Defence Lawyers In Movies
Because the media landscape is rife with so many lawyers, you would be hard pressed to not find one anywhere you look. Television, film, books, disaster zones, the Internet, an annual convention, and other assorted venues turn up a widespread assortment of attorneys. Each year, filmgoers are treated to another attorney adventure. Defence lawyers in movies may be the superhero stopping an oncoming train or protecting a train wreck of a client. Or they may be defenders of evil.
A long standing favourite lawyer based film is A Few Good Men. The military court drama pits one military service branch against another. In this case, Navy versus Marine is in-fighting spit and shine suits against the rough and ready men of action.
A Few Good Men is based on defending an indefensible action when a person is a cog caught in a bureaucratic machine with corrupt elements. Kevin Bacon plays Marine defending attorney Captain Jack Ross. In one gripping moment, under harsh cross examination by hotshot Navy Lt. Daniel Chaffee, portrayed by Tom Cruise, top brass witness Col. Nathan R. Jesse fires back an answer to a question. He proclaims men like him are sentinels, handling the truth of what it takes to protect the American public. The hard-nosed watchdogs, products of unimaginable circumstance, pledged allegiance to keep the American public from encountering their worst nightmares. Don’t blame them for what the American public turned them into.
Ashley Judd paired up with Morgan Freemen in a few good films, one of which was High Crimes. The actors both portrayed out of the norm lawyers. In the case of illustrious super attorney Claire Cubic, she is partner in a reputable, but conservative law firm, who was yanked into defending her husband. Her husband Tom, James Caviezel, is accused by the military of massacring innocent Latin villagers during a military operation. In this case, versus A Few Good Men, military justice system is in the works against a soldier it determined was acting independent of orders.
Pick any John Grisham film and the audience finds a lawyer on the run from or blindsided by his worst nightmares. Double-crossing, shady colleagues, and trickster clients who care more about the legal win than the legal right of their case. The Firm, for example, is a lesson that intersects a consumer warning and food for thought. If something is too good to be true, it probably is a misrepresentation. If you get what you want, the means may not matter.
In the film, the legal agency seduces lawyer Mitch, played by Tom Cruise, into the fold with all the trappings fit for an Ivy League top dog. But then attorney Mitch must defend himself and his wife Abby’s right to abandon Emerald City when it turns out to be a beautiful nightmare behind its curtain of illusions. In this movie, the attorney must defend everything good he believes he stands for.
In Primal Fear, high priced legal wiz Martin Veil is chasing his dreams, and is stopped short. A sensational opportunity falls in his lap to defend Aaron, a shy, stuttering altar boy, from the death penalty stemming from the vicious murder of a priest. This classic movie is another optical illusion filled with defining moments for Martin. Martin comes to unveil the truths of his own shortcomings and self cons.
If there is any defining moment in the public defender realm it would be summed up with the film To Kill a Mockingbird. Not only was the movie a reflection on the reasons many flock to law school, but a reflection of film as a social commentary about defining moments in social history. It is a classic piece of Americana for these reasons, as well as iconic to film school students as forerunner on par with contemporary documentary film making. The American Film Institute (AFI) honoured Atticus Finch as the 20th century hero and To Kill a Mockingbird as among the top 25 films of all time. The film has been honoured by the Library of Congress with preservation in the U. S. National Film Registry because the film is significant culturally, historically, or aesthetically.