The film revolves around the court-martial of two U.S. Marines charged with the murder of a fellow Marine and the tribulations of their lawyers as they prepare a case to defend their clients.
Michael Colin Gallagher is the son of a long dead Mafia boss who is a simple liquor warehouse owner. Frustrated in his attempt to solve a murder of a union head, a prosecutor leaks a false story that Gallagher is a target of the investigation, hoping that he will tell them something for protection. As his life begins to unravel, others are hurt by the story. Megan Carter, the reporter, is in the clear under the Absence of Malice rule in slander and libel cases. Knowing nothing to trade to the prosecutors, Gallagher must regain control of his life on different ground.
Amistad is a 1997 historical drama film directed by Steven Spielberg, based on the true story of the 1839 mutiny aboard the slave ship La Amistad, during which Mende tribesmen abducted for the slave trade managed to gain control of their captors’ ship off the coast of Cuba, and the international legal battle that followed their capture by a U.S.revenue cutter. The case was ultimately resolved by the United States Supreme Court in 1841.
Anatomy of a Murder, is by far the most realistic and technically accurate courtroom drama ever produced. The conduct of the trial, the examination of the witnesses, the colloquy and bantering back and forth between the lawyers and between the lawyers and the judge, is spot-on. Every question from the lawyers, every objection, every ruling by the judge, every admonishment from the judge, and the testimony of the witnesses, every bit of it, is realistic and believable, lines that were accurately written with care, and then flawlessly delivered. In the tension between the shrewd old judge and the lawyer for defense, the film raises a crucial issue on the rules of advocacy: To what extent a lawyer should represent a client zealously within the rules and norms of courtroom etiquette?
Arthur Kirkland is a young lawyer who realizes early on in his career that whatever he learned in school is different in real life. When we first meet Arthur he seems eager to help his clients. He soon realizes the legal system, as it’s practiced in the court room, depends on who is judging the case, as there appears to be jaded judges who are blind to the justice he is seeking for his clients. Having said this, the film is a good example of the way some lawyers truly do care about their clients and not intent on making a lot of money.
Best part is Al Pacino giving the big “This whole courtroom’s out of order!!” speech.
more to come…