Oscars love legal eagles: Gregory Peck, Lionel Barrymore, …

Oscars love legal eagles: Gregory Peck, Lionel Barrymore, …
The verdict is in. If you want to have success in awards’ season go to court. Over the decades, a caseload of legal movies have been judged to be Oscar worthy. And for good reason. The genre is rich with emotions, betrayals, manipulations, love, hate, violence and redemption. Who doesn’t remember Humphrey Bogart’s brilliant Oscar-nominated turn as Captain Queeg slowly losing his mind on the stand as he recounts his obsession with missing strawberries in 1954’s “The Caine Mutiny”?

A Free Soul” (1931)

Lionel Barrymore won his only Academy Award for for his delicious over-the-top turn as a wily alcoholic attorney who gets a ruthless gangster (Clark Gable) off for murder in this juicy pre-code melodrama. Though his free-spirited daughter (Norma Shearer), who wears the slinkiest of gowns, has a boyfriend (a staid Leslie Howard), she soon realizes she loves bad boys and leaves Howard for Gable. It’s a big mistake.
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