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Excellent courtroom movie about the young Thurgood Marshall is tense and witty
This enjoyable and inspiring movie is a worthy contribution to the courtroom movie genre. It memorializes the great Thurgood Marshall (who later won Brown v. Bd. of Education and sat on the Supreme Court). The film brings to life a forgotten rape case in Connecticut that Marshall tried early in his career when he was the solo staff lawyer at the NAACP. The story focuses on the plight of a black man accused of raping a white woman and it highlights issues of racism in the courtroom and on the streets. The movie recalls the classic fllms "To Kill a Mockingbird" (which also involved a black on white rape case) and "Anatomy of a Murder" (which also involved sexual issues and in which--like many real trials--we're never sure just what actually happened and who is telling the truth). The writing is sharp and witty and the acting and direction are great. Particularly strong is the emerging partnership and friendship of Marshall and the local lawyer, Sam Friedman, who had never tried a criminal case and thought he would just sit next to Marshall during the trial and and do nothing. But the judge forces Friedman to conduct the trial with Marshall serving as his adviser--and he rises to the occasion.
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