UC Berkeley Library

Lawyers & the Legal Process in Film

Legally Blonde 2: Red, White & Blonde (2003)

Director, Charles Herman-Wurmfeld.. Cast: Reese Witherspoon, Sally Field, Regina King, Jennifer Coolidge, Bruce McGill, Dana Ivey, Bob Newhart, Luke Wilson. When she's fired from her job at an upscale law firm for voicing her stance against the testing of cosmetics on animals, Elle heads to Capitol Hill to fight for her cause before Congress. Once there, she runs into plenty of adversity and red-tape and can't seem to find anyone who will listen to her proposals. She meets and befriends an elderly bellman who's been around long enough to know the ins and outs of the political machine.

Let Him Have It (1991)

Director, Peter Medak. Cast: Chris Eccleston, Paul Reynolds, Tom Bell, Eileen Atkins, Clare Holman, Michael Elphick, Mark McGann, Tom Courtenay. In 1950s England, 16 year old mentally handicapped Derek Bentley falls in with a group of petty criminals led by Chris Craig, a teenager with a fondness for American gangster films. Based on true events, after Bentley's execution, the ensuing public outcry eventually led to the abolition of the death penalty. 110 min. (PAL, region 2)Credits and other information from the Internet Movie Database

Liar Liar (1997)

Director, Tom Shadyac. Cast: Jim Carrey, Maura Tierney, Jennifer Tilly, Swoosie Kurtz, Justin Cooper, Cary Elwes. Fletcher Reed is a fast-talking attorney and habitual liar. When his son Max blows out the candles on his fifth birthday cake, he has just one wish - that his dad will stop lying for 24 hours. When Max's wish comes true, Fletcher discovers that his biggest asset - his mouth - has become his biggest liability. 87 min. Credits and other information from the Internet Movie Database
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M (Germany, 1931)

Directed by Fritz Lang. Cast: Peter Lorre, Ellen Widmann, Inge Landgut, Otto Wernicke, Theodor Loos, Gustaf Grundgens. A German town is gripped by terror due to the sadistic murders of little girls. The underworld is threatened when the police search proves futile so the denizens of the underworld trap, capture, and finally drag the murderer before a tribunal of criminals. 99 min. ; Credits and other information from the Internet Movie Database

Madame X (1966)

Directed by David Lowell Rich. Cast: Lana Turner, John Forsythe, Ricardo Montalban, Burgess Meredith, Constance Bennett, Keir Dullea. A woman is blackmailed by her mother-in-law into leaving her politician husband and their baby. Twenty years later, she finds herself on trial for murder where she is defended by her own son. 100 min. Credits and other information from the Internet Movie Database

Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962)

Directed by John Ford. Cast: John Wayne, James Stewart, Vera Miles, Lee Marvin, Edmond O'Brien, Andy Devine, Ken Murray. "Senator Ranse Stoddard returns to the city of Shinbone in the Wild West, to go to the funeral of his friend, Tom Doniphon. To a journalist, who's wondering what the senator is doing in Shinbone, he tells how his career started as "the man who shot Liberty Valance". As a lawyer he came to Shinbone to bring law and order to the west by means of law books. When the stagecoach is held up by outlaws, he is savagely beaten by Liberty Valance.

Marked Woman (1937)

Directed by Lloyd Bacon. Screenplay: Robert Rossen. Cast: Bette Davis, Humphrey Bogart, Lola Lane, Isabel Jewell, Eduardo Ciannelli, Jane Bryan, Rosalind Marquis, Mayo Methot, Allen Jenkins, John Litelben Welden, Henry O'Neill. A crusading prosecutor uses a prostitute to indict mobster Johnny Vanning. Inspired by the real-life saga of prostitutes whose testimony put Lucky Luciano behind bars. Special features : New featurette : Marked woman : ripped from the headlines -- 2 classic cartoons : Porky's hero agency ; She was an acrobat's daughter -- Theatrical trailer. 96 min.

Michael Clayton (2007)

Directed by Tony Gilroy. Cast: George Clooney, Tom Wilkinson, Tilda Swinton, Sydney Pollack, Michael O'Keefe. Michael Clayton is an in-house fixer at one of the largest corporate law firms in New York. A former criminal prosecutor, Clayton takes care of the law firm's dirtiest work at the behest of the firm's co-founder, Marty Bach. Burned out with his job as a fixer, his divorce, a failed business venture, and mounting debt have left Clayton inextricably tied to the firm. When the firm's top litigator goes from advocate to whistleblower, its up to Michael to undo the damage. 119 min.

Midnight Mary (1933)

Directed by William A. Wellman. Cast: Loretta Young, Ricardo Cortez, Franchot Tone, Andy Devine, Una Merkel. A mistaken arrest, a prison term, and lack of employment leads to a young woman's involvement with gangsters. In a brothel she meets a wealthy lawyer who falls in love with her. He helps her turn her life around, but her past catches up with her and now she is on trial for murder. Special features: Commentary on "Midnight Mary" by historians Jeffrey Vance and Tony Maietta; S.S.

Miracle on 34th Street (1947)

Directed by George Seaton. Cast: Maureen O'Hara, John Payne, Edmund Gwenn, Gene Lockhart, Natalie Wood, Porter Hall, William Frawley, Jerome Cowan, Philip Tonge. The real Santa is hired by Macy's to play the department store's Santa in the Thanksgiving Day parade, but has to prove in court that he is who he says he is. Non-compos mentis?? Ho Ho Ho!