June 5, 2016

The Supreme Court In Fiction, Film, and on TV

To distract us from politics in this election year, Anthony Franze offers a list of ten Supreme Court novels in this post for the ABA Journal. I'll list them here, to spare you the trouble of clicking through the ABAJ's "gallery" setup. I don't know about you, but I'm not overly fond of the "click to see the next item" format.

Below: Mr. Franze's choices.

Margaret Truman, Murder in the Supreme Court (1982).

John Grisham, The Pelican Brief (1982).

Brad Meltzer, The Tenth Justice (1997).

Paul Levine, Nine Scorpions (1998).

Christopher Buckley, Supreme Courtship (2008).

Phillip Margolin, Supreme Justice (2010).

Max Allan Collins, Supreme Justice (2014).

David Lat, Supreme Ambitions (2014).

Kermit Roosevelt, Allegiance (2015).

Jay Wexler, Tuttle in the Balance (2015).

What are your selections?

Mr. Franze doesn't cover movies and tv episodes, but here are some to choose from.

The Talk of the Town (1942). A law professor, nominated to a Supreme Court seat, finds himself in a delicate situation when an escaped prisoner turns up in the house he is staying in. Stars Jean Arthur, Cary Grant (he's not the law professor), and Ronald Colman.

Separate But Equal (TVM 1991). Powerful retelling of the Brown vs. Board of Education litigation. With Sidney Poitier as the young Thurgood Marshall.

The Magnificent Yankee (1950). Film biography of Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr., starring Louis Calhern, based on the Francis Biddle book.

The Pelican Brief (1993). Film adaptation of the Grisham novel, starring Julia Roberts and Denzel Washington.

Gideon's Trumpet (1980). A dramatization of Clarence Gideon's historic fight for the right for representation for criminal defendants. With the wonderful Henry Fonda as Gideon, and John Houseman (he of The Paper Chase) as the Chief Justice.

Mr. and Mrs. Loving (TVM 1996). Timothy Hutton and Lela Rochon in a dramatization of the 1967 case that put an end to state laws forbidding interracial marriage.

The People Vs. Larry Flynt (1996). A dramatization of adult magazine publisher Flynt's legal battles. The Supreme Court scene isn't long, but it's powerful.

First Monday in October (1981). Walter Matthau and Jill Clayburgh in the film version of a Jerome Lawrence play about the first woman nominated to a Supreme Court seat.

Confirmation (TVM 2016). A dramatization of the Supreme Court nomination hearings of Clarence Thomas. Kerry Washington plays Professor Anita Hill and and Wendell Pierce plays Judge (later Justice) Thomas.

Roe v. Wade (1989). Holly Hunter plays the central figure in this drama that brings the famous Texas abortion case to the Court.

Television episodes:

Picket Fences. Episode: May It Please the Court (1994)

The West Wing. Episode: The Short List (1999).

No comments: