James R. Elkins


Introduction & Background on Law, Lawyers, and Film

Film, Law and the Delivery of Justice
Steve Greenfield & Guy Osborn, 6 (2) J. Crim. J. & Pop. Culture 35 (1999)

The Production of Law (and Cinema)
Amnon Riechman

Real World Lawyering & Lawyer Films

A Law Culture Diagnostic
James R. Elkins, Professor of Law, West Virginia University
(review of Richard K. Sherwin, When Law Goes Pop: The Vanishing
Line Between Law and Popular Culture
(University of Chicago Press, 2002)


Outstanding Films About the Law and Lawyers
Robert Bloom picks the best in cinema

Four Books :: Recommended For Students Reading Beyond the Course

James Riordan, Stone: The Controversies, Excesses, and Exploits of a Radical Filmmaker (New York: Hyperion, 1995) [Oliver Stone directed "Midnight Express," "Scarface," "Salvador," "Platoon," "Wall Street," "Talk Radio," "Born on the Fourth of July," "The Doors," "JFK," "Heaven and Earth," and "Natural Born Killers." Stone is an interesting man, made all the more so by Riordan's solid, and finely crafted biography.]

John Sayles, Thinking in Pictures: The Making of the Movie Matewan (New York: DeCapo Press, 2003) [Publishers Weekly: "A novelist, film writer and independent director explains how he conceived, wrote, casted, funded, directed, designed, shot and edited a movie about a coal miners' strike and massacre in West Virginia in the 1920s. Coinciding with the release of Matewan, Sayles's book provides the readerespecially the student and would-be filmmakerwith a step-by-step account of the thinking and planning that go into developing a story idea and transmuting it into a meaningful creation full of emotional impact. Coming from a writer of fiction, this book is not dryly technological but rather involving and exciting. It is enhanced by details of choice, pacing, and tension and by the inclusion of the full original film script."]

David Mamet, Bambi vs. Godzilla: On the Nature, Purpose, and Practice of the Movie Business (New York: Random House/Vintage Books, 2008) [David Mamet is a playwright, screenwriter, director, and author. The screen adaptation of Barry Reed's novel, The Verdict for film was by Mamet, as was the highly acclaimed "Glengarry Glen Ross," the play written by Mamet. He directed "House of Games" (1987), "Homicide" (1991), "Winslow Boy" (1999)(a film of significance to viewers of legal films) (Wikipedia), "State and Main" (2000)(screenplay by Mamet), "Heist" (2001)(written by Mament). Mamet is also the author of two books of poetry and three novels.] [David Mamet-Wikipedia]

David Mamet, 3 Uses of the Knife: On the Nature and Purpose of Drama (New York: Columbia University Press, 1998)

[For those who find David Mamet's writing of interest, as I do, you may also want to read: David Mamet, The Cabin: Reminiscence and Diversions (New York: Random House/Vintage Books, 1993) & David Mamet, Make-Believe Town: Essays and Remembrances (Boston: Little, Brown and Co., 1996)]