Indictment: The McMartin Trial Review by Sputnik

The longest and most expensive trial in American history ended without a single conviction! The state of California spent seven years and 15 million dollars to prosecute the McMartin child-abuse case–a case that ended in deadlocked juries, a mistrial and outright acquittals. What’s wrong with a criminal justice system that lets that happen?

Excellent courtroom drama based on a true story. The movie shows how an innocent family became victims of a witch hunt due to paranoid parents, overzealous prosecutors and irresponsible media with allegations of child sexual abuse. Can’t believe that there was so much hysteria about the case and that people really believed the outlandish claims of child sexual abuse and satanic worship.

The defendants reputation was completely destroyed, their preschool had to close and Ray Buckey spent 5 years in jail but they did not get any monetary compensation. The prosecutor and the child-abuse therapist on the other hand were hardly affected at all.

Its a made for TV movie, so it does have some scenes where it has that TV movie feel.

James Woods was excellent as Danny Davis, the defense attorney. Mercedes Ruehl was very good as Lael Rubin, the prosecutor. Lolita Davidovitch was very good as the child-abuse therapist Kee MacFarlane. Henry Thomas was very good as Ray Buckey. Sada Thompson was good as Virginia McMartin. Shirley Knight was excellent as Peggy Buckey. The rest of the cast was good too.

The movie won Best Miniseries or Television Film and Shirley Knight won Best Supporting Actress in a Series, Miniseries or Television Film at the 53rd Golden Globe Awards. The movie won Outstanding Made for Television Movie and Shirley Knight won Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or a Special at the 47th Primetime Emmy Awards.

Mick Jackson’s direction is very good. The courtroom scenes are excellent. The movie is a must watch if you like courtroom dramas based on true stories.

Highly Recommended

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