What you will learn:

Hollywood loves lawyers. And Hollywood loves judges, jurors, surprise witnesses, smoking guns, and falsely accused heroes, as well. Perhaps one of the reasons courtroom dramas are so reliable is that they follow a time-honored protocol. Whether they’re plaintiffs or defendants, we’re on the side of a plucky underdog upstart who needs the help of a determined legal hand to fight injustice. Usually, it’s not just the characters being put on trial, either. It’s the establishment, the system, the country, the past, and the future. No wonder there are so many memorable courtroom dramas. Yale film professor Marc Lapadula will be discussing and analyzing a broad lineup of the best and most compelling movies released within the Legal Drama genre. Films examined will include:
  • Judgment At Nuremberg
  • Witness For The Prosecution
  • Inherit the Wind
  • 12 Angry Men
  • Anatomy of a Murder
  • To Kill A Mockingbird
  • The Accused
  • My Cousin Vinny
  • Philadelphia
  • Erin Brockovich
  • A Few Good Men

About the instructor:


Marc Lapadula, playwright and screenwriter, is an award-winning film producer and university lecturer. As a senior lecturer at Yale University in the Film Studies Program, he has taught screenwriting seminars since 1992.

His stage plays, including StripHer, Not by Name, Two Shakes, Men Like Us, Last Order, The Rains Change, Serial Killer, Water Hole, and In Uniform Thanksgiving, have been produced in New York (off-Broadway), England, Pennsylvania, Washington, D.C., Baltimore and Iowa. He produced Angel Passing, starring Hume Cronyn and Teresa Wright, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and won, among several other awards, the grand prize at WorldFest Houston. He also co-produced the film Mentor, starring Rutger Hauer (Blade Runner) that premiered at The Tribeca Film Festival.

In addition to Yale University, Marc taught screenwriting, playwriting and film analysis courses at Johns Hopkins and The University of Pennsylvania (where he created and ran both Universities’ screenwriting programs) as well as Columbia University's Graduate Film School. He has given many classic films lectures at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington DC as well as at other venues all around America as well as in Mexico, Canada and England. He has also been a consultant for film producers and studios, including New Line Films. He has been an expert script analyst in major Hollywood lawsuits.

Marc graduated cum laude with a BA in English from The University of Pennsylvania, studied Irish and English Drama at Oxford University, received his M.A. from Malcolm Bradbury’s Creative Writing Workshop at the University of East Anglia in Norwich, England, and earned an MFA in Theatre Arts/ Playwriting from the Iowa Playwrights’ Workshop.
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Suggested Length90 min
# of Employees5000
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