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Court Movies Go On Trial

July 15, 1996|PAMM HIGGINS

Institutional oatmeal is about to become a dietary staple for defense attorney Vinny Gambini's cousin, wrongly accused of killing a store clerk. Then, Mona Lisa Vito takes the stand to testify about the getaway car's skid marks. Never mind that she's Vinny's fiancee and an unemployed hairdresser. Mona Lisa saves the day by proving that she knows enough about auto mechanics to qualify as an expert witness and gets Vinny's client off the hook.


In "Reel Justice: The Courtroom Goes to the Movies" (Andrews and McMeel) UCLA law professors Paul Berman and Michael Asimow explain the finer points of law (don't miss the hearsay rule) as they pass judgment on "nearly every" legal movie ever made. On a scale of one (ask for a new trial) to four (a classic) gavels, the following titles, in no particular order, earned their highest rating:

* "My Cousin Vinny" (featuring the aforementioned Gambini family)

* "Inherit the Wind"

* "Judgment at Nuremberg"

* "A Man for All Seasons"

* "Breaker Morant"

* "The Caine Mutiny"

* "The Life of Emile Zola"

* "To Kill a Mockingbird"

* "Witness for the Prosecution"

* "Fury"

* "Anatomy of a Murder"

* "Twelve Angry Men"

* "Libel"

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