Starring: Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Sacha Baron Cohen, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Michael Keaton, Eddie Redmayne, Mark Rylance, Jeremy Strong, John Carroll Lynch, Frank Langella, Alex Sharp, Danny Flaherty, Noah Robbins, Kelvin Harrison Jr., William Hurt
OUR RATING: ★★★☆☆
Netflix’s political drama written and directed by Aaron Sorkin. Based on true events, The Trial of the Chicago 7 (2020) follows the 1969 trial of seven defendants charged by the federal government with conspiracy and other charges, arising from the anti-Vietnam War and countercultural protests in Chicago at the 1968 Democratic National Convention. The trial transfixed the nation and sparked a conversation about mayhem intended to undermine the US government.
Our Favorite Quotes:
Tom Hayden: Now, when it comes to the war and social justice, there is simply not enough of a difference between Humphrey and Nixon to make a difference. And so, we’re going to Chicago. Young people, by busloads, will go to Chicago to show our solidarity and our disgust. But most importantly
Abbie Hoffman: [cut to Abbie in front of a crowd] To get laid by someone you just met.
Abbie Hoffman: We’re going to Chicago peacefully. We’re going peacefully. But if we’re met there with violence, you better believe that we’re going to meet that violence with…
David Dellinger: [cut to David talking to his young son] Non-violence. Always non-violence, and that’s without exception.
David Dellinger: If the police try to arrest me, I’ll do what I always do, and what I taught you to do, which is what?
Daniel Dellinger: Very calmly, and very politely…
Bobby Seale: [cut to Bobby] F*** the m**herf***ers up! They leave us alone and everything’s cool. They tangle, disrupt, intimidate, they play fast and loose with the First Amendment, start breaking heads, then, no, we will not be on our way.
Sondra: You can’t give this speech in Chicago.
Bobby Seale: There’s no place to be but in it.
Bobby Seale: If they attack…
Sondra: Dr. King…
Bobby Seale: Is dead! He has a dream? Well, now he has a f***ing bullet in his head. Martin’s dead. Malcolm’s dead. Medgar’s dead. Bobby’s dead. Jesus is dead. They tried it peacefully. We’re going to try something else.
Sondra: [referring to the gun] You’ll at least take one of these?
Bobby Seale: If I knew how to use that, I wouldn’t need to be making speeches.
Rennie Davis: [to Jerry, who is on the phone] Tom says to tell Abbie that we’re going to Chicago to end the war and not to f*** around.
Jerry Rubin: Hayden says we’re going to Chicago to end the war and not to f*** around.
Abbie Hoffman: Tell Hayden I went to Brandeis, and I can do both.
Tom Hayden: We’re going to show that we, as a generation, are serious people.
Abbie Hoffman: People say, “You know, Abbie, are you concerned about an overreaction from the cops?” We’re not concerned about it. We’re counting on it!
Tom Hayden: We want to underscore again, that we’re coming to Chicago peacefully, but whether we’re given permits or not, we’re coming.
David Dellinger: We’re not going to storm the convention with tanks or mace, but we are going to storm the hearts and minds of the American people.
John Mitchell: Son, are you nervous?
Richard Schultz: No, sir.
John Mitchell: Why the f*** not? I’m kidding. Don’t believe everything you’ve heard about me. Ramsey Clark gave me the finger on the way out the door.
John Mitchell: You think you and your boss are in the attorney general’s office because I want you to seek an indictment for violating a federal trespassing law?
Richard Schultz: Our office wasn’t aware that the Justice Department wanted to seek any indictments at all, sir.
John Mitchell: We do.
John Mitchell: [referring to Clark] One hour before my confirmation hearing gaveled, that’s when he resigned. What a pr**k!
Richard Schultz: That’s unprofessional, sir.
John Mitchell: Unprofessional? It was unpatriotic. And I’ll tell you what else. It was impolite. There’s such a thing as manners. I want to bring back manners. How about that? The America I grew up in. Will you help me, Mr. Schultz? Because I asked Mr. Foran who was the best prosecutor in his office, and he said you.
Howard Ackerman: Section 2101 of Title 18.
John Mitchell: That’s the federal law that was broken.
Richard Schultz: That’s the Rap Brown Law.
Howard Ackerman: In conspiracy to cross state lines in order to incite violence. Comes with a maximum of ten years. We want all ten.
