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MU Law Films Guide: Pa-Pel

Pacific Heights

Title:  Pacific Heights (1990)

Director:  John Schlesinger

Location:  MU Law RESERVE PN1997 .P2 1999

Format:  DVD

Rating:  R

Length:  103 minutes

Plot:  Psychological thriller about two homeowners battling a pathological tenant. Protected by complex eviction laws, this sadistic schemer soon has the couple fighting to save their home and then their lives.

Legal Angles: Criminal Law

Genre:  Mystery, Thriller

Cast:  Melanie Griffith, Matthew Modine, Michael Keaton

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The Paper Chase

Title:  The Paper Chase (1973)

Director:  James Bridges

Location:  MU Law RESERVE PN1997 .P365 2003

Format:  DVD

Rating:  PG

Length:  112 minutes

Plot:  A moving story of a first-year Harvard Law School student who comes to terms with his dreams in America's most competitive school. Hart finds he must survive much more than the pressures, all-night cramming and insecurities he expected. He becomes fearful of a brilliant professor, who terrorizes some, inspires others and who easily separates the men from the boys.

Legal Angles: Law School

Genre:  Comedy, Drama

Cast:  Timothy Bottoms, Lindsay Wagner, John Houseman, Edward Herrmann, James Naughton

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The Paperboy

Title:  The Paperboy (2012)

Director:  Lee Daniels

Location:  MU Law RESERVE  PN1997 .P3747 2013

Format:  DVD

Rating:  R

Length:  107 min.

Plot:  The Paperboy takes audiences deep into the backwaters of steamy 1960s South Florida, as investigative reporter Ward Jansen and his partner Yardley Acheman chase a sensational, career-making story. With the help of Ward's younger brother Jack and sultry death-row groupie Charlotte Bless, the pair tries to prove violent swamp-dweller Hillary Van Wetter was framed for the murder of a corrupt local sheriff.

Legal Angles: Criminal Law & Criminal Procedure


Genre:  Thriller

Cast:  Matthew McConaughey, Zac Efron, David Oyelowo, Macy Gray, John Cusack, Nealla Gordon, Scott Glenn and Nicole Kidman

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The Paradine Case

Title:  The Paradine Case (1947)

Director:  Alfred Hitchcock

Location:  MU Law RESERVE PN1997 .P373 2008

Format:  DVD

Rating:  NR

Length:  114 minutes

Plot:  Beautiful Anna Paradine is accused of poisoning her older wealthy husband. Her barrister, the happily married Anthony Keane takes the case but also lets his heart rule his head when he falls hard for his client.

Legal Angles: Criminal Law & Criminal Procedure, Family Law, Professional Ethics

Genre:  Crime, Drama, Romance

Cast:  Gregory Peck, Ann Todd, Charles Laughton, Charles Coburn, Ethel Barrymore

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Paradise Lost: The Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills

Title:  Paradise Lost: The Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills (1996)

Director:  Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky

Location:  MU Law RESERVE PN1997 .P37 2008

Format:  DVD

Rating:  NR

Length:  150 minutes

Plot:  Examines the brutal slayings of three eight-year-old boys in West Memphis, Arkansas, and the investigation, arrest and trial of the three teenagers whose only crime seems to have been that they dressed in black and listened to heavy metal music.

Legal Angles: Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure, Evidence, Juvenile Law, Wrongful Conviction

Genre:  Crime, Documentary, Mystery

Cast:  NA

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Paradise Lost 2: Revelations

Title:  Paradise 2:  Revelations (2000)

Director:  Joe Berlinger, Bruce Sinofsky

Location:  MU Law RESERVE  PN1997 .P37 2008a

Format:  DVD

Rating:  UR

Length:  130 min.

Plot:  Paradise Lost 2, updates the story told in Paradise Lost and delves into the shocking aftermath of the trials.

Legal Angles: Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure, Evidence, Juvenile Law, Wrongful Conviction

Genre:  Documentary

Cast:  Damien Wayne Echols, Melissa Byers, Norris Deajon

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Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory

Title:  Paradise Lost 3:  Purgatory (2011)

Director:  Joe Berlinger, Bruce Sinofsky

Location:  MU Law RESERVE  AV HV6533.A8 P37 2012

Format:  DVD

Rating:  NR

Length:  121 min.

Plot:  A further investigation into the arrest of three teenagers convicted of killing three young boys in Arkansas who spent nearly 20 years in prison before being released after new DNA evidence indicated they may be innocent. The final chapter in the documentary trilogy that, after 18 years, released three innocent men from prison and saved one of their lives.

