Tag Archives: James Stewart

Best Court room drama films (10+1list)

Best Court room drama films.

written by Souranath Banerjee

Back in 1928 director Carl Theodor Dreyer made an epic film The Passion of Joan of Arc and although the movie was unique in many other aspects but it was also probably the first ever cinema to showcase the dramatization inside a court room.

And since then, there has been several brilliant contributions made to the ‘courtroom drama’ genre.

The Judge, the jury, the lawyer, the accused and the witnesses. Guilty or Not guilty?

Sometimes the primary focus is on the lawyer’s intellect and determination while other films deal more with the accused or the suspense of the final verdict. 

The list below consists of some of the best Courtroom drama films ever made.

So, Order! Order!

10. 12 Angry Men (1957)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A7CBKT0PWFA

12-angry-men-posterWhen you say ‘courtroom drama’, the first film that comes to your mind is this one, and why not?

An epic film directed by Sidney Lumet featuring a murder trail where 12 jury members have to come to a decision unanimously.

Almost shot inside a single room, 12 characters and their unique approach to the case. Henry Fonda‘s best role.

Another brilliant film by the same director on this genre is The Verdict (1982). A must watch.

9. The Paradine Case (1947)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PGt4VvcSfjU

pardine-case-posterNot one of his best suspense thrillers, but nevertheless Alfred Hitchcock‘s contribution to the courtroom drama genre.

A lawyer risks his own marriage and reputation as he falls for the beautiful female client accused of murdering her own husband!

Gregory PeckAnn ToddCharles Laughton and Oscar nominated Ethel Barrymore all at their best.

8. Witness for the Prosecution (1957)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KsVN1hv9D5c

witness-prosecution-posterThis time it’s director Billy Wilder who joins the courtroom drama.

Brilliant performances by Tyrone PowerMarlene DietrichCharles Laughton

The film’s suspense is so vital that the audience before entering the hall had to sign, cards that read, ‘I solemnly swear I will not reveal the ending of Witness for the Prosecution.’! 

7. Primal Fear (1996)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PnmTi7hSjrA

primal-fear-posterA priest murdered and an alter boy is accused for killing him. But the real truth is not what it seems to be.

Directed by Gregory Hoblit, this one is a superb drama with some pretty unexpected twists.

Richard Gere and Laura Linney give awesome performances but the one to look for in the film is Edward Norton, a star was born.

Another cool film by the same director on this genre is Fracture (2007). A good watch.

6. Judgment at Nuremberg (1961)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RfOgZXIQ6fo

Judgment-Nuremberg-posterFour Nazi judges are to be judged for their war crimes, but before the cold-war people are willing to forget the past very easily.

Director Stanley Kramer creates this terrific American courtroom in occupied Germany of 1948 and tells the intense tale of judgement. 

Probably the film of most historical significance in this list.

Another awesome film by the same director on this genre is Inherit the Wind (1960)

5. Anatomy of a Murder (1959)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IAVLvGP25uQ

Anatomy-Murder-posterCan temporary insanity be the reason for committing murder?

My favorite actor James Stewart gives a great performance along with Lee Remick and Ben Gazzara.

Directed by Otto Preminger, there was controversy because the film uses words like ‘bitch’, ‘contraceptive’, ‘panties’, ‘penetration’, ‘rape, ‘slut’ and ‘sperm’ for the first time on screen!

4. Philadelphia (1993)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cl4B9AU45P4

philadelphia-posterTom HanksDenzel WashingtonRoberta Maxwell all together in this superb drama.

A lawyer takes the case of a man who press charges on his employee on the ground that he was fired just because he had AIDS.

Directed by Jonathan Demme, this is one remarkable film based on a true incident.

3. …And Justice for All. (1979)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sQzYNoLANrg

And-Justice-All-poster‘You’re out of order! The whole trial is out of order! They’re out of order!’

One of Al Pacino‘s classics, a film that is intense and indeed makes you doubt the true meaning of justice.

A lawyer is forced to defend a judge who seems to be guilty.

