I am trying to recall why I wrote Hitchcock since I looked it up before I replied and that info is clearly Preminger. Must be losing my mind too.Delete
I haven't seen any of these. I just realized none of my picks were really "thrillers" so to speak, but it's too late to change them. lolReplyDelete
I liked your picks and I found it hard to think what is a legal thriller exactlyDelete
Again, I haven't seen any of these. I'm not sure I've seen any legal thrillers; if so, none come to mind :)ReplyDelete
It's hard to think what is a legal thriller. I did my bestDelete
Happy New Year, Birgit! ☺ Great movies, all! My particular favourite is "And Justice for All". Al Pacino was great as always. Jack Warden's wacky judge provided some excellent comic relief. Must watch it again. Thanks for the reminder.ReplyDelete
P.S. Some of John Grisham's novels were made into movies. "The Firm" and "A Time to Kill" are both excellent.Delete
Both films you mention are quite good. I would like to rewatch And Justi e For All again too.Delete
New New Year, Birgit! I haven't seen any of these. The Verdict though is on my watchlist since forever.ReplyDelete
Happy New Year to you too. I love the VerdictDelete
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Good morning, Birgit.ReplyDelete
My fave....Legal Eagles.
I still have to see that filmDelete
...and justice for all is a terrific choice. Al Pacino is sensational in it as is Jack Weston. It was one of the first places I saw Christine Lathi who is a big favorite of mine.ReplyDelete
On the other hand I couldn't stand The Verdict despite liking everyone in it. It just struck me as long winded and needlessly foul mouthed.
We match!! LOVE Witness for the Prosecution, for a Wilder film it feels very Hitchcockian which isn't a bad thing. Always interesting to see a great director try different genres.
I love legal thrillers and these are three of my favs.
Primal Fear (1996)-Martin Vail (Richard Gere) a big time Chicago attorney who loves the spotlight and isn’t overburdened with scruples takes on pro bono, for both the challenge and the publicity, the seemingly unwinnable case of angel faced choir boy Aaron Stampler (Edward Norton) accused of viciously slaying a much loved priest. The case leads him down many dark corridors and ultimately to a crisis of conscience. Expertly acted by a top flight cast, Laura Linney, Frances McDormand, Andre Braugher and Alfre Woodard (great fun as a tippling no nonsense judge) among many others, but the standouts are top liner Gere and Norton who is simply astonishing in his screen bow.
Suspect (1987)-An esteemed judge commits suicide shortly after giving his secretary a package. The next morning the secretary is found dead in the Potomac with her throat cut and almost immediately a mute homeless man (Liam Neeson) found with the dead woman’s wallet is arrested for the crime. His case is assigned to public defender Kathleen Riley (Cher) and it seems a straightforward case. Once the jury is empaneled though one of the jurors, lobbyist Eddie Sanger (Dennis Quaid) notices some inconsistences in the case and surreptitiously tries to pass his suspicions to Kathleen without subverting the trial. They secretly team up when those suspicions grow darker and both find their lives threatened. A trifle farfetched but suspenseful legal thriller with good performances, cast and direction. Excellent opening credits set the mood of the film up well.
Witness for the Prosecution (1957)-In London when wealthy widow Emily French is found bludgeoned to death suspicion falls on struggling inventor Leonard Vole (Tyrone Power in his last film), a somewhat shiftless acquaintance of hers. He turns to well respected but thorny barrister Sir Wilfrid Robarts (Charles Laughton) to take the case. Fresh out of hospital and attended by a constantly flummoxed nurse Miss Plimsoll (Elsa Lanchester-Laughton’s real life wife) Robarts at first declines but after an entreaty by Vole’s wife Christine (a scene stealing Marlene Dietrich) he takes up the case which is loaded with twists and turns aplenty. Splendid adaptation of Agatha Christie’s classic story enacted by a cast that couldn’t be better and superbly directed by Billy Wilder.
I love it when we match but I love your choices because it makes me want to see them. I did see Primal Fear and thought it was excellent. I still have to see Suspect and it's one I've wanted to see. It has come up this week which reminded me to see it. I love WITNESS and think it's such a great film.Delete
Witness for the Prosecution shows the mastery of Charles Laughton in his later years. He was one of our finest actors although he doesn't seem to get much credit.ReplyDelete
You're right that he seems kind of forgotten yet he is a brilliant actorDelete
The Verdict is the only one I've seen. Enjoyed it, not sure about the ending though. The Pelican Brief and The Firm and Primal Fear popped in for me.ReplyDelete
I didn't care for The Pelican Brief but enjoyed the other 2 you mentionDelete
The only one I haven't seen is Witness for the Prosecution—and now, of course, I must :) I loved And Justice For All, and loved Pacino in it; great acting all around, great storyline and development. As for other courtroom films... Not sure if they'd be thrillers (I agree with you, TKAM certainly isn't, though it's one of my all-time favorite movies), but I thought of In the Name of the Father, The People vs. Larry Flint, A Few Good Men (not one of my favorites but still good, with some brilliant Nicholson acting), and—a bit of a wild card, but still good courtroom drama—The Exorcism of Emily Rose.ReplyDelete
Thanks for popping over at Life In Dogs yesterday, Birgit. Always love seeing your name in the comments list :) Happy 2017!
