“The significance of the trial is that is showed, I think, for the first time how ingenious defendants can use a courtroom to get their point across and not to be afraid of authority. ” – William Kunstler
Number of Times Seen – 1 (18 Oct 2020)
Brief Synopsis – Eight protesters are put on trial after the Democratic National Convention in Chicago in 1968.
My Take on it – This is a film that I recall hearing about on HBO when it originally aired in the 80’s.
I didn’t know much about politics as a kid and had no real interest in watching it despite somehow still recalling that there was a film 32 years later after watching The Trial of the Chicago 7 (2020).
They do a great job re-enacting this powerful trial that became so famous.
The choice to film this as a teleplay and docudrama at the same time works really well especially given the fact that all of the people involved were still alive when this was made.
We get to hear their thoughts and opinions on things while watching the actors who portray them act it all out.
The cast is spectacular with Peter Boyle, Robert Carradine and Elliott Gould all doing great jobs but Robert Loggia shines here as the defense attorney William Kunstler.
The film uses the real transcript of the trial which is so shocking to listen to because of the absurd comments made by so many of the key figures while in court.
It’s quite easy to see that this trial was driven completely by the politics of the day.
Bottom Line – Such a powerful re-enactment of the famous trail from the 1960’s. The story is filmed as a teleplay docudrama which works really well. They allow us to see and hear the thoughts of the real people involved in the trial while also seeing how things play out through actors. Boyle, Gould and Carradine are all great here, but the actor who stands out the most here is Loggia as their lawyer. The fact that this film uses the actual transcript of the trial is mind blowing because we really get to see how crazy that trial got because it clearly was a political stunt. Recommended!
MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – A few of the original Chicago 8 have passed away since its original airing, but all were alive and present for the production of this drama. Interviews are shown with the actual participants of the trial, and a photo session is shown, in which the actors portraying the participants are photographed with their real-life counterparts. (From IMDB)
Rating – Globe Worthy (8/10)
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