Wednesday, July 21, 2010

I, the Jury

TCM is showing a bunch of movies tonight that are set in the jury room. The classic 12 Angry Men kicks off the night at 8:00 PM ET, but I'm more interested in seeing the movie that follows, Perfect Strangers, at 10:00 PM. Ginger Rogers plays a divorcée who winds up on a jury in a murder trial, alongside (among others) Thelma Ritter and Dennis Morgan. The jury gets sequestered, and being forced to spend that much time alone together, some of the main characters begin to fall in love -- here, that's specifically Rogers and Morgan. Never mind the fact that this is a terribly overworked plot device; off the top of my head I can recall blogging about Barricade, and Father Goose, both of which feature people stranded together who fall in love. I would think that, in a jury room, this would be highly improper and would lead to a mistrial. (Then again, perhaps some jurors would want a mistrial.

I also wonder what the worst (as in most inaccurate) portrayal of the trial system is that we've ever gotten from Hollywood. Perfect Strangers sounds like a doozy, but I don't know if it will be as much of a mess as Half Angel. Although, the opposite sides of a case falling in love with each other, despite the fact that this violates every standard of impropriety, shows up even in good movies; Remember the Night springs to mind.

Perfect Strangers has made it to DVD as part of the TCM Archive Collection.

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