CP's cinema metaphorics are of course helped immensely by the fact that everyone in the news today wants to play someone else on TV. Ken Starr wants to be Joe Friday. Bill Ginsburg may want to be Perry Mason, but seems to be forgetting that Perry actually practiced some law. And while Carpenter-McMillan is going for that frenzied idealist thing, Pacino's turn -- the harried little-guy drowning in a persistence of judicial madness and tragedy -- is the one to catch. Aside from the tacked-on 70's music, Norman Jewison's film is a well-crafted bit of chaos with all the right B-listers: Jack Warden, Jeffrey Tambor, Lee Strasberg and Craig T. Nelson. And the closer on the courthouse steps is simply perfect.
Truth may be stranger than fiction, but in this case, life is imitating art. So watch Dragnet (1987) if you have to -- and only if you have to -- or watch Body of Evidence (1993) if you're in a salacious, pants-dropping kind of mood. Just go to the source. Happy viewing.