Serious, hard-working student James T. Hart faces the rigors of his first year at Harvard Law School. The pressure to succeed is tremendous and some of the students form study groups while also spending a great many hours studying. Hart's greatest challenge is contract law and his professor, Charles W. Kingsfield Jr. Using the Socratic method, Kingsfield challenges his students with questions demanding accuracy and creativity in their responses and often humiliating those who are unable to respond. As the school year progresses, Hart faces many challenges but befriends Susan Fields - unaware that she has a connection that affects their relationship. Finally, Hart accommodates himself to whatever might come his way, accepting a new set of priorities in his life. Written by
This movie launched the acting career of John Houseman who went from virtually being a novice to a veteran actor from his one single appearance in this film which garnered him a Best Supporting Actor Academy Award. Houseman worked regularly as an actor for around fifteen years after this picture with a perception of him being an acting veteran (despite this being his only second cinema movie) especially when being teamed together with such great Old Hollywood timers Fred Astaire, Melvyn Douglas and Douglas Fairbanks Jr. in Ghost Story (1981). See more »
When Jim falls on the ice, his position relative to the end of the sidewalk changes. See more »
I saw this on an early VHS video transfer that was just awful. I then saw it years later on TCM in widescreen DVD format and was blown away by all I'd missed on that c****y video version. This is a first rate drama of a harried Harvard law student. Make sure you see this in widescreen so you can get the full effect of the wonderful scenes like the one where Hart and his buddy sneak into the upstairs library with the glass lighted floor to sneak a peek at Kingsfield's law student notes. I especially liked the way director James Bridges reflected the lighted floor off of Hart's glasses. A very nice touch from an underrated director. No car chases, no action sequences, no over the top plots, just a simple character driven story set in the beautiful Harvard law school. This is what great filmmaking is all about.
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