Film Score Monthly
FSM HOME MESSAGE BOARD FSM CDs FSM ONLINE RESOURCES FUN STUFF ABOUT US  SEARCH FSM   
Search Terms: 
Search Within:   search tips 
You must log in or register to post.
  Go to page:    
 Posted:   Oct 20, 2021 - 9:39 AM   
 By:   Warlok   (Member)

Some comments on this title, bidden by its mention/inclusion in a Columbia Classics release, cited by our hosts.

I wasn't impressed by this.

Its a good film, but the kind of film that shows legal humanity at its most starkly banal. I disliked almost every character in it. With Jimmy Stewart and especially the fiery George C. Scott I was expecting something much more confrontational and momentous. Instead, the film just ambiguously fizzles along. I suppose at the time this very quality helped set it apart from others.

Its just not... inspiring, thrilling, deep, intellectual, or entertaining. Banal. The best of the kind of dull European film-making that bores me to tears. Chronicles of the banal do not entertaining films make.

 
 
 Posted:   Oct 20, 2021 - 5:30 PM   
 By:   Last Child   (Member)

It was a product of its time, based on a best-selling novel, dealing explicitly with details not previously discussed in mainstream movies. It has huge star power, hip jazz music, and a laid-back, non-judgmental depiction of real life that might seem unimportant to audiences today. So it can disappoint for appearing as mere soap opera without much courtroom drama. You might be a victim of nebulous expectations, and if you ever watch it again in a year or three, you might appreciate or enjoy it because you expect it to be worse than it is.

A more intense and grimmer courtroom drama made two years later, which feels like a foreign film, is "Town Without Pity." I think it still works today, partly because its an ensemble, partly because Kirk Douglas is so Kirk in it. Doesn't seem to be as popular or well-known as ANATOMY, which is unfortunate. In a sense, the guilty go free in both films because both lawyers are so good.

 
 Posted:   Oct 21, 2021 - 6:23 AM   
 By:   Nicolai P. Zwar   (Member)

I saw this some time in the 1990s and remember that I liked it quite a bit. It lacked melodrama and was more about how the various characters' own inclinations as well as their positions (accused, defense attourney, prosecuter, etc.c) influence their point of view and personal "truth". But that's how I remember it, it's been a while.

I like the Duke Ellington soundtrack on its own though. Excellent stuff.

 
 
 Posted:   Oct 21, 2021 - 6:51 AM   
 By:   villagardens553   (Member)

I love this movie, though I can't help but compare it to the book. The Book is a real classic, perhaps the best murder trial novel in modern times. Still in print after sixty-plus years.

The movie is very faithful, though condenses much of the trial. There are some "cute" additions that distract--like the courtroom scene with the dog. Still, the film is gritty, atmospheric, and the acting is uniformly superb. And even condensed from the novel, the film still manages to show a lot of trial action, which most "trial" films don't do.

 
 Posted:   Oct 21, 2021 - 11:42 AM   
 By:   Warlok   (Member)

I'd have to apologize then smile ... I am a child of Dirty Harry, Law & Order, and Columbo...

 
 
 Posted:   Oct 21, 2021 - 11:45 AM   
 By:   John McMasters   (Member)

Deleted previous comments -- realized I haven't watched the film in over a decade so...

 
 Posted:   Oct 22, 2021 - 3:52 PM   
 By:   Warlok   (Member)

Deleted previous comments -- realized I haven't watched the film in over a decade so...

No problem - we'll arrest you later. smile

 
 
 Posted:   Oct 23, 2021 - 1:21 PM   
 By:   Rozsaphile   (Member)

The film is regularly cited as among the most realistic portrayals of a criminal trial -- as opposed to the expedited and amplified versions in most courtroom dramas. What I found curious is the freedom afforded to the defendant, an army lieutenant on active duty at a nearby base. In my experience the army comes down hard on an officer who receives something as minor as a traffic violation. That an accused murderer would roam at large -- and just waltz off at the end -- strikes me as improbable. Maybe the novel explains this?

 
 
 Posted:   Oct 23, 2021 - 3:39 PM   
 By:   Last Child   (Member)

The film is regularly cited as among the most realistic portrayals of a criminal trial -- as opposed to the expedited and amplified versions in most courtroom dramas. What I found curious is the freedom afforded to the defendant, an army lieutenant on active duty at a nearby base. In my experience the army comes down hard on an officer who receives something as minor as a traffic violation. That an accused murderer would roam at large -- and just waltz off at the end -- strikes me as improbable. Maybe the novel explains this?

That's a good point. Didn't read the book, and I've forgotten if there was any repercussions in the film, regardless if he stayed in the army or not. In contrast to the movie I cited earlier, TOWN WITHOUT PITY, where the army definitely wanted the men punished and trial expedited.

 
You must log in or register to post.
  Go to page:    
© 2021 Film Score Monthly. All Rights Reserved...