Review: ‘The Trial of the Catonsville Nine’

Gregory Peck has produced a film version of The Trial of the Catonsville Nine which shapes intelligent, well-acted filmed theatre and is potent in its look at the reasons behind burning of draft records and the trial that followed.

Gregory Peck has produced a film version of The Trial of the Catonsville Nine which shapes intelligent, well-acted filmed theatre and is potent in its look at the reasons behind burning of draft records and the trial that followed.

Film begins with a reenactment of burning of the records and the nine waiting for the police, to call attention to their outlooks.

Though based on a play by Father Daniel Berrigan, and with highflown passages of talk, it reportedly draws heavily on the actual court proceedings. But Berrigan tries to delve into the backgrounds, reasons and outlooks of those involved, their attempts to explain their actions by what they thought was wrong with the participation in the Vietnam War.

Theatrical, but fluidly controlled, direction by Gordon Davidson gives this a dramatic impetus despite static qualities and literary dialog.

The Trial of the Catonsville Nine

Production

Melville. Director Gordon Davidson; Producer Gregory Peck; Screenplay Daniel Berrigan, Saul Levitt; Camera Haskell Wexler; Editor Aaron Stell; Music Shelley Manne; Art Director Peter Wexler

Crew

(Color) Available on VHS. Extract of a review from 1972. Running time: 85 MIN.

With

Gwen Arner Ed Flanders Barton Heyman Richard Jordan Nancy Malone Donald Moffat
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