Directed by Norman Jewison, one of the best court drama ever made. 

2. The Lincoln Lawyer (2011)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IFwE3UgCMIk

Lincoln-Lawyer-posterA wealthy client, a talented defense lawyer with a conscience and then there is a full proof plan to beat the system!

Matthew McConaughey at his best as usual along with Marisa Tomei and Ryan Phillippe.

Directed by Brad Furman this one is one of the best court dramas of recent times.

  1. A Few Good Men (1992)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ePo91pMcu94

few-good-men-posterDirected by master director Rob Reiner, this film has one thrilling court drama.

A Navy lawyer determined to defend two Marines who have been accused of murdering a colleague. But things doesn’t look as simple as they are.

Great performances by Tom CruiseJack NicholsonDemi MooreKevin Bacon – you can’t miss this one.

and (The ‘+1′ film is not necessarily the best but certainly the most unique one. A must watch).

+1. OMG: Oh My God! (2012)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8nUwpoTrWFk

OMG-Oh-My-God-PosterAn earthquake destroys an atheist shopkeeper’s shop and so he takes God to the courtroom.

Directed by Umesh Shukla, a film that is so innovative and probably the only film that so aptly deals with commercialization of religion in our current social scenario.

Akshay KumarParesh Rawal and Mithun Chakraborty – couldn’t have been better on the performance basis. 

Poster courtesy: www.impawards.comhttp://www.koimoi.com and www.bollywoodmdb.com.

Best Hollywood Classic Romantic Films (10+1list)

Best Hollywood Classic Romantic Films

written by Souranath Banerjee

Best Hollywood Classic Romantic Films: Love is in the air! When the blissful heart thumps too loud, the glowing smile doesn’t leave your face and your thoughts are always connected to someone special, don’t you dare deny it – you ARE in Love.

And if not, by the time you have finished watching all these films, i am sure you will be!

Well, here are some of the best Hollywood classic romantic films that are considered as the best love-stories ever told.

Let’s shower some love.

10. Gone with the Wind (1939)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0dTsfsr6-X8

gone-with-the-wind-poster

Nearly four hours long but it’s totally worth it because of Clark Gable and Vivien Leigh and their brilliant on screen chemistry.

Directed by Victor Fleming (and also George Cukor uncredited), this was the first color film to win the Best Picture Oscar.

Considered to be one of fifteen films that changed American cinema (for the good).

9. Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=urQVzgEO_w8

breakfast-at-tiffanys-posterFashion icon and superstar Audrey Hepburn was the highest paid actress at the time, her salary for the film was a whooping $750,000!

George Peppard and her chemistry was remarkable in the film, supported by eternally beautiful songs like the ‘Moon River’.

Based on Truman Capote‘s novel and directed by Blake Edwards, a love story to remember.

8. Singin’ in the Rain (1952)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KOiIGUg6yLI

singin-in-the-rain-posterGene KellyDonald O’ConnorDebbie Reynolds in one the most famous romantic musical ever!

Directed by Stanley Donen and Gene Kelly, interestingly the script of the film was written after the songs, and so the writers had to generate a plot into which the songs would fit.

In 2007, the American Film Institute ranked this as the #5 Greatest Movie of All Time.

7. It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ewe4lg8zTYA

its-wonderful-life-posterDirector/writer Frank Capra at his best, a film that has the most uncommon script and yet so emotional and romantic.

James Stewart at his career best performance and Donna Reed is amazing as well. 

It was nominated for five academy awards and won none. But that doesn’t make the film any less classic value than it deserves. 

Other romantic films by the same director It Happened One Night (1934) and Mr. Deeds Goes to Town (1936).

6. An American in Paris (1951)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o2WAMZRCbpU

american-in-paris-posterThis is one such film that makes you nostalgic and long for everything that was once so pure and classic.

Along with Leslie Caron and Oscar Levant, it’s so musical, so romantic and so Gene Kelly

Directed by Vincente Minnelli, there is a 17-minute dance sequence at the end of the film that took a month to shoot. It cost half a million dollars!

