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Fun Legal Movies: Home

DVDs available for check out from the library information desk.

About the Collection

Movies are available for check out to CU School of Law faculty, staff and students who present a current CU photo identification card at the Information Desk. Movies circulate for three days with a maximum of three movies checked out at a time.

12 Angry Men

A dissenting juror in a murder trial slowly manages to convince the others that the case is not as obviously clear as it seemed in court.

(1957) Starring Henry Fonda, Lee J. Cobb and Martin Balsam  Directed By Sidney Lumet  Rated NR


Absence of Malice

In America, can a man be guilty until proven innocent? Suppose you picked up this morning's newspaper and your life was a front page headline... and everything they said was accurate but not true. This is the dilemma that must be faced in this timely drama about the incredible power of the press. Michael Gallagher (played by Paul Newman in an Oscar-nominated role) reads in the paper that he is the subject of a criminal investigation. Suddenly, everything he has ever worked for is in jeopardy. He confronts the author, Megan Carter (Sally Field), a relentless investigative reporter. Together they learn that the story was purposely leaked to Carter as part of a plot by the chief investigator. Gallagher's life hangs in the balance as he and Carter try to uncover the truth.

(1981) Starring Paul Newman, Sally Field Directed By Sydney Pollack Rated PG

Adam's Rib

 Domestic and professional tensions mount when a husband and wife work as opposing lawyers in a case involving a   woman who shot her husband.

   (1949)  Starring Spencer Tracy, Katherin Hepburn & Judy Holliday  Directed By George Cukor  Rated NR


About an 1839 mutiny aboard a slave ship that is traveling towards the northeastern coast of America. Much of the story involves a court-room drama about the free man who led the revolt.

(1997) Starring Djimon Hounsou, Matthew McConaughey and Anthony Hopkins  Directed by Steven Spielberg


Anatomy of a Murder

 In a murder trial, the defendant says he suffered temporary insanity after the victim raped his wife. What is the truth, and will he win his case?


(1959) Starring James Stewart, Lee Remick and Ben Gazzara  Directed by Otto Preminger  Rated NR

...And Justice for All

An ethical Baltimore defense lawyer disgusted with rampant legal corruption is asked to defend a judge he despises in a rape trial. But if he doesn't do it, the judge will have him disbarred.


 (1979) Starring Al Pacino, Jack Warden, and John Forsythe  Directed by Norman Jewison  Rated R

Breaker Morant

Three Australian lieutenants are court martialed for executing prisoners as a way of deflecting attention from war crimes committed by their superior officers.


(1980) Starring Edward Woodward, Jack Thompson, and John Waters  Directed by Bruce Beresford Rated PG


Murderesses Velma Kelly (a chanteuse and tease who killed her husband and sister after finding them in bed together) and Roxie Hart (who killed her boyfriend when she discovered he wasn't going to make her a star) find themselves on death row together and fight for the fame that will keep them from the gallows in 1920s Chicago.

(2002) Starring Renee Zellweger, Catherine Zeta- Jones, Richard Gere  Directed by Rob Marshall Rated PG-13


A Civil Action

The families of children who died sue two companies for dumping toxic waste: a tort so expensive to prove, the case could bankrupt their lawyer.

(1998) Starring John Travolta, Robert Duvall, Kathleen Quinlan  Directed by Steven Zaillian  Rated PG-13

Clarence Darrow


Actors: Henry Fonda, John Houseman

Directors: John Rich

This rare taping of Henry Fonda's 1974 one-man Broadway show is an entertaining, living memoir of legendary attorney Clarence Darrow. The play, directed by John Houseman and adapted from Irving Stone's biography, was taped before a live audience and broadcast on TV in the 1970s. Efficient and spirited, the play blends many of Darrow's courtroom speeches with his recollections. His caseload included many towering landmark cases: the Pullman strike, the LA Times bombing, Leopold and Loeb, and the Scopes monkey trial. He played to his passions: prolabor and antideath penalty.


Two wealthy law school students go on trial for murder in this version of the Leopold-Loeb case.



(1959) Starring Orson Wells, Dean Stockwell  Directed by Richard Fleischer Rated NR


Death and the Maiden

A political activist is convinced that her guest is a man who once tortured her for the government.


(1994) Starring Sigourney Weaver, Ben Kingsley, Stuart Wilson  Directed by Roman Polanski  Rated R

Defending Gideon

Ffty years ago, Clarence Earl Gideon was charged with breaking into a pool hall.  He could not afford a lawyer to defend him in court, and after a hasty trial, he was convicted.  Had Gideon accepted his fate, he'd have been imprisoned for five years.  But Gideon did challenge his conviction - all the way to the Supreme Court.  The result was Gideon v. Wainright, which guarantees poor defendents the right to counsel in criminal cases. Weaving the story of this iconic case with contemporary portraits of legal injustice.  Defending Gideon highlights the importance of a system that guarantees representation for all - and the dire consequences whan the system fails.

