[This is the first of two posts on film & pedagogy. The second is on global and non-US legal history.]
What films (and film clips) do you use when teaching legal history? This summer, we asked many of you this question (H/t: Law & History CRN). We received an avalanche of responses. Here they are, hopefully just in time for your fall syllabus needs. (Most responders describe films and video clips shown in class, but some assign videos to be watched in advance.)
For teaching US legal history:
- Winston Bowman: I frequently use two clips: (1) the scene from Dirty Harry in which a prosecutor tells Clint Eastwood's character that a serial killer will be set loose because he failed to follow proper procedures. Rather oddly, the scene includes a judge and professor from Berkeley who scolds him for failing to obtain a warrant. (2) a surprisingly affecting cartoon from Orson Welles' adaptation of Kafka's The Trial. The cartoon is an interpretation of "Before the Law," a parable about the tantalizing and confounding promise of access to justice that is included in the novel and was also published as a short story.
- Al Brophy: I brought my legal history seminar students (it was a seminar on slavery and property) to 12 Years a Slave back when it was a first run movie.
- Orna Alyagon Darr: I use Gideon's Trumpet that tells the story of Gideon v. Wainwright when I teach the history of the right to counsel & the public defenders system.
More after the jump.