Other romantic films by the same director Gigi (1958) and The Bad and the Beautiful (1952).

5. Casablanca (1942)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BkL9l7qovsE

casablanca-poster1With songs as melodious as ‘As Time Goes By’, with hunky Humphrey Bogart and the ever beautiful Ingrid Bergman – a love story that can’t go wrong. 

Directed by Michael Curtiz, the film has many unique qualities – the ‘The Battle of the Anthems’ scene, the last airport sequence and of course the chemistry between Rick and Ilsa!  

My personal favorite in the list.

Other romantic films by the same director The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938) and White Christmas (1954). 

4. Roman Holiday (1953)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9GzCG6lpFUw

roman-holiday-posterGregory Peck with Audrey Hepburn in one of the most famous love story ever shot.

The film not only made Audrey Hepburn world famous but also rocketed the sale of Vespa scooter!  

Directed by brilliant William Wylerwho still holds the record of more people nominated to the Oscar sweepstakes for his films than any other director.

Other romantic films by the same director The Best Years of Our Lives (1946) and Funny Girl (1968).

3. An Affair to Remember (1957)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KFWwFfRvClM

affair-to-remember-posterCary Grant and Deborah Kerr after falling for each other agrees to meet in six months at the Empire State Building. 

Well, lovers proposes and God disposes!

Great script, awesome acting and an emotional ending, director Leo McCarey‘s An Affair to Remember” is a film exclusively for the hard core romantics.  

2.  The Shop Around the Corner (1940)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xr3nsHRKZJA

The-Shop-Around-the-Corner-PosterMargaret Sullavan and James Stewart hate each other but then of course without realizing that they are falling in love after all.  

Directed by Ernst Lubitsch, this one is a very next-door-kind-of love story, of two very common people with whom the audience can very easily relate to.

Sweet and romantic, with great script and brilliant acting all around.

Other romantic films by the same director Trouble in Paradise (1932) and Ninotchka (1939).

  1. My Fair Lady (1964)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-mYPZ2C4sOE

my-fair-lady-poster

A movie that was advertised as ‘the most eagerly anticipated production since Gone with the Wind‘.

The film was based on the unique drama Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw.

Directed by George Cukor, and starring Audrey Hepburn and Rex Harrison – one of the biggest grossing films of the time.

Other romantic films by the same director The Philadelphia Story (1940) and Adam’s Rib (1949).

and now, (The ‘+1′ film is not necessarily the best but certainly the most innovative one. A must watch).

+1. Some Like It Hot (1959)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rI_lUHOCcbc

some-like-it-hot-posterSuper hot Marilyn Monroe along with Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon, all together in this one; more of comedy than romance but again one of the all time favorite cinema.

Directed by Billy Wilder, in 2007, the American Film Institute ranked it #22 Greatest Movie of All Time. 

And it was also Voted #1 on the American Film Institute’s list of 100 Funniest Movies.

Other romantic films by the same director A Foreign Affair (1948) and The Apartment (1960).

Similar Interest: Best Classic Silent Films – the power of visuals

Similar Interest: Best Classic Short films ever made

Similar Interest: Best Classic Christmas Films of all time

Similar Interest: Best Bollywood Classics

Similar Interest: Best of Film Noir

Poster courtesy: www.impawards.comhttps://en.wikipedia.org

My Favorites Of Alfred Hitchcock !! (10 + 1)

Best of Alfred Hitchcock.

written by Souranath Banerjee.

Hitchcock is the only director whose two films ‘Rebecca’ and ‘Foreign Correspondent’ were both nominated in the same year (1940) for the Oscars ‘Best Film’ category  – and of course ‘Rebecca’ won the award!

He himself at the 1967 Oscars delivered the shortest speech in the oscar history – he only said ‘Thank you’!

Directed more than 50 feature films, he is renowned as the ‘The Master of Suspense’.

