As part of its 40th anniversary celebrations, The College of Law asked practitioners around Australia to vote for their favourite legal films of the last 40 years.
And the winner was ... the Australian classic The Castle, which received a resounding 69 per cent of the votes.
The gong is the 1997 flick’s third, having also won the AFI award for best original screenplay and the Australian Box Office Award for Australian Movie of the Year.
Not far behind was Erin Brockovich (2000 – 63%) and A Few Good Men (1992 – 61%).
The other legal flicks that made the top 10 were: Legally Blonde (2001 – 44%), The Firm (1993 – 44%), Philadelphia (1993 – 42%), The Lincoln Lawyer (2011 – 37%), Double Jeopardy (1999 – 31%), The Pelican Brief (1993 – 31%).
In 10th place was Liar, Liar (31%), proving perhaps that when idealistic lawyers are not involved in titanic courtroom dramas to save the innocent and despairing from the forces for darkness and destruction, they don’t mind having the, um, mickey taken out of them.
Outside of the timeframe (1974 – 2014) covered by the survey, other popular choices included To Kill a Mockingbird and – of course – 12 Angry Men. Folklaw was pleased to see a couple of personal favourites get a Guernsey: Breaker Morant (1980), In the Name of the Father (1993), and The Hurricane (1999).
However, one of Folklaw’s all-time favourites didn’t get a mention. A Passage to India (1984), which is based on the E. M. Forster’s 1922 novel, has plenty of thrilling courtroom scenes set in British India.
Maybe next anniversary...