Defending Your Life

In an afterlife resembling the present-day US, people must prove their worth by showing in court how they have demonstrated courage.

(1991) Starring Albert Brooks, Meryl Streep, and Rip Tom  Directed by Albert Brooks  Rated PG


Erin Brokovich

An unemployed single mother becomes a legal assistant and almost single-handedly brings down a California power company accused of polluting a city's water supply.

(2000) Starring Julia Roberts, Albert Finney and David Brisbin  Directed by Steven Soderbergh  Rated R


A Few Good Men

Neo military lawyer Kaffee defends Marines accused of murder; they contend they were acting under orders.


(1992) Starring Tom Cruise, Jack Nicholson and Demi Moore  Directed by Rob Reiner  Rated R


The Fog Of War



Actors: Robert McNamara

Directors: Errol Morris

The Fog of War, the movie that finally won Errol Morris the best documentary Oscar, is a spellbinder. Morris interviews Robert McNamara, Secretary of Defense in the Kennedy and Johnson administrations, and finds a uniquely unsettling viewpoint on much of 20th-century American history. Employing a ton of archival material, including LBJ's fascinating taped conversations from the Oval Office, Morris probes the reasons behind the U.S. commitment to the Vietnam War--and finds a depressingly inconsistent policy. McNamara himself emerges as--well, not exactly apologetic, but clearly haunted by the what-ifs of Vietnam. He also mulls the bombing of Japan in World War II and the Cuban Missile Crisis, raising more questions

Gideon's Trumpet

True story of Clarence Gideon's fight to be appointed counsel at the expense of the state. This landmark case led to the Supreme Court's decision whcih extended this right to all criminal defendants. 

(1980)  Starring Henry Fonda, Jose Ferrer, John Houseman   Directed by Robert L. Collins  Rated TV

Idaho:An Aerial Tapestry

Breathtaking Beauty The best way to see all of Idaho's geological extremes is from above! Previously viewed on public television and winner of a prestigious regional Edward R. Murrow Award, Idaho: An Aerial Tapestry follows the route of the mighty Snake and other rivers on a journey across the entire state. Fly above the river and the many other waterways that crisscross the state for amazing views of its lakes, forests, jagged mountains and rolling prairies. Then, swoop down into Hells Canyon, the deepest in the United States, for scenery like no other!  Dramatic Landscapes The diversity of Idaho's landscapes makes the Gem State shine in the Pacific Northwest: from deserts to wind-swept plains to snow-capped peaks and lush valleys.

In the Name of the Father

Man's coerced confession to an IRA bombing he didn't do imprisons his father as well; a British lawyer helps fight for their freedom.


(1993)  Starring Daniel Day-Lewis, Pete Postlethwaite and Alison Crosbie Directed by Jim Sheridan



Inherit the Wind

Based on a real life case in 1925, two great lawyers argue the case for and against a science teacher accused of the crime of teaching evolution.


(1960) Starring Spencer Tracy, Frederic March and Gene Kelly  Directed by Stanley Kramer  Rated NR




Judgement at Nuremberg

Actors: Spencer Tracy, Burt Lancaster, Richard Widmark, Marlene Dietrich, Maximilian Schell

Directors: Stanley Kramer

                        Angeles Times), "continuously exciting" (The New Yorker) and boasts brilliant performances by an all-star cast. American judge Dan Haywood (Spencer Tracy) presides over the trial of four German jurists accused of "legalizing" Nazi atrocities. But as graphic accounts of sterilization and murder unfold in the courtroom, mounting political pressure for leniency forces Haywood to make the most harrowing and difficult decision of his career. *1961: Actor (Maximilian Schell, won); Actor (Spencer Tracy); Supporting Actor (Montgomery Clift); Supporting Actress (Judy Garland); Director; Adapted Screenplay (won); Cinematography (B&W); Art Direction (B&W); Film Editing; Costume Design (B&W).

Kramer vs. Kramer

A just divorced man must learn to care for his son on his own, and then must fight in court to keep custody of him.


(1979) Starring Dustin Hoffman and Meryl Streep  Directed by Robert Benton  Rated PG





Legally Blonde

When a blonde sorority queen is dumped by her boyfriend, she decides to follow him to law school to get him back and, once there, learns she has more legal savvy than she ever imagined.

(2001) Starring Reese Witherspoon, Luke Wilson and Selma Blair  Directed by Rober Luketic  Rated PG-13

A Man For All Seasons

The story of Thomas More, who stood up to King Henry VIII when the King rejected the Roman Catholic Church to obtain a divorce and remarriage.

