Courtroom Movies for the Holidays

As winter sets in, the holiday season has truly begun. Many of us are looking forward to seeing our loved ones, some of us for the first time in a long time. Besides feasts and fireside chats, a lot of families have a tradition of gathering together and watching a holiday classic. Through the years, there have been countless favorites. From the timeless, like Frosty the Snowman to the hotly debated, like Die Hard; every family has their own special pick.

In the spirit of celebration and relaxation, let’s look at some great holiday films that feature lawyers and courtroom scenes. When you are all sitting comfortably and enjoying each other’s company, try out some of these classics, both old and new.

Remember the Night

This movie has lost its popularity over time, but it remains a classic film to critics and fans alike. Starring heavy hitters Fred McMurray and Barbara Stanwyck share an excellent cinematic adventure that begins on Christmas Eve. McMurray plays an attorney who sees down-on-her luck Stanwyck, a busted shoplifter, as she goes to trial. He feels guilty she is facing a Christmas behind bars and decides to take her home for the holiday. From there, a lot of comic entanglements and romantic encounters ensue.

Miracle on 34th Street

This classic gem, from the 1940s, is highly regarded as a treasured American holiday film. It features the talents of Edmund Gwen, Maureen O’Hara, and a young and brightly engaging Natalie Wood as the young star of the film, Susan Walker.

In the movie, Susan observes the busy comings and going of Macy’s during the holiday season. Her mother, Doris, is the planner of the festivities surrounding the department store’s celebrations. After a happenstance occurrence at a parade, Doris hires Kris, played by Gwen, as the famous Macy’s Santa Claus.

He makes waves at first, with his non-traditional approaches to sales and his focus on honesty and magic. He becomes widely popular with the children and customers who frequent the bustling store. But he does attract some enemies, motivated by misunderstanding and jealousy, who set their sights on him.

The movie culminates in a legendary courtroom scene, where Kris is tasked to defend his sanity after claiming to be the real Santa Claus of legend.

Additionally, there was a great remake released in the 90s. It features Mara Wilson, of Matilda fame, and it is definitely worth checking out.

The Santa Clause

This 90’s comedy is a fantastic ride from beginning to end, perfect for family members of all ages. It stars Tim Allen, who plays a toy salesman on the adventure of a lifetime with his young son. Allen’s physical humor and chemistry with his younger castmate make the film a real delight.

While there are no courtroom scenes in the film, the whole premise is based on a legal technicality, known as The Santa Clause, hence, the name of the film. As Allen’s character was a witness to the death of the real Santa Clause, he becomes “legally” responsible to fill the role of the mythological gift-giver.

There are many more great legal films out there as well, made for any season. Check out The Firm, The Devil’s Advocate, and Mr. Smith goes to Washington for starters.

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