Thursday, July 19, 2012

Genre #6 - Courtroom Dramas - A Debriefing

Here's the order The American Film Institute puts the movies in: #10 - Judgements at Nuremberg, #9 - A Cry in the Dark, #8 - In Cold Blood, #7 - Anatomy of a Murder, #6 - Witness for the Prosecution, #5 - A Few Good Men, #4 - The Verdict, #3 - Kramer Vs Kramer, #2 - 12 Angry Men, and #1 - To Kill a Mockingbird.

Here's My Order:

#10 - The Verdict (1982) - I can't think of anything good about this movie. It was boring, the way it was filmed was alienating, I don't remember it at all. Surprisingly, not from the 70's.

#9 - A Cry in the Dark (1988) - All the flaws of The Verdict, but at least it has the delivery of "A dingo ate my baby."

#8 - Judgement at Nuremberg (1961) - It didn't really stick with me very much, and it lags in bits, but it did raise a lot of valid ethical questions, and that makes for a good movie.

#7 - Witness for the Prosecution (1958) - I was very entertained by this movie. I liked the lack of romance, the old British protagonist the very Christie plot, the humorous banter. It was a fun movie to watch.

#6 - Anatomy of a Murder (1959) - I really like Jimmy Stewart,l I love the Michigan setting, and the story is great. You're legitimately not certain what's true or not. My favorite part of this movie is the soundtrack - It's the first mainstream movie not about jazz to have an all-jazz score. I wonder if it's because it's set in Michigan?

#5 - In Cold Blood (1967) - I've read the book and I love Truman Capote's prose style, and I really like the very 60's aesthetic of the movie - It's like murderous, poverty-stricken Mad Men. This is a great character study of the murderers, and it was actually filmed in the house were the murders toke place in reality, which seems in poor taste to me, but whatever.

#4 - A Few Good Men (1992) - Great cast, really really great script, and probably my favorite film on the list, if not necessarily the best. I would watch this movie over and over again.

#3 - Kramer Vs Kramer (1979) - Despite being made in the 70's, this is stiff competition for A Few Good Men as my favorite, probably mostly because of Dustin Hoffman. I really like the message and the actual film itself, even though Meryl Streep is super creepy in it.

#2 - 12 Angry Men (1957) - I like how stylized this movie is, and it's got all these great characters (Twelve, actually) that you remember for a long time, and the guy who plays Piglet is in it (He's also a poker buddy of the Odd Couple, fun fact), and it's against prejudice, which is great because I'm against prejudice.

#1 - To Kill a Mockingbird (1963) - It's just an American classic, you know? Atticus Finch is who we all look up to, or should look up to, and it's still also about growing up and childhood, and prejudice and empathy. It packs a lot in there, but it doesn't feel forced. The kids in it are great, and it has Gregory Peck. Which is great.

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