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What’s your favorite courtroom drama?

September 3, 2021 | Katelin Levy

Anatomy of a Murder (1959)

This week’s question: courtroom dramas. All the world’s a stage, someone once said, and nowhere is that truer than in courtrooms around the world. I just finished jury duty, so I should know. What’s your favorite courtroom drama?

Abbas Kiarostami stunning docufiction Close-Up follows an interesting court case about a man impersonating a film director. The question does specify dramas, but I think the hilarious My Cousin Vinny should be allowed.

And this is how Richard Peña would plead. “Here’s another topic for which there truly is an embarrassment of riches. I’m a great fan of Otto Preminger’s Anatomy of a Murder, one of that master filmmaker’s lesser known works. I also much admired Aaron Sorkin’s The Trial of the Chicago 7. But if you can, try to track down an incredible Japanese film, I Just Didn’t Do It, directed by Masayuki Suo. It’s an incredibly penetrating, and terrifying, look at a young man caught up in the machine that is the Japanese legal system.”

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