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Greatest Law-related Movies

1 . 12 Angry Men (1957)

12 Angry Men (1957)Plot: A dissenting juror in a murder trial slowly manages to convince the others that the case is not as obviously clear as it seemed in court.

Directed by Sidney Lumet; staring Henry Fonda & Lee J. Cobb

 

2 . The Young Philadelphians (1959)

The Young Philadelphians (1959)Plot: Young lawyer Anthony Lawrence faces several ethical and emotional dilemmas as he climbs the Philadelphia social ladder.

Directed by Vincent Sherman; staring Paul Newman.

     

3 . To Kill A Mockingbird (1962)

To Kill A Mockingbird (1962)Plot: Atticus Finch, a lawyer in the Depression-era South, defends a black man against a rape charge and his kids against prejudice.

Directed by Robert Mulligan; starring Gregory Peck and Robert Duvall.

 

4 . The Verdict (1982)

The Verdict (1982)Plot: A lawyer sees the chance to salvage his career and self-respect by taking a medical malpractice case to trial rather than settling.

Directed by Sidney Lumet; starring Paul Newman and Charlotte Rampling.

     

5. Inherit the Wind (1960)

Inherit the Wind (1960)Plot: Based on a real-life case in 1925, two great lawyers argue the case for and against a science teacher accused of teaching evolution.

Directed by Stanley Kramer; starring Spencer Tracey and Fredric March.

 

6. Witness for the Prosecution (1957)

Witness for the Prosecution (1957)Plot: Agatha Christie tale of a man on trial for murder: a trial featuring surprise after surprise.

Directed by Billy Wilder; starring Tyrone Power and Marlene Dietrich

     

7. My Cousin Vinny (1992)

My Cousin Vinny (1992)Plot: Bill and Stan are mistaken for murderers while on vacation, and Bill's family sends his cousin to defend them for his first case as a lawyer.

Directed by Jonathan Lynn; starring Joe Pesci and Marisa Tomei.

 

8. The Firm (1993)

The Firm (1993)Plot: A young lawyer joins a prestigous law firm only to discover that it has a sinister dark side.

Directed by Sydney Pollack; starring Tom Cruise and Gene Hackman

     

9. Judgment at Nuremberg (1961)

Judgment at Nuremberg (1961)Plot: In 1948, an American court in occupied Germany tries four Nazi judges for war crimes.

Directed by Stanley Kramer; starring Spencer Tracy and Burt Lancaster

 

10. The Paper Chase (1973)

The Paper Chase (1973)Plot: A first-year law student struggles with balancing his coursework and a stern professor's daughter.

Directed by James Bridges; starring Timothy Bottoms, John Houseman, and Lindsay Wagner

     

11. Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room (2005)

Plot: Based on the best-selling book by Fortune reporters Bethany McLean and Peter Elkind, a multidimensional study of one of the biggest business scandals in American history.

 

Directed by Alex Gibney; narrated by Peter Coyote

 

12. Michael Clayton (2007)

Plot: An attorney known as the "fixer" in his law firm, comes across the biggest case of his career that could produce disastrous results for those involved.

Directed by James Bridges; starring George Clooney, Tom Wilkinson, and Sydney Pollack

 

 

 

 

Have your own favorite law-related movie?  Comments?

Send them to: Sheldon D. Pollack, Director of Legal Studies

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