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American Tragedy (2000)

PG-13 | | Crime, Drama | TV Movie 12 November 2000
Johnnie Cochran defends O.J. Simpson who is on trial for his wife's murder.

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(book), (book) | 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

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Robert LuPone ...
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Storyline

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) »

Taglines:

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

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

12 November 2000 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Amerykanska tragedia  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Ron Silver - who plays Robert Shapiro in this project - previously played another member of O.J.'s defense team. Silver played Alan Dershowitz in Reversal of Fortune (1990), a movie that doesn't involve O.J. See more »

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User Reviews

 
Barbarians at the GATE? The vultures have landed, man!
22 November 2006 | by (Zurich, Switzerland) – See all my reviews

Despite of the sad and tragic subject matter, this movie is actually an enjoyable experience as it often focuses on the absurd elements of this true story. It is about Court Life and much less about the notorious O. J. Simpson case. It resembles more Larry Gelbard's brilliant TV movie script about corporate greed than classical court room dramas like To Kill a Mockingbird.

What is the American Tragedy? What does this (certainly not very objective) movie showcase? After watching it I have to conclude that the tragedy is the court system that seems unable to cope with high class lawyers and the media hype. The results are, as this movie shows, truly devastating. You have a police force that is distrusted and ridiculed as a whole, you have forensic experts who will probably never again touch a sample without consulting a lawyer first and - worst of all - you have judges „presiding" over proceedings who come through as impotent bystanders. And in the end you have jurors who decide on impulse, on a gut feeling, about guilt and innocence. This renders the whole judicial system useless.

It would be easiest to blame it all on those rich, slick lawyers. As highly paid court jesters and authors of books about this case they virtually feed on dead bodies. I think one of the strong points of this movie consists in showing clearly that the defense team - despite all the highlighted human failings there may be - acted within the boundaries conceded by the system and that the blame has to be put on that system. If you have large parts of the population which do not trust the police as an institution, then something must have been wrong for a long time.

The acting is great all around, I particularly liked the relationship between Johnnie Cochran and his sidekick Carl (those two actors should team up for other projects). The most memorable scenes are the jury selection process in which members of the jury are pushed around like pawns on a chess board and Johnnie Cochran's speech after the prosecution asked for a ban on the „n word" in the court room. It is a marvelous example of Orwellian doublespeak if anything. In the end he apologizes to the whole nation ... for what? Hey, who cares, all that counts is that an apology has become necessary.


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