Movies about law, having heroic or ferocious lawyers often strike gold in Hollywood, giving good competition to big-ticket movies.
To Kill A Mockingbird, a 1962 adaptation of a book by Harper Lee, had the character Atticus Finch, a fictional lawyer who became the greatest hero of all American cinema in a list ‘100 Years... 100 Heroes and Villains’ by the American Film Institute.
Well-known movie stars like Gregory Peck, Tom Cruise and Kevin Costner have portrayed lawyers.
Movies about lawyers, like Gandhi, 12 Angry Men and Philadelphia have made it to the Top 50 movies of all time in the ‘100 Years... 100 Heroes and Villains’ list by the American Film Institute.
Law movies offer legal wisdom and often have justice prevailing in the end. The audience is enthralled by the wit and the voyeurism, where internal details are filled with drama and mystery, offering an inside look at how a lawyer stands up for someone in the court of law.
The human experience, vulnerable and raw, is on full display in legal stories, whose choreography, twists, and impossible odds are loved by filmmakers and the audience.
Revenge has a universal appeal, as does the righting of something wrong or unfair. Justice is first denied and then reclaimed by hard work and sweat, with the audience rooting for the lawyer in charge of setting things right, facing hard challenges.
Law movies do not portray a real courtroom, but change their pace in order to be entertaining. The audience are not looking for accuracy, but a good story that gives justice to the one who is mistreated by law, and to put the real wrongdoer behind bars, whatever it takes.
The audience is looking for an escape from the mundane reality and an action flick often does not provide the mental stimulation or an uplifting of the human spirit.
They would prefer a courtroom drama, where heroism is not shown by muscle power, but by the presence of mind, resilience and legal chops.
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