8 user 1 critic

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.


Lawrence Schiller


Lawrence Schiller (book), James Willwerth (book) | 1 more credit »

On Disc

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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:
Ving Rhames ... Johnnie Cochran
Ron Silver ... Robert Shapiro
Bruno Kirby ... Barry Scheck
Darryl Alan Reed ... Carl Douglas
Nicholas Pryor ... Gerry Uelman
Robert LuPone ... Robert Kardashian
Ruben Santiago-Hudson ... Christopher Darden
Diana LaMar Diana LaMar ... Marcia Clark
Sandra Prosper ... Shawn Chapman
Clyde Kusatsu ... Judge Lance Ito
Christopher Plummer ... F. Lee Bailey
Richard Cox ... Alan Dershowitz
Sandra Thigpen ... Jeanette Harris
Cordelia Richards Cordelia Richards ... Jo-Ellan Dimitrius
Francis Guinan ... Bill Hodgman


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

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

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


The trial of the century. The Dream Team. The behind-the-scenes story O.J. Simpson doesn't want you to see. 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) See more »

Also Known As:

Amerykanska tragedia See more »

Filming Locations:

Los Angeles, California, USA

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


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 »

Alternate Versions

There is a 100 min TV Movie version. The first 20 minutes of this version is a collection of very short scenes cut from the longer first half of the movie. See more »


Version of The O.J. Simpson Story (1995) See more »

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User Reviews

¤¤¤ Five Stars !! ¤¤¤ Plus !! ¤¤¤

Norman Mailer's brilliant teleplay deserves to stand alongside the finest work that he has ever done. Adapted from Lawrence (`Perfect Murder, Perfect Town') Schiller's book in collaboration with newcomer James Willwerth, it almost dispels the stigmas that the media conviction imposed on the OJ trial from the beginning.

There are some disappointments from the cast - possibly because expectations were so high based on Ving Rhames' dazzling embodiment of Don King, and the backgrounds of some other stellar personages present here.

Most deficient is Bruno Kirby as Barry Scheck; wrong for the part physically and inflectionally.

But Ron Silver is as on target as Robert Shapiro as he was as Dershowitz in `Reversal of Fortune.' You can't say more than that, can you? Mailer explores at great length the facets of Shapiro's courage and genius contributing to the defense, and only fleetingly touches upon the jerk he became later on. Christopher Plummer does not look like F. Lee Bailey, and the characterization never attains the stature of its depictee. Bailey was and is one of the towering figures of the 20th century, the Disraeli and Dreyfuss and Clarence Darrow of modern times.

The two female leads are magnificent. The gifted and beautiful Sandra Prosper is Shawn Chapman, a fledgling figure inside the team - a dips**t girl spouting caucasiphobic cliches who grows into an insightful woman adept at absorbing and reflecting and expanding upon the greatness that surrounds her. And Diana LaMar is 100% at recreating the imperious and acerbic Marcia Clark.

Rhames' delivery of Cochran's soaring summation equals the oration of Chaplin at the end of `Great Dictator.'

The verdict of `Not Guilty!' - an anthem that rings out across the world declaring to the power-driven starched and cleanshaven deranged sadists who believe that people should be herded into groups and burned: `Rightly or wrongly, you will not always have your way!'

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