Name of the father is excellent and I enjoyed a Few Good Men even though it's not the best but it's fun to watch. I haven't seen Larry Flint yet...there are so many. Oh please see WITNESS with Charles Laughton...it's excellent.Delete
Never saw #1, but I thought #2 was exceptional and #3 was even better. Good choices!ReplyDelete
You have to see #1 because I think you would like it.Delete
Happy New Year, Birgit!ReplyDelete
Happy New Year:)Delete
I thought maybe joining this 3 films list would be fun, but I don't think I have enough movies in my "have seen" database, lol. To Kill a Mockingbird would be the closest movie I've seen for today's theme.ReplyDelete
Some are hard to do but it's amazing how many films one has seen.Delete
Yes, A Few Good Men would be my pick. I loved that film and have also seen it on stage. Excellent. What about the Nuremburg Trials too. Not sure what the name of the film was now, but there were some great stars in it. Spencer Tracey in particular.ReplyDelete
Judgement at Nuremburg wasn't it? I saw Witness for the Prosecution on TV. Good movie.Delete
You are right, it is Judgement at Nuremberg and it's excellent.Delete
Joel beat me to it. The very first one that popped into my mind was 'PRIMAL FEAR'. What an astounding performance by Edward Norton!ReplyDelete
'Loyal American Underground'
His performance is chilling...excellent movieDelete
I haven't seen the first one, but I like your other picks.ReplyDelete
Ya have to see the first one:)Delete
Judgement at Nuremberg was an excellent film. I also liked My Cousin Vinny.ReplyDelete
Judgement is great but I still have to see the whole movie of My Cousin Vinny.Delete
I haven't seen these, but I've heard of them. The first movie to pop in my head was The Pelican Brief.ReplyDelete
I couldn't get into The Pelican Brief. I should give it another try.Delete
I'm sure I've seen some legal thrillers, but none come to mind. Maybe they were too chilling for me to want to remember. I'd like to watch the Charles Laughton movie. I like him.ReplyDelete
You'll love him in this movie and his wife. Elias Lanchester is also in this movie...she plays his nurse.Delete
Happy New Year, Birgit! Fantastic movie picks -- all of them brilliant. I could sit and gaze at Al Pacino all day. I enjoyed Philadelphia, too! Hugs! I am wishing you a 2017 that's wonderful in every way!ReplyDelete
Happy New Year too Vidya. I believe 2017 is the year of change, however one views that. Al Pacino was good looking back then. Philadelphia is a good movie for sure.Delete
The Verdict is the only one of these I've seen and it was such an amazing movie. I need to watch it again sometime. I love legal movies in general - A Few Good Men and The Accused come to mind. I watched The Lincoln Lawyer not long ago and enjoyed that too. This was a fun category to read about. :)ReplyDelete
The movies you mentioned were picks on others' sites especially The Lincoln Lawyer. The Accused was brutal to watch but really good.Delete
James Mason has perhaps one of the best voices ever. Haven't actually see any of your picks but they all seem interesting.ReplyDelete
I love his voice...can you imagine if he could have made a film with Alan Rickman? I'm not sure I would be able to handle it:)Delete
I've seen parts of And Justice For All. Need to give it an honest viewing. Great picks.ReplyDelete
It's really good and hope you get to see it.Delete
first two movies sound amazing selections.ReplyDelete
I have seen the Verdict and it i was one of most strong effective film .
you are doing nice job by bringing out some very good old collections that we may forget anyway .
Happy new year 1
Thank you. I love old films and they are so greatDelete
I haven't seen Witness.ReplyDelete
So many movies, so little time.
Stay dry and warm. Enjoy your weekend to the max.
There is so little time to watch films and to read books. I'd rather do this than dust any ole day.Delete
All new to me! I am trying to make a dent in my movie list in 2017. We will see how I do. :) Thanks for sharing and wishing you a Happy New Year! :)ReplyDelete
If you love legal stuff... these are for you:) Happy New year!Delete
Ooh, good topic! There are so many great ones: The Accused, Philadelphia, A Few Good Men, In Cold Blood, The Reader...a few of those I've watched several times.ReplyDelete
OMG! The Reader..Yes! Great movie. In Cold Blood is another excellent film as well as Philadelphia and The Accused. A Few Good men I call a good movie with a classic line.Delete
Yeah, normally these topics stump me, but not this time.Delete
You've made me want to see Tyrone Power and Charles Laughton and all the others in action again. What a cast!ReplyDelete
Did you see Dead Man Walking, Birgit? I thought it was very well done. Then again, it's not really a thriller. I like the way you described And Justice for All - I'm intrigued.ReplyDelete
Have a warm, safe week, fun friend. =)
The Verdict is a good film with all you'd expect from Paul Newman. I like it.ReplyDelete