Personally i am a huge fan and yes this time i have managed to list my favorites of Alfred Hitchcock films. If you enjoy murder-mystrey and thrillers – well, just stick to this list.

10. North by North West (1959)

north by northwest_poster

The ‘baap’ of all thrillers; speed, pace, tension gets a new meaning – a Hitchcock classic in every sense.

Cary Grant playing an advertising man is mistakenly kidnapped and framed for murder which he didn’t commit.

Before watching this film people had no clue that the crop-dusters in the lonely highways can be so effectively dangerous .

9. Strangers on a train (1951)

strangers on a train posterTwo complete strangers meet on a train and they soon cook up an unique idea to help each other by offering to – murder.

Crazy as it sounds the film is a stunner – brilliant performances, superb camera and the famous uneasy suspense for which Hitchcock is so renowned of.

Probably the most sinister plot ever filmed and made into such a successful thriller. Do watch the original classic version.

 

8. The Birds (1963)
The birds posterWhat happens if one fine morning the birds plan an attack on us?

They fly in flocks and strike viciously with the sole intent to kill the vulnerable humans.

A nightmare that Hitchcock managed to capture successfully and make a spine chilling film out of it. Scary is a too little word to define the experience of watching this classic.

 

7. The Lady Vanishes (1938)

the lady vanishes posterOne of Hitchcock’s best early works – a perfect mystery blended with a touch of romance in it.

An ordinary train journey where an old lady simply vanishes from her seat. The girl who happens to notice this strange disappearance finds it difficult to convince others – it seems  like she is the only one who misses the old woman. Mystery lovers – don’t miss it.

 

6. Psycho (1960)

pyscho poster The film Hitchcock is best known for – an ultimate psychotic story of a lonely man and his commanding mother.

Murder gets a new definition when you enter the insane world of Norman Bates – the frail looking guy who runs a roadside motel and  stuffs birds for a hobby.

If you haven’t seen this film yet – what can i say – go watch it man.

5. Rear Window (1954)

rear window posterVoyeurism at it’s best – a leg broken James Stewart plays the peeping tom watching his neighbors through his rear window.

An innocent habit which comes with it’s own side effects.

Pretty soon he watches something that he shouldn’t have and gets involved in a murder mystery which ends in a tense dramatic way that only Hitchcock can give justice to.

4. Vertigo (1958)

vertigo posterJames Stewart  joined by the mysterious Kim Novak gives (probably) his best performance in this mind boggling drama -according to me the most beautifully shot Hitchcock film ever.

Vertigo as the name suggests is the fear of heights and such a phobia can dangerously handicap a person from saving another’s life. Hmmm ….

A film with a perfect twist in the tail.

3. Rebecca (1940)

rebecca poster The only Hitchcock film that won an oscar – a true deserving master piece indeed.

The black and white elegance of the film comes out brilliantly through the awesome performances of Joan Fontaine and Judith Anderson.

Splendid story telling and the haunting scores by Franz Waxman make it all the more a chilling experience.  

2. Notorious (1946)

notorious poster Suspense and tension levels shoot up as Carry Grant and Ingrid Bergman teams up in a dangerous spy game in this Hitchcock flick.

Heart racing tense sequences masterfully constructed with the sole intension to playfully torture the audience.

Many spy films are made but this one  deserves the recognition it gets. Something special.

1. Lifeboat (1944)

lifeboat posterOne of the most underrated Hitchcock films ever – the whole film is masterfully shot inside a lifeboat (probably the smallest location ever used).

Survivors from a ship wreck (torpedoed) clusters in a lifeboat and it is the story of their survival.

A unique tale of human behavior, conflicting characters and their relations in the time of crisis.

and (The ‘+1′ film is not necessarily the best but certainly the most crazy one. A must watch).

+1. Rope (1948)

Rope-poster Imagine the trill of a perfect murder!

The body is kept inside a table and food is kept on top of it – and served to the victims parents and fiance.

A party where the only missing person is dead. Entirely filmed in-studio this one is shot in total ten long takes!

Hitchcock’s first color film and of course a must watch.