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"The Trial of the Chicago 7" & "What the Constitution Means to Me"--2 MUST SEE FILMS--review

Added: Sunday, October 18th 2020 at 1:58pm by greatmartin
Related Tags: movie reviews

1) "The Trial of the Chicago 7"--Netflix--Movie--2 hours and 9 minutes--Aaron Sorkin wrote and directed this important episode in American history approaching it with a documentary feel making a powerful, effective 'thriller'. A lot was going on in the late 1960s in the USA and many of us who have lived through the period see many of the same things happening now. We also have forgotten a lot about this trial that is about 7 men who were charged with inciting a riot on August 28, 1968, at the Democratic National Convention. I know it triggered many different thoughts for me as I watched it.

The acting is superb starting with Frank Langella as the vile judge and Michael Keaton in a short but very effective role as Ramsey Clark the Attorney General at the time of the riot. Each member of the 7 on trial, their defending lawyers plus their prosecuting attorneys all rise up to their moments demanding your attention on the screen.

Eddie Raymayne (Tom Hayden), Alex Sharp (Rennie Davis), Sacha Baron-Cohen (Abbie Hoffman), Jeremy Strong (Jerry Rubin), John Carroll Lynch (David Dellinger), Yahya Abdul-Mateen ll (Bobby Seale), Kelvin Harrison Jr. (Fred Hampton), Joseph Gordon-Levitt (Richard Schultz), Mark Rylance (William Kunstler) and the rest of the cast bring all the drama and humor each role calls for with, particularly, Rylance and Lynch standouts.

"The Trial of the Chicago 7" is a MUST SEE film for those who were around then and those who weren't. Be sure to watch the closing credits to the end. Aside from being an important part of American history, it works as a mystery thriller plus packs a wallop as a protest film.

2) "What the Constitution Means to Me"--Amazon Pride--taped version of play--1 hour and 40 minutes--took me about 15 minutes to get with the play but when I did I was in it all the way to the very last word. I thought it was going to be a standup comic doing her 'thing' but it is way more than that. You will laugh, cry and, I have no doubt, learn something!

Heidi Schreck wrote and stars in the Broadway success that was about to go on a national tour when the epidemic hit so instead it was filmed at one of her performances. With her writing and performance she 'opens' the play and it never seems to be confined to a stage.

At the age of 15 Schreck was earning college money by traveling across the country entering debates in American Legion halls which she recollects at the beginning. Before we know it she is digging into the constitution at several ages, from several different viewpoints, her life which will have you laughing, crying, holding your breath more than once and at the same time making you ask yourself, "How did I miss knowing that?"

Without giving any spoilers let me just say she does have 2 people on the stage with her including Mike Iveson who plays 2 roles, one being a legionnaire who makes sure that the rules are followed and the other being himself. The other person, Rosdely Ciprian, who makes the play not only unforgettable but as timely and real as today!

Every American seeing this will want to debate that the 'Constitution is a living document'--some pro, some con--while others will be faced with some realities that they aren't/weren't aware of what the Constitution of the United States has done or hasn't done---yet!

It is certainly a film that anyone from another country should see to, maybe, understand the problems the USA is having these 2+ weeks before Election Day and why it is so important.

User Comments

Hmm. So. My could-be manfriend [I prefer manfriend to "boyfriend" nowadays] Joseph Gordon-Levitt is in it. Is it ever not lovely to look at him?

Those Chicago 7. Abbie Hoffman too. I'm already overwhelmed. Ta.


Too young for me!!! :O)

Well you can't have Gerard Butler either.

Been there, done that!{#basic-cool.gif}

Oh, lovely. I put a beyond ginormous picture on Scarlett's site. Oops.

What was Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston's Fast Times at Ridgemont High  table read and who else appeared in it?

Oh, I'm a mess. What else is new? Put a ginormous picture on your site...

You would look that way too if you lived with Jolie so long--look at Billy Bob!!

He seems like a male to me. In other words, more beautiful than ought exist.

In 34 years when I'm 84 years old I'm going to terrorize-with-my-words everyone and everyone's upcoming great-great-great-great-great-great-great-grandchildren. Oath.

You mean not be as sweet and gentle and kind like me????

Sweet and gentle. What have those ever done for our kind. I think perpetual recriminations are in order.

Well you can be sweet and gentle and softly turn the knife in the back at the same time!!

It's exhausting though. Say, I looked at something you wrote on fangio's post. Interesting stuff. "Viet Nam"?

I mean, you being born in '36 and all that, I just figured...

I was in the Korean War and like most wars until Obama the gays were kicked out after they were no longer needed!

Whoa. Was that done to you? Kicked out for being non-heterosexual?

Yep--got an undesirable discharge and I exclaimed (really) "I have never been undesirable!"  Always leave them laughing!

If I want I can go through some red tape to egt it changed to a general discharge but I don't want to!

Tsk, tsk, tsk. It's just as well. A while ago I was considering how best to explain to, um, let's say, "Heterosexual Men of the World" that they will never be off the hook, not while I'm alive and breathing and have access to ways to write things into cyberspace...you understand me :-)

On a very serious note, though, Martikins, sometimes I feel bad about myself when I remind heterosexual men for the umptimillionth time how much they collectively harmed gays. I dunno, sometimes I wonder if I ought relent. But the RAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGE doesn't go away....

Sadly debates now are more - I think - and what you do is Communism. 

Sorry I don't know what you mean--in this you hear all sides and make up your own mind--I want to add something but I don't give 'spoilers' and if you saw/see it you will know what I am talking about.

I can change that. Simple too. By being a cunning shite about it. Randomly and wickedly accuse people of being murderous reactionaries.

Sorry different idioms maybe?

I mean to say there is no debate, there is no discussion.

People might start that way but it ends up with -

You're a commie! Name calling basically. 

What he said :)

Okay--I agree! That is one of the reasons I just stay away from the Right Wing

They smell of pee too. 

Thanks for this Martin.  I saw the Chicago 7 advertised on Netflix and coulnd't make up my mind, though I remember the riots it sparked.

To many it will seem like fiction--especially the judge--but in any case it is a good film!

Thanks for this, I will definitely check it out...{#basic-laugh.gif}

Let me know what you think about both films!

Oh, wanted to let you know that I watched What the Constitution Means to Me...very good and funny too.  The other one I don't think  is quite my thing.

I thought the last part was really effective!!

I didn't think 7 would be my kind of movie either but it is an excellent one with some fine acting.

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