Best Criminal Trial Movie

witnewWhen the subject of best criminal trial movies is discussed many people select To Kill a Mockingbird. I love that movie but as fire as movies about a criminal trial give me Witness For the Prosecution which was originally released in 1957. The film starts Charles Laughton and Marlene Dietrich and is based  an Agatha Christie book.

The movie is highly entertaining but I have also used it as a teaching tool when giving talks on cross examination. It is always helpful to use examples when teaching trial techniques and I have found one of the most interesting ways to do that is through movie clips from trial movies.

Witness for the Prosecution is about a murder trial in England and in one of the most dramatic scenes the criminal defense attorney, played by Laughton,  must destroy the government’s start witness Marlene Dietrich. Laughton does so by forcing the witness to one small lie after another. The goal being to prove the witness who will lie about a small fact will also lie about a large one. The scene  also demonstrates that a witness loses all credibility with  jury when caught even in small lies.

Rent witness for the Prosecution you will enjoy the story but you can also pick up a few trial tips along the way.

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