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How Can They Hear the Truth Above the Roar? Courtrooms of the Movies

By Sarah Carlson | Lists | July 6, 2011 |

By Sarah Carlson | Lists | July 6, 2011 |

It’s sad that I can pinpoint — and I know I’m not alone — where I was during the various stages of the O.J. Simpson debacle. Of course, I was young and most of it is blurry. But I remember listening to the verdict on the radio in my drama class as students came back from lunch in sixth grade. Almost 16 years later, ask many Americans what they think about that case and they’ll have a strong opinion, and perhaps one about the Casey Anthony verdict, handed down Tuesday, too. We’re all armchair lawyers, and often our love-hate relationship with the judicial system becomes more sensational than the crimes and trials with which we’re obsessed. We just love a good show, but I’d rather stick to the courtrooms of the movies.

There have been plenty of riveting trial dramas throughout the years, most of which were adapted for the screen from other works, as well as comedies that have fun at our system’s expense. Some depict verdicts we can get behind; others don’t. But all have something to say about the pros and cons of the court. Here are 10 of my favorite (and some simply obligatory) scenes out of films regarding trials, from the silly to the serious.

What are yours?

“12 Angry Men” (1957)

“Judgment at Nuremberg” (1961)

“To Kill a Mockingbird” (1962)

“The Godfather: Part II” (1974)

The Godfather: Part II Senate Hearing
Tags: The Godfather: Part II Senate Hearing

“Kramer vs. Kramer” (1979)

“A Few Good Men” (1992)

“My Cousin Vinny” (1992)

“Philadelphia” (1993)

“A Time to Kill” (1996)

“Chicago” (2002)

Sarah Carlson has a front-row seat to the decline of the newspaper industry and lives in Alabama with her overly excitable Pembroke Welsh Corgi.

Dustin is the founder and co-owner of Pajiba. You may email him here, follow him on Twitter, or listen to his weekly TV podcast, Podjiba.

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