Richard Schultz: For whom, sir?
Howard Ackerman: The all-star team.
Richard Schultz: [reading from the file] “Abbie Hoffman, Tom Hayden, Jerry Rubin, David Dellinger, Rennie Davis, Lee Weiner, John Froines, and Bobby Seale?”
John Mitchell: I call them the school boys, and when I do, everyone here knows who I’m talking about. Petulant and dangerous. And we watched for a decade while these rebels without a job, who never bothered to got their hands dirty fighting the enemy, tell us how to prosecute a war. The decade’s over. The grown-ups are back, and I deem these s**tty little fairies to be a threat to national security. So they’re going to spend their thirties in a federal facility. Real time.
Richard Schultz: I said, sir, you pay me for my opinion.
John Mitchell: Where did you learn that? In class? I pay you to win.
Richard Schultz: I’m not sure we can get a good indictment on conspiracy, sir.
John Mitchell: Why not?
Richard Schultz: For one thing, some of these people have never met each other.
John Mitchell: Is there a problem?
Richard Schultz: No, sir.
John Mitchell: Say what you want to say, since apprantly I’m paying for your wisdom. Give me my money’s worth.
Richard Schultz: Sir, there are people who will see this as the Justice Department restraining free speech, and there were people who see these men as martyrs.
John Mitchell: You’re thirty-three, and you’re about to be named lead prosecutor in the most important trial in your lifetime, after being handpicked by the attorney general. I’m about to do that right now. But before I do, let me ask you. How do you see them?
Richard Schultz: Personally, or in terms of…
John Mitchell: Personally.
Richard Schultz: I see them as vulgar, anti-establishment, antisocial, and unpragmatic. But none of those things are indictable.
John Mitchell: Then imagine how impressed I’ll be when you get an indictment.
Thomas Foran: [referring to their meeting with Mitchell] You didn’t show a lot of gratitude in there.
Richard Schultz: On top of everything, we’re giving them exactly what they want. A stage and an audience.
Thomas Foran: You think there’s going to be a big audience?
Richard Schultz: Yes, sir. I do.
Crowd: [chanting] The whole world is watching!
Abbie Hoffman: [referring to the crowd and reporters] You alright?
Jerry Rubin: I was, until I saw that.
Abbie Hoffman: Most of them are on our side.
Abbie Hoffman: [as Jerry catches the egg thrown at him] Jesus Christ! How did you do that?
Jerry Rubin: Experience.
Abbie Hoffman: You don’t know what to do with the egg now, do you?
Jerry Rubin: No.
John Froines: I understand why they’re trying to smoke Abbie, Jerry, and Hayden, even Rennie and Dellinger. But, for the life of me, I can’t figure out what the two of us are doing here.
Lee Weiner: I feel exactly the same way. But this is the Academy Awards of protests, and as far as I’m concerned, it’s an honor just to be nominated.
Fred Hampton: [to Bobby] We have instructions from our lawyer.
William Kunstler: If you need me, I’m sitting right there. You just look at me, and you say, “I need you.”
Fred Hampton: We don’t need you, Bill.
Fred Hampton: Don’t mess this up.
William Kunstler: Alright. Good pep talk.
Abbie Hoffman: You see the crowd out there?
Jerry Rubin: I have an egg.
William Kunstler: Well, get rid of that.
Jerry Rubin: You don’t think I want to?
William Kunstler: Are you stoned?
Abbie Hoffman: Yeah. You?
William Kunstler: You remember what I said.
Tom Hayden: Okay. And you remember to keep us out of prison.
William Kunstler: There’s a lot of good advice this morning.
Judge Julius Hoffman: Are the People ready to make opening arguments?
Richard Schultz: We are, Your Honor.
Bobby Seale: I don’t have my lawyer here.
Judge Julius Hoffman: It’s not your turn to speak.
Judge Julius Hoffman: I’d like to clarify something for the jurors. There are two Hoffmans in this courtroom. The defendant Abbie Hoffman, and myself, Judge Julius Hoffman.
Richard Schultz: Thank you, sir.
Judge Julius Hoffman: I didn’t want there to be confusion on the matter.
Abbie Hoffman: Man, I don’t think there’s much chance they’re going to mix us up.
Judge Julius Hoffman: And the record should reflect that defendant Hoffman and I are not related.
Abbie Hoffman: [mockingly] Father, no!