Reviews: “The Chicago 7 Trial Feels Very Real in 2020”

(L to R) Sacha Baron Cohen as Abbie Hoffman, Jeremy Strong as Jerry Rubin in THE TRIAL OF THE CHICAGO 7. (Credits: Niko Tavernise/ Netflix) 2020

The Chicago 7 trial feels very real in 2020

MOVIE REVIEW CNN | Daniel Greenberg | October 23, 2020

Yahya Abdul-Mateen II as Bobby Seale, Jeremy Strong as Jerry Rubin, Mark Rylance as William Kuntsler, Eddie Redmayne as Tom Hayden, and Alex Sharp as Rennie Davis.

When a movie begins by noting it is based on a true story, I instinctively wonder how Hollywood will exaggerate reality to ensure viewers are entertained. So, when a year ago papers reported that Aaron Sorkin was making a movie about the long-ago trial of the Chicago 7, I was intrigued.

In 1970, two friends and I, aided by dozens of others, immersed ourselves in the transcript of that trial. Days after it ended, our efforts culminated in “The Tales of Hoffman,” a bestseller whose title referred to both the judge and one of the most famous defendants, Abbie Hoffman, and which reduced around 22,000 pages of the words of the trial participants into a paperback.
Now, 50 years later… more

‘Trial of Chicago 7’ review: Aaron Sorkin takes Daley’s ’68 nightmare to court

MOVIE REVIEW Chicago Tribune | Michael Phillips | September 24, 2020

Sacha Baron Cohen, Danny Flaherty, Eddie Redmayne, Jeremy Strong and Mark Rylance in “The Trial of the Chicago 7”. (Niko Tavernise/Netflix)

Brilliantly cast, full of juicy verbal confrontations and only slightly undermined by its director, “The Trial of the Chicago 7” hits the righteous indignation spot. The writer is Aaron Sorkin. The director is also Aaron Sorkin.

It’ll certainly hit home for Chicagoans who remember 1968 and 1969, as well as Chicagoans who know full well what has boiled these few months of 2020, and why… more


THE BOOK
The Trial of the Chicago 7 | 2020 | BUY BOOK

Republished fifty years later to coincide with the release this fall of the film of the same title written and directed by Aaron Sorkin with an all-star cast, this is the classic account of perhaps the most infamous, and definitely the most entertaining, trial in recent American history.

In the fall of 1969 eight prominent anti-Vietnam War activists were put on trial for conspiring to riot at the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago. One of the eight, Black Panther cofounder Bobby Seale, was literally bound and gagged in court by order of the judge, Julius Hoffman, and his case was separated from that of the others.

The activists, who included Abbie Hoffman, Jerry Rubin, and Tom Hayden, and their attorneys, William Kunstler and Leonard Weinglass, insisted that the First Amendment was on trial. Their witnesses were a virtual who’s who of the 1960s counterculture: Allen Ginsberg, Timothy Leary, Arlo Guthrie, Judy Collins, Norman Mailer, among them.

The defendants constantly interrupted to protest what they felt were unfair rulings by the judge. The trial became a circus, all the while receiving intense media coverage. The convictions that resulted were subsequently overturned on appeal, but the trial remained a political and cultural touchstone, a mirror of the deep divisions in the country. The Trial of the Chicago 7 consists of the highlights from trial testimony with a brief epilogue describing what later happened to the principal figures.


WHO’S WHO Characters and Cast by RadioTime

Everything you need to know about the real characters and starry cast appearing in Aaron Sorkin’s new true story Netflix film… here

Barbara's Bookstore
Barbara's Bookstores have been Chicago's independent booksellers since 1963.