Docudrama | English | 104 minutes
Why Stream This Film?
After several years, the hand-written petition by indigent prisoner, Earl Gideon, claiming he was denied a Constitutional right at his trial, came before the United States Supreme Court. Abe Fortas, a prominent lawyer and future Supreme Court Justice argued for Gideon and won. Justice William O. Douglas praised Fortas as giving “probably the best arguments in his 36 years on the court.”
- Primetime Emmy Awards: Nominated, Outstanding Drama; Outstanding Actor (Henry Fonda); Outstanding Writer (David W. Rintels)
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Unlike docudramas that present a simplistic view of their subjects, GIDEON’S TRUMPET does not falsely make its protagonist into a likable hero. It is among Henry Fonda’s best late-career performances.
The law and its intricacies are not the most promising subjects for compelling drama. But journalist Anthony Lewis demonstrated that complex arguments and legal briefs could indeed be absorbing in his 1964 book GIDEON’S TRUMPET. An adaptation by David W. Rintels of that book makes the same point with remarkable success.
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