The Public Library titled its summer film series at ImaginOn “Order in the Court: Seven Classic Courtroom Movies.” But as most of these films end with justice being abused rather than served, we’re in mostly for disorder.
The series starts Saturday with “Anatomy of a Murder,” in which James Stewart defends a quarrelsome officer (Ben Gazzara) who killed the man who allegedly raped his wife (Lee Remick). Duke Ellington wrote the jazz score and has a cameo in the movie.
“The Verdict,” June 22: Paul Newman stars as an alcoholic attorney who gets a chance to redeem himself by pursuing a medical malpractice suit, rather than settling out of court and letting responsible parties go unpunished.
“Witness for the Prosecution,” July 6: Billy Wilder directed this drama about an imperious lawyer (Charles Laughton) who disbelieves his own client (Tyrone Power) – until he uncovers new evidence in the murder case.
“Inherit the Wind,” July 13: Spencer Tracy and Fredric March square off as characters based on Clarence Darrow and William Jennings Bryan, locked in a legal battle over the Tennessee teacher fired for instructing his pupils about evolution in 1925.
“The Andersonville Trial,” July 27: George C. Scott directed this Civil War drama, in which the commander of a Confederate prison where thousands of Union soldiers died (Richard Basehart) tries to explain his actions to prosecutor William Shatner.
“Adam’s Rib,” Aug. 31: Husband-and-wife lawyers Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn take opposing sides in this comedy, with Judy Holliday playing the defendant who tried to kill her spouse.
“Jagged Edge,” Sept. 7: Attorney Glenn Close falls in love with her client (Jeff Bridges) while defending him on the charge of murdering his wife, then becomes unnerved by revelations about his past.
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