America's 100 Greatest Movies
100 YEARS...100 MOVIES


AFI's 10 Top 10 Film Genres

Part 9 - Courtroom Drama



Courtroom Dramas:
Please see Filmsite's extensive section on Drama Films including Courtroom Dramas

AFI described courtroom dramas as "a genre of film in which a system of justice plays a critical role in the film's narrative. Innocent until proven guilty. These four words inspire stories where the outcome may be the difference between life and death. The drama inherent in the theatre of a courtroom—the accused enters, prosecution and defense state their case, and a jury deliberates—all build to the moment when a verdict is read."

Nominees: 20 of the 50 films involved a falsely accused defendant.

Winners: To Kill a Mockingbird (1962) (# 1), 12 Angry Men (1957) (# 2), Kramer vs. Kramer (1979) (# 3), The Verdict (1982) (# 4), A Few Good Men (1992) (# 5), Witness For the Prosecution (1957) (# 6), Anatomy of a Murder (1959) (# 7), In Cold Blood (1967) (# 8), A Cry in the Dark (1988) (# 9), Judgment at Nuremberg (1961) (# 10).

Comments: Legally Blonde (2001) - a courtroom drama and top 50 pick??!! There were better, more classic courtroom dramatic films than A Cry in the Dark (1988), such as Inherit the Wind (1960), Paths of Glory (1957), and Philadelphia (1993), which should all have been in the top 10. Kramer vs. Kramer (1979) was basically a drama - little of the film takes place in a courtroom. 12 Angry Men (1957) should have been the # 1 Courtroom Drama, and JFK (1991) should have been a nominee.


AFI's 10 Top 10 Film Genres
Introduction | Part 1 - Animated | Part 2 - Fantasy | Part 3 - Gangster | Part 4 - Science Fiction | Part 5 - Western
Part 6 - Sports | Part 7 - Mystery | Part 8 - Romantic Comedy | Part 9 - Courtroom Drama | Part 10 - Epic



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