Film/Arts/Satire*
(*homocinematically inclined)

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Countdown to AFI's 10 Top 10: Courtroom Drama

"Justice has nothing to do with what goes on in a courtroom;
justice is what comes out of a courtroom."
-- Clarence Darrow

From the bounty of the romantic comedy, we now come to the humble courtroom drama, in this, the penultimate step in our countdown to the American Film Institute’s next sure-to-be-buzzed-about list, AFI’s 10 Top 10 (now less then a week away!). Whereas the rom coms were the most represented among AFI’s previous lists (with a whopping 35 previous mentions out of 50 nominations), this legal-minded genre has only placed seven films in prior countdowns.

Two courtroom classic stand tall among those seven though, with four previous listings each: To Kill a Mockingbird and 12 Angry Men. The latter has the stronger shot at the top spot, if only because about 99% of it takes place in a courtroom. With three prior listings, Philadelphia joins newbies Advise and Consent and The Children’s Hour in a curious gay subgenre among the 50 nominees here (see the comments section below for the full list).

The only other multiple prior honoree is Erin Brokovich (with two mentions, plus an AFI Award), which brings our attention to some films nominated that, like Brokovich, aren’t heavy on the actual courtroom scenes (such as the newest film on the docket, Legally Blonde, the comedy that stands out like a pink sore thumb among the other nominees). Single placers also on the docket include Adam’s Rib (also in the romantic comedy race), A Few Good Men and The Verdict.

This means there will be plenty of new films in this top ten, with the strongest contenders being Anatomy of a Murder, Inherit the Wind, Judgment at Nuremberg, Paths of Glory and Witness for the Prosecution. Other notable hopefuls include The Accused, … And Justice for All, The Caine Mutiny, A Cry in the Dark, Fury (the oldest nominee), In Cold Blood, I Want to Live!, Kramer vs. Kramer, A Man for All Seasons and A Soldier’s Story.

The final verdict on the best courtroom dramas will be announced next Tuesday, June 17, in the three-hour CBS television special, AFI’s 10 Top 10. Joining the previously announced hosts will be such famous talking heads as Tim Allen, Ed Burns, Harrison Ford, Jane Fonda, Michael J. Fox, Brad Garrett, Ben Gazzara, Gene Hackman, Dennis Hopper, Norman Jewison, James Earl Jones, Nathan Lane, Ray Liotta, Robert Loggia, George Lucas, Sidney Lumet, Amy Madigan, Leonard Maltin, Dominic Monaghan, Elizabeth Perkins, Roman Polanski, Harold Ramis, John Ratzenberger, Rob Reiner, Isabella Rossellini, Susan Sarandon, Talia Shire, Steven Spielberg, Daniel Stern, Ridley Scott, Lesley Ann Warren, Vanessa Williams and Rita Wilson. The presence of some or all of these interviewees may be evidence of the films making the final cut, but we'll address that in a later session. For now, the jury is out.

3 comments:

  1. ABSENCE OF MALICE 1981
    THE ACCUSED 1988
    ADAM'S RIB 1949
    ADVISE AND CONSENT 1962
    AMISTAD 1997
    ANATOMY OF A MURDER 1959
    … AND JUSTICE FOR ALL 1979
    BEYOND A REASONABLE DOUBT 1956
    THE CAINE MUTINY 1954
    THE CHILDREN'S HOUR 1961
    THE CLIENT 1994
    COMPULSION 1959
    THE CRUCIBLE 1996
    A CRY IN THE DARK 1988
    ERIN BROCKOVICH 2000
    A FEW GOOD MEN 1992
    FURY 1936
    GHOSTS OF MISSISSIPPI 1996
    IN COLD BLOOD 1967
    I CONFESS 1953
    INHERIT THE WIND 1960
    THE INSIDER 1999
    I WANT TO LIVE! 1958
    JAGGED EDGE 1985
    JUDGMENT AT NUREMBERG 1961
    KRAMER VS. KRAMER 1979
    LEGALLY BLONDE 2001
    LIBEL 1959
    MADAME X 1966
    A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS 1966
    MY COUSIN VINNY 1992
    THE ONION FIELD 1979
    PATHS OF GLORY 1957
    THE PELICAN BRIEF 1993
    THE PEOPLE VS. LARRY FLYNT 1996
    PHILADELPHIA 1993
    PRESUMED INNOCENT 1990
    PRIMAL FEAR 1996
    THE RAINMAKER 1997
    REVERSAL OF FORTUNE 1990
    A SOLDIER'S STORY 1984
    SUSPECT 1987
    THE TALK OF THE TOWN 1942
    A TIME TO KILL 1996
    TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD 1962
    12 ANGRY MEN 1957
    THE VERDICT 1982
    WITNESS FOR THE PROSECUTION 1957
    YOUNG MR. LINCOLN 1939
    THE YOUNG PHILADELPHIANS 1959

    ReplyDelete
  2. THE WINSLOW BOY 1999
    What do you think of this one Kirby? Cheers, Suzanne Stroh

    ReplyDelete
  3. I haven't seen that one. Do you recommend it?

    - kch

    ReplyDelete

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...