Based on Harper Lee novel with the same name, it tells the story of Atticus Finch (played by Gregory Peck), a lawyer in the Depression-era South who’s defending a black man convicted of rape. Finch’s defence is not emotional, but based on the law, its dignity and importance. What makes this film unique is the performances and the emphasis on the characters, their spirit, heroism and good will, but also their failings and fragility. The film is considered a classic by critics and audiences alike.
When two shoplifting New Yorkers are surprised to hear that they’ve been accused of murder in Alabama, they call their cousin for help – an inexperienced, loudmouth lawyer by the name of Vincent Gambini (played by Joe Pesci). Despite his lack of experience, Vinny manages to get on top with his aggressive and perceptive questioning style and wit. The film is smart, entertaining, funny and greatly helped Joe Pesci’s career, putting him on the map.
Paul Biegler (played by James Steward), a small-time lawyer is being called by Laura Manion (played by Lee Remick), whose husband Ben Gazzara(played by Frederick Manion) has been convicted of a first-degree murder. The defendant says he suffered temporary insanity after the victim raped his wife. The realism of the film, admired by legal professionals, makes it stand out. The actors play their roles so exceptionally well that the audience is left guessing who did what until the end.
The story takes place in 1952, Britain, where upon his return to work (followed by a heart attack), Sir Wilfrid Robarts(played by Charles Laughton) takes on a case, despite his medical team’s disliking of him doing so. The team is led by a private nurse by the name of Miss Plimsoll(played by Elsa Lanchester), who tries to keep him away from his old destructive way of life while he takes his medication and gets his much needed rest. Witness For The Prosecution is a well acted, for the most part, and smartly written film.
The film is starring the 1902 court martial of Lieutenants Harry Morant (played by Edward Woodward), Peter Handcock (played by Bryan Brown) and George Witton (played by Lewis Fitz-Gerald). It centers around one of the first war crimes prosecutions in British military history. The Australian Lieutenants are accused of executing prisoners, in order to get attention away from crimes committed by their superior officers. The film is remarkable for its exploration of the politics of the death penalty and the human cost of war.
Julia Roberts plays Erin Brockovic in a true story based legal drama where she is a single mother, desperate to find a job. Her bad luck extends to a lawsuit she loses against a doctor who gets her in a car accident. Erin manages to persuade her lawyer Ed Masry (Albert Finney) to give her a job as a legal assistant in compensation for the loss. Whilst working in the office she stumbles upon some information on a little-known case filed against Pacific Gas and Electric. As she digs deeper she discovers a systematic cover-up of the industrial poisoning of a city’s water supply threatening the lives of the local community. The film is funny, entertaining, but also moving at the same time.