UC Berkeley Library

Lawyers & the Legal Process in Film

Dreyfus Affair (Georges Melies, First Wizard of Cinema)

A collection of rare and rediscovered original films by Georges Melies. This disc contains films produced in 1899 including 9 films on the Dreyfus affair. Melies, a successful magician, began investigating film as a medium of trickery in 1896.

Duck Soup (1933)

Directed by Leo McCarey. Cast: Groucho, Harpo, Chico, and Zeppo Marx, Margaret Dumont, Louis Calhern, Raquel Torres, Edgar Kennedy. "Courtroom scenes don't come much crazier than in the Marx brothers' greatest film.

Enemy of the State (1998)

Director, Tony Scott. Cast: Will Smith, Gene Hackman, Jon Voight, Regina King, Loren Dean, Jake Busey, Barry Pepper, Gabriel Byrne. A suspenseful story of espionage and corruption. Robert Clayton Dean is a successful attorney with a happy home life, until he unknowingly receives top-secret information about a murder and becomes the target of a pursuit. 140 min. Credits and other information from the Internet Movie Database

Erin Brockovich (1999)

Directed by Steven Soderbergh. Cast: : Julia Roberts, Albert Finney, Aaron Eckhart, Marg Helgenberger, Cherry Jones, Veanne Cox, Conchata Ferrell, Tracey Walter. Based on true events, Erin Brockovich is a feisty young mother who convinces attorney Ed Masry to hire her and promptly stumbles upon a momumental law case against a giant corporation. Erin's determined to take on this powerful adversary even though no law firm has dared to do it before. The two begin an incredible and sometimes hilarious fight that will bring a small town to its feet and a huge company to its knees. 132 min.

Evelyn Prentice (1934)

Directed by William K. Howard. Cast: William Powell, Myrna Loy, Una Merkel, Rosalind Russell. John Prentice is a successful Manhattan defense attorney. When his wife Evelyn ends an affair, her ex-lover blackmails her and he is murdered. Another woman is accused of the crime and Evelyn begs John to defend her. Special features: Comedy short "Goofy movies #3"; classic cartoon "Discontent canary"; theatrical trailer. 79 min. Credits and other information from the Internet Movie Database

Find Me Guilty(2006)

Directed by Sidney Lumet. Cast: Vin Diesel, Peter Dinklage, Linus Roache, Ron Silver, Anabella Sciorra, Alex Rocco. Based on the true story of the most remarkable criminal trial in U.S. history. Mobster Jackie Dee DiNorscio tries to strike a bargain with police: a shorter prison term in exchange for ratting on his fellow mobsters. He takes matters in his own hands when he defends himself instead, turning the courtroom upside down. 124 min. Credits and other information from the Internet Movie Database

Force of Evil (1948)

Directed by Abraham Polonsky. Cast: John Garfield, Thomas Gomez, Beatrice Pearson, Roy Roberts, Marie Windsor. A racketeer's lawyer finds that his boss has found a way to bankrupt New York's numbers banks but gets wedged between the numbers racket and a new prosecutor's anti-crime campaign. 82 min. ; Credits and other information from the Internet Movie Database


Directed by Gregory Hoblit. Cast: Anthony Hopkins, Ryan Gosling, David Strathairn, Rosamund Pike, Embeth Davidtz, Billy Burke, Cliff Curtis, Fiona Shaw, Bob Gunton. Ted Crawford is a wealthy, brilliant, and meticulous structural engineer who lives in Los Angeles. He shoots his wife and entraps her lover. After the police arrive, he signs a confession. At his arraignment, he asserts his rights to represent himself and asks the court to move immediately to trial. The prosecutor Willy Beachum believes a conviction is a slam dunk -- that is, until the case completely unravels. 113 min.

From the Hip (1987)

Directed by Bob Clark. Cast: Judd Nelson, Elizabeth Perkins, John Hurt, Ray Walston, Darren McGavin. Robin "Stormy" Weathers is a brash young lawyer with a reputation for breaking the rules and some wild ways of practicing criminal defense. But when Stormy takes on the case of a brilliant professor accused of a brutal murder, he finds himself questioning his client's innocence as well as his own abilities as an attorney. 154 min. Credits and other information from the Internet Movie Database

Ghosts of Mississippi (1996)

Directed by Rob Reiner. Cast: Alec Baldwin, Whoopi Goldberg, James Woods, Craig T. Nelson. For three decades Myrlie Evers waited and worked for the conviction of the white supremacist who murdered her husband, civil rights leader Medgar Evers (1925 - 1963). Yet after two hung juries justice had not come. This film follows the final trial, carefully recreating the details of a relentless quest for justice. Film features special appearances by three children of Medgar Evers, plus Yoland King, the daughter of Martin Luther King, Jr. 131 min.