Do the Senate hearings for President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Amy Coney Barrett have you hankering for some good courtroom drama? If so, our *Hoopla streaming service may provide just what you’re looking for. Here are a dozen titles (with Hoopla links) of dramas and documentaries that will bring you inside the workings of the legal system.
The Attorney (2014) Korean. Song Woo-seok has no clients, connections, nor college degree, but his eye for business and appetite for money make him the most successful lawyer in town. But at the peak of his success, a local teenager is falsely accused of a crime, then beaten and tortured while waiting in jail. Shocked by these conditions, Song takes the case no one else will, and changes the course of his life
A Civil Action (1998) Jan Schlichtmann (John Travolta) is a cynical, high-priced personal injury attorney who only takes big-money cases he can safely settle out of court. Though his latest case at first appears straightforward, Schlichtmann soon becomes entangled in an epic legal battle … one where he’s willing to put his career, reputation, and all that he owns on the line for the rights of his clients! Also featuring Robert Duvall, William H. Macy, and John Lithgow — this gripping, widely acclaimed hit delivers edge-of-your-seat entertainment!
Gideon’s Trumpet (1980) The story of Clarence Earl Gideon (Henry Fonda) and his fight for the right to have publicly funded legal counsel for the needy.
Howl (2010) James Franco delivers a career defining performance as poet Allen Ginsberg. Through his search for personal and creative expression, Ginsberg writes HOWL, and must contend with attorney Jake Ehrlich (Jon Hamm) during HOWL’S bizarre obscenity trial.
Inherit the Wind (1960) Spencer Tracy and Frederic March go head-to-head as opposing attorneys in this blistering courtroom drama about the famed “Scopes Monkey Trial” where a Tennessee teacher must defend himself for teaching Darwinism.
Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean (1972)Director John Huston and a powerhouse cast make magic in this tongue-in-cheek Western saga. Paul Newman shines as the real life, self-appointed judge. Also starring Anthony Perkins, Victoria Principal and Ned Beatty.
Miracle on 34th Street (1955) One Kris Kringle, a department store Santa Claus, causes quite a commotion by suggesting customers go to a rival store for their purchases. But this is nothing to the stir he causes by announcing that he is not merely a make-believe St. Nick, but the real McCoy.
Paradise Lost: The Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills (1996) Documentary. Three teens, who dress in all black and listen to heavy metal, are accused of the murder of three little boys, and are instantly condemned by a retribution-hungry public. Now they try to defend themselves against a dubious lack of proof.
RBG (2018) Biography. At the age of 85, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg had developed a lengthy legal legacy while becoming an unexpected pop culture icon. Explore her unique and unknown personal journey of her rise to the nation’s highest court.
Storm (2010) Hannah Maynard, prosecutor at the International Criminal Tribunal in The Hague, is leading a trial against a former commander of the Yugoslavian National Army who is accused of the deportation and later killing of dozens of Bosnian-Muslim civilians. When a key witness commits suicide, it looks like the case will unravel, however Hannah refuses to give in.
The Verdict (2013) Dutch.When his wife’s murderer is released due to a procedural error, Luc Segers takes justice into his own hands by challenging the constitutional state that let him down. ‘The Verdict’ is a courtroom thriller about law and justice, morality and ethics, but also about how a man engages in a fight with the constitutional state.
Young Mr. Lincoln (1939) This fictionalized account of the early life of the American president as a young lawyer facing his greatest court case stars Henry Fonda.
Do you need more suggestions for great legal films? Try the American Bar Association’s 25 Greatest Legal Movies list or The Hollywood Reporter’s 8 Memorable Portrayals of Supreme Court Justices or Internet Movie Database’s Most Popular Supreme Court Movies.
*You will need a Hamden Public Library card to access Hoopla movies. You can sign up for a library card online.