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Film and the Law is concerned with the phenomena of films about law, lawyers and justice. These have a long and distinguished history ranging from the classic Young Mr Lincoln in 1939 to the contemporary Erin Brockovich. The book examines the major theoretical perspectives within which 20th century work on law and film has appeared and analyses the problem of how law films can be classified. It provides a critical review of the work produced to date before proceeding to analyse the general features and ideology of law films.
Apart from reviewing the way law and lawyers are portrayed in film generally, the book covers areas such as the use of true stories as the basis for film, the limited portrayals of judges and juries and the role of what we have termed invisible lawyers. In addition, the influence of film noir and particularly private eyes is examined along with an analysis of the Film and the Law concludes by examining future developments for film and the law and how its future terrain might be mapped.