(1966)  Starring Paul Scofield, Wendy Hiller and Robert Shaw  Directed by Fred Zinnemann   Rated G

Miracle on 34th Street

A little girl discovers dreams do come true if you really believe. Six-year-old Susan has doubts about childhood's most enduring miracle - Santa Claus. Her mother told her the "secret" about Santa a long time ago, so Susan doesn't expect to receive the most important gifts on her Christmas list. But after meeting a special department store Santa who's convinced he's the real thing, Susan is given the most precious gift of all - something to believe in.

(1994) Starring Richard Attenborough, Elizabeth Perkins and Dylan McDermott  Directed by Les Mayfield  Rated PG

My Cousin Vinny

Two New Yorkers are accused of murder in rural Alabama while on their way back to college, and one of their cousins--an inexperienced, loudmouth lawyer not accustomed to Southern rules and manners--comes in to defend them.

(1992) Starring Joe Pesci, Marisa Tomei and Ralph Macchio  Directed by Jonathan Lynn  Rated R

North Country

A fictionalized account of the first major successful sexual harassment case in the United States -- Jenson vs. Eveleth Mines, where a woman who endured a range of abuse while working as a miner filed and won the landmark 1984 lawsuit.

(2005) Starring Charlize Theron, Jeremy Renner and Frances McDormand  Directed by Niki Caro  Rated R

Nuremberg - Tyrrany of Trial (History Channel)

World War II did not end on the battlefield, but in a courtroom in Germany. The Nuremberg Trials revealed the full scope of Nazi Germany's atrocities and ended in the execution of many of the top Nazi leaders. Follow the historic trials from accusations through executions. See how Nuremberg was the defining point for new principles in the laws of nations, with the war-time actions of defendants like Rudolph Hess and Hermann Goering the measuring sticks. Meet some of the men who were present at the trials, including the chief counsel for the prosecution, and hear how they planned the case against the defendants, knowing that the eyes of the world and the judgment of history watched their every move. And find out how the Trials established a new standard for atrocity "Crimes against Humanity."

The Paper Chase

A first-year law student struggles with balancing his coursework and his relationship with the daughter of a stern professor.

(1973) Starring Timothy Bottoms, Lindsay Wagner and John Houseman  Directed by James Bridges  Rated PG

The People vs Larry Flint

A partially idealized film of the controversial pornography publisher and how he became a defender of free speech for all people.

(1996) Starring Woody Harrlson, Courtney Love and Edward Norton  Directed by Milos Forman  Rated R


When a man with AIDS is fired by a conservative law firm because of his condition, he hires a homophobic small time lawyer as the only willing advocate for a wrongful dismissal suit.

(1993) Starring Tom Hanks and Denzel Washington  Directed by Jonathan Demme  Rated PG-13

Presumed Innocent

When the woman deputy prosecutor R.K. Sabich had an affair with is murdered the prosecutor asks him to lead the investigation. When Sabich digs too deeply he finds himself framed for the murder.

(1990) Starring Harrison Ford, Raul Julia and Greta Scacchi  Directed by Alan K. Pakula  Rated R

The Rainmaker

An idealistic young lawyer and his cynical partner take on a powerful law firm representing a corrupt insurance company. Based on a book by John Grisham.

(1997) Starring Matt Damon, Danny DeVito and Claire Danes  Directed by Francis Ford Coppola Rated PG-13


A heinous crime and its aftermath are recalled from differing points of view.

Starring Toshiro Mifune, Machiko Kyo and Masayuki Mori  Directed by Akira Kurosawa

Reversal of Fortune

Wealthy Sunny von Bülow lies brain-dead, husband Claus guilty of attempted murder; but he says he's innocent and hires Alan Dershowitz for his appeal.

(1990) Starring Jeremy Irons, Glenn Close and Ron Silver        Directed by Barbet Schroeder

A Time to Kill

A young lawyer defends a black man accused of murdering two men who raped his 10-year-old daughter, sparking a rebirth of the KKK.

(1996) Starring Matthew McConaughey, Sandra Bullock and Samuel L. Jackson  Directed by Joel Schumacher

To Kill A Mockingbird

Atticus Finch, a lawyer in the Depression-era South, defends a black man against an undeserved rape charge, and his kids against prejudice.

(1962) Starring Gregory Peck, John Megna and Frank Overton          Directed by Robert Mulligan


The Verdict

A lawyer sees the chance to slavage his career and self-respect by taking a medical malpractice case to trial rather than settling.

Starring Paul Newman, Charlotte Rampling, and Jack Warden Directed by Sidney Lumet

Witness for the Prosecution

Agatha Christie tale of a man on trial for murder: a trial featuring surprise after surprise.


(1957) Starring Tyrone Power, Marlene Dietrich and Charles Laughton  Directed by Billy Wilder

Young Mr. Lincoln

A fictionalized account of the early life of the American president as a young lawyer facing his greatest court case.


(1939) Starring Henry Fonda, Alice Brady and Marjorie Weaver  Directed by John Ford

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