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Casey Anthony trial? Meh. Top 5 courtroom dramas of the '80s

Paul Newman in The Verdict

The world is waiting for a verdict in the Casey Anthony trial. Not me. If I want courtroom drama, I'd wait for re-reruns of Night Court. Or a late night showing of Kramer vs. Kramer. (Yes, yes. I know. It's from 1979. Forgive me!)

When people think of Hollywood's great courtroom movies, naturally films like 12 Angry Men and To Kill a Mockingbird come up. Fine films, I hear. (Nope. Never seem them.) I prefer to focus on our beloved decade. And so, ladies and gentlemen of the jury, I'd like to submit these five films into evidence.


5. A SOLDIER'S STORY (1984): Howard E. Rollins Jr., Adolph Caesar. The plot: An African American officer investigates a murder in a racially charged situation in World War II. Memorable line: "The worst thing you can do, in this part of the country, is pay too much attention to the death of a negro under mysterious circumstances."

4. SUSPECT (1987): Cher, Dennis Quaid. The plot: A judge commits suicide, and his secretary is found murdered. A homeless deaf-mute man is arrested for her murder. Memorable line: "I spend all of my day with murders and rapists, and what's really crazy, I like them."

the-accused.jpg3. THE ACCUSED (1988): Kelly McGillis, Jodie Foster. The plot: A rape victim, enraged at the light sentence her attackers received on account that she was of questionable character, goads a female prosecutor to charge the men who literally cheered the attack on. Memorable line: "Well, if that's the best you could do, then your best sucks!"

2. A CRY IN THE DARK (1988): Meryl Streep, Sam Neill. The plot: The story of a mother whose child was killed in an animal attack, only to have herself accused of the infant's murder. Memorable line: "The dingo's got my baby!"

1. THE VERDICT (1982): Paul Newman, Jack Warden. The plot: A lawyer sees the chance to salvage his career and self-respect by taking a medical malpractice case to trial rather than settling. Memorable line: "We've been paid to look the other way. I came here to take your money. I brought snapshots to show you so I could get your money. I can't do it; I can't take it. 'Cause if I take the money I'm lost. I'll just be a... rich ambulance chaser. I can't do it. I can't take it."

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[Last modified: Tuesday, July 5, 2011 10:28am]


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