This article examines the representations of law and legal actors offered within two classic American films:
To Kill a Mockingbirdand Judgment at Nuremberg. It has previously been argued that these films belong to a ‘heroic tradition’ within American cinema; one that idealises both men of law and man-made law and that had its golden age from the mid-1950s through to the end of the 1960s. It is argued here that these films offer a more complex and far less certain portrayal of the law and legal actors. This is examined first by considering the context in which these films were made, and second, the depictions of law and legal actors that they offer.