In 1959, Truman Capote learns of the murder of a Kansas family and decides to write a book about the case. While researching for his novel In Cold Blood, Capote forms a relationship with one of the killers, Perry Smith, who is on death row.
Philip Seymour Hoffman,
Clifton Collins Jr.,
The Law (1974) was an excellent TV movie about a high-profile case that was similar to that of Charles Manson. Judd Hirsch was outstanding as the lead character, Public Defender Murray Stone, and he deserved far more recognition than he ever received for the role. He represented one of the defendants in the case through the maze of the Los Angeles criminal justice system. He was very dedicated to his client, which sometimes is not so among overworked public defenders. John Hillerman was also memorable as the District Attorney when speaking cynically, almost to himself, about a staff member. Following the movie, there were three additional episodes of The Law that were also very good. They may have been an "extended pilot," so to speak, of a TV series that never materialized. I found a particular character in the movie, Jules Benson, to be interesting. He appeared only briefly and was strongly reminiscent of the the late Melvin Belli, famed San Francisco trial attorney, since his demeanor and publicity orientation were remarkably similar to Belli. (Perhaps, intentionally so.) As a lawyer myself, "The Law" offered no illusions about the criminal justice system and many of the people in it, including an abruptly seen judge nicknamed "The Dragon Lady," who had a gun under her judicial robe! It is one of the best movies I have seen on the subject.
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