American Tragedy (2000)

TV Movie  |  PG-13  |   |  Crime, Drama  |  12 November 2000 (USA)
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Ratings: 5.5/10 from 186 users  
Reviews: 8 user | 1 critic

Johnnie Cochran defends O.J. Simpson who is on trial for his wife's murder.



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Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Darryl Alan Reed ...
Robert LuPone ...
Diana LaMar ...
Sandra Thigpen ...
Cordelia Richards ...


Based on the book of the real-life O.J. Simpson criminal trial based on Simpson's lawyers point of view of the long trial. In June 1994, former pro football player-turned-entertainer O.J. Simpson is charged with the murder of his ex-wife Nicole and a friend, named Ron Goldman. When Simpson doubts his lawyer Robert Shapiro's ability to try the case because of Shapiro's doubts of Simpson's innocence, Simpson hires civil rights lawyer Johnny Cochran along with an assortment of lawyers including vetran criminal lawyer F. Lee Bailey, DNA lawyer Alan Dershowitz, and lawyer Gerry Uelman to defend him in which each lawyer argues with the court, and each other, over the case and their ability to try the high-profile case in and out of the courtroom. Written by Anonymous

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Plot Keywords:

lawyer | trial | courtroom | race | argument | See All (7) »


You know how it ends...but you can't believe what happened behind the scenes. See more »


Crime | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for language and some violent images | See all certifications »




Release Date:

12 November 2000 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Amerykanska tragedia  »

Filming Locations:

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

No big deal
21 November 2000 | by (la) – See all my reviews

This is one of those films that most people can really judge fairly because it's about an event that was so closely watched by the general public. Directed by Lawrence Schiller from his very below average book, American Tragedy is a "behind the scenes" look at the "dream team" that helped OJ get acquitted. Most if covers the bickering between the lawyers, as egos clash and OJ responds to every piece of evidence with "I didn't do it...I did not do it." The film is basically about the group of lawyers trying to come up with every possible excuse for why OJ didn't commit the murders. They cover everything from police tampering to police incompetence to set-ups and timelines and everything but aliens.

It's surprising though, that Schiller didn't have the film cast better, being that he was at the trial everyday and saw everything first hand. Ving Rhames, who is one of the great actors today, was miscast as Cochran. His voice is too deep and he doesn't carry the same kind of charisma the Cochran manages to pull off. Ron Silver is too good looking to play Robert Shapiro and his voice isn't low enough. I never bought him as Shapiro, although I thought his portrayal of him as a blithering baby was good. Carl Douglas, Marcia Clark and Chris Darden are all miscast here. But...Bruno Kirby is great as Barry Scheck, the guy doing the voice of OJ is good (although that same loud inflection gets tiring after a while), Ito is really well cast and the best of all casting goes to the great Christopher Plummer, who is unbelievably great as F. Lee Bailey. You really feel like you're watching F. Lee just as you felt you were watching Mike Wallace in The Insider, another great performance by Plummer. If there is an award anywhere in this film, it would be to this amazing performance. I really wonder what the real F. Lee thought of this performance.

Surprisingly, Schiller's direction isn't bad, and his intercutting actual video from the event with the scripted film, is well done. A lot of the book was actually left out, but as far as being anything that OJ would be embarrassed about, well, I believe everything that was "exposed" in this film was pretty much public knowledge anyway. Hopefully someone will do a film based on the prosecution's side, although I doubt it being that there were no colorful Cochranesque characters. Not a great, but an interesting film.

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