Louisville Magazine

MAR 2014

Louisville Magazine is Louisville's city magazine, covering Louisville people, lifestyles, politics, sports, restaurants, entertainment and homes. Includes a monthly calendar of events.

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8 LOUISVILLE MAGAZINE 3.14 me. But I did (and still do) love the TV show Night Court. Anne Marshall Senior writer Legally Blonde. Does that count? Emily Douglas Advertising account executive Is Elle Woods from Legally Blonde the great-granddaughter of Atticus Finch? Josh Moss Managing editor Legally Blonde! Oh, did you mean a serious movie? In that case, A Few Good Men. Stacey Hallahan Advertising director Erin Brockovich. Corporate irresponsibility, investigative reporting, girl power and some of the best one-liners. Mary Chellis Austin Associate editor Inter-office MEMO Inherit the Wind (1960). The actual 1925 Scopes "Monkey Trial," heavily photographed and broadcast on radio, might have made better cinema, but this anti-McCarthyism movie flmed 35 years later runs a close second. Spencer Tracy and Frederic March, 60 and 63 at the time, were at the pinnacle of their careers as, respectively, the Clarence Darrow and William Jennings Bryan facsimiles. The steamy-hot Tennessee courtroom made their lumpy, lined faces all the more visually intriguing. Fantastic dialogue. And Claude Akins as the Rev. Jeremiah Brown! Jack Welch Senior Editor Sleek legal thrillers typically make me cringe or giggle. Pounding gavels and Matthew McConaughey-types breathlessly pacing in and out of courthouses? Eh. Not for To Kill a Mockingbird. It was the only book I ever tried to read while running (I ran right into a lamppost) and one of the few movies that almost lived up to the book. Elizabeth Myers Editor, Louisville.com From the Hip, starring Judd Nelson, John Hurt, Elizabeth Perkins and the always- lovable Darren McGavin, is my favorite law comedy. IMDB uses the words "charade" and "shenanigans" in its plot synopsis. Come on! It has to be good. In this '80s time capsule, Nelson plays Robin "Stormy" Weathers, a young lawyer apprentice who gets too much attention for his own good and ends up on a case that is a major challenge. Great plot twist near the end. Suki Anderson Art director A Time To Kill with Matthew McConaughey, Sandra Bullock and Samuel L. Jackson. Just listen to this dialogue: Defendant Carl Lee Hailey, played by Jackson, to his lawyer, Jake Brigance, played by McConaughey: "Well, you white and I'm black. See, Jake, you think just like them; that's why I picked you. You one of them — don't you see? Oh, you think you ain't 'cause you eat in Claude's and you out there trying to get me off on TV talking about black and white, but the fact is, you just like all the rest of them. When you look at me, you don't see a man; you see a black man. "We ain't no friends, Jake. We on different sides of the line. I ain't never seen you in my part of town. I bet you don't even know where I live. Our daughters, Jake, they ain't never gonna play together." Honest and powerful. Lynn Hafele Assistant to the publisher A Time To Kill. McConaughey with a Southern accent and a dog for a best friend. Swoon! Mandy Wood Advertising account executive Twelve Angry Men. Come on, it's Henry Fonda. Classic. Elyse Heckencamp Advertising Production Designer One of the best scenes in any courtroom drama this side of To Kill a Mockingbird comes without a hint of oratorical fourish or made- for-cinema grandstanding. It happens near the end of The Verdict, which stars Paul Newman in one of his broken-human roles as a washed-up attorney with drinking problems, money problems and reputation problems. In a medical-malpractice suit against a highly regarded doctor with all the important connections (powerful lawyer, powerful employer, powerful social pull), plaintiff's attorney Newman has landed a major blow. His star witness, an admitting nurse who worked with the accused doctor, has disputed his testimony and — here's your hole card — kept a photocopy of a medical record that backs her up. Oh, this is good, so good. But wait! The powerful defense lawyer, played by James Mason with an oddly attractive shade of know-it-all-ness, quickly fnds a legal loophole. Because the medical record condemning his client is a photocopy, it is inadmissible as evidence. The judge, no fan of Newman's to begin with, readily agrees, striking the testimony from the record. Noooo! Now here's the scene. Prepare to be riveted. The doctor we all now know to be slimy and a liar and probably responsible for turning a healthy young woman into a vegetable reaches his hand out and squeezes his lawyer affectionately on the arm. Thanks, old friend, the gesture says, the defendant smiling in smug relief. Then the lawyer, calmly but deliberately, looking directly ahead in something resembling shock and with just the right touch of disgust, moves his arm away. Oh, that's good. That's so very good. In the end . . . well, let's not play spoiler. But even if you've seen The Verdict, you know that no matter how many times you watch a great courtroom thriller, it can hold you in suspense until the fnal credits. Because it's not about the verdict; it's about the morality play leading up to the verdict. And we all get to participate in that. Kane Webb Editor What is your favorite courtroom movie? 1-11.indd 8 2/19/14 9:58 AM

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