Legal Angles:  Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure, Evidence, Juvenile Law, Wrongful Conviction

Genre:  Documentary

Cast:  Damien Echols, Jessie Misskelley, Charles Jason Baldwin

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Paris, Texas

Title:  Paris, Texas (1984)

Director:  Wim Wenders

Location:  MU Law RESERVE PN1997 .P375 1991

Format:  VHS

Rating:  R

Length:  145 minutes

Plot:  An amnesiac, long thought dead, slowly begins to remember his past. He must reassemble the pieces of his life like a detective solving a mystery.

Legal Angles: Criminal Law, Family Law

Genre:  Drama

Cast:  Harry Dean Stanton, Nastassja Kinski, Dean Stockwell, Aurore Clement, Hunter Carson

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Paris Trout

Title:  Paris Trout (1991)

Director:  Stephen Gyllenhaal

Location:  MU Law RESERVE PN1997 .P37 1991

Format:  VHS

Rating:  R

Length:  98 minutes

Plot:  A storekeeper (Paris Trout) in a quiet Southern town takes the law into his own hands and ends up murdering a 12-year-old black girl. His attorney is torn between duty to his arrogant, prejudiced client and his increasing attraction to Trout's abused wife.

Legal Angles: Criminal Law & Criminal Procedure, Family Law, Professional Ethics

Genre:  Drama

Cast:  Dennis Hopper, Barbara Hershey, Ed Harris

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Party Girl

Title:  Party Girl (1958)

Director:  Nicholas Ray

Location:  MU Law RESERVE PN1997 .P376 2009

Format:  DVD

Rating:  NR

Length:  99 minutes

Plot:  A mob lawyer has a professional crisis of conscience after he begins a romantic relationship with a naive showgirl.

Legal Angles: Professional Ethics

Genre:  Drama, Film-Noir

Cast:  Robert Taylor, Cyd Charisse, Lee J. Cobb, John Ireland

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A Passage to India

Title:  A Passage to India (1984)

Director:  David Lean

Location:  MU Law RESERVE PN1997 .P38 2008

Format:  DVD

Rating:  PG

Length:  163 minutes

Plot:  While on a trip in 1928 to visit her son, Mrs. Moore, accompanied by her son's fiancee, becomes appalled at the treatment of the Indians by the ruling British government. Later, they befriend a native Indian who, over-stepping the accepted norms of his culture, invites the two ladies on an excursion. In a strange turn of events, he is accused of attempting to rape the young girl.

Legal Angles: Criminal Law

Genre:  Adventure, Drama, History

Cast:  Peggy Ashcroft, Judy Davis, James Fox, Alec Guinness, Nigel Havers, Victor Banerjee

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Paths of Glory

Title:  Paths of Glory (1957)

Director:  Stanley Kubrick

Location:  MU Law RESERVE PN1997 .P37 1999

Format:  DVD

Rating:  NR

Length:  89 minutes

Plot:  During World War I on the French front, a regiment of soldiers are set up for suicide missions and are generally manipulated in ways that show no regard for their lives.

Legal Angles: Law of War

Genre:  Crime, Drama, War

Cast:  Kirk Douglas, Adolphe Menjou, Ralph Meeker, George Macready

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Patriot Games

Title:  Patriot Games (1992)

Director:  Phillip Noyce

Location:  MU Law RESERVE PN1997 .P387 2003

Format:  DVD

Rating:  R

Length:  116 minutes

Plot:  His days as an intelligence agent behind him, former CIA analyst Jack Ryan has traveled to London to vacation with his wife and daughter. Meeting them outside Buckingham Palace, Ryan is caught in the middle of a terrorist attack on a member of the Royal Family. But Ryan's courageous act marks him as a target in the sights of the terrorists.

Legal Angles: Criminal Law, Terrorism, Law of War

Genre:  Action, Crime, Drama

Cast:  Harrison Ford, Anne Archer, Patrick Bergen, Sean Bean, Thora Birch, James Fox, James Earl Jones, Richard Harris

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The Pelican Brief

Title:  The Pelican Brief (1993)

Director:  Alan J. Pakula

Location:  MU Law RESERVE PN1997 .P455 2009

Format:  DVD

Rating:  PG-13

Length:  141 minutes

Plot:  Two Supreme Court Justices have been murdered. A lone law student turns her suspicions about the deaths into a speculative brief that sends shock waves into the highest levels of government. She finds herself embroiled in a terrifying web of intrigue extending to the highest levels of government. She writes a speculative legal brief exposing the activities of a powerful oil magnate. With the help of Gray Grantham, an investigative reporter, they suspect a good friend of the president is trying to manipulate the outcome of a trial that is now before the Supreme Court.

Legal Angles: Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure, Politics

Genre:  Crime, Drama, Mystery

Cast:  Julie Roberts, Denzel Washington, Sam Shepard, John Heard

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