All except Froines and Weiner were charged with crossing state lines to incite a riot, while those two were charged with instructing others in building and using incendiary devices. As for the other seven defendants, five were convicted for inciting riots. Hoffman—played by Cohen with a surprisingly respectable New England accent (Hoffman hailed from Worcester. Movies aren’t always the best history lesson, of course, but in the case of The Trial of the Chicago 7, Sorkin sticks pretty closely to the truth—with a little editorializing. During the trial he refused to let the jury see several key pieces of evidence that would help the defendants, including a planning document in which Tom Hayden wrote that the Chicago campaign should be nonviolent. Eddie Redmayne as Tom Hayden, reflecting after a long day in court. Professors John Froines and Lee Weiner (Danny Flaherty and Noah Robbins), who were only peripherally involved in planning the Chicago demonstrations (sitting at the defense table, one of them likens their presence to the Academy Awards. He resides in Connecticut. On March 20, 1969 eight defendants were brought before a grand jury, charged under the anti-riot provisions of Title X of the Civil Rights Act of 1968.

The prosecutors were Richard Schultz (Joseph Gordon-Levitt in the film) and Tom Foran (J. C. MacKenzie), and the presiding judge was Julius Hoffman (Frank Langella). The Actual, Crazy Story Behind ‘Hustlers’, The True Story of ‘The Confession Killer’. The Trial of the Chicago 7 is based on the true story of the Chicago Seven—originally called the Chicago 8—a group of anti-Vietnam War protestors who were charged with conspiracy in 1969 on the basis that they had traveled across state lines with the intention of starting a riot at the 1968 Democratic Convention in Chicago. The country was in turmoil, reeling from the assassinations of Martin Luther King and Senator Robert Kennedy and the worsening Vietnam War. And when he was finally sentenced and given a $5,000 fine, he called out to the judge, “Could you make that three-fifty?”, Jerry Rubin, who along with Abbie co-founded the countercultural movement Youth International Party, whose members were known as Yippies, tried to give Judge Hoffman a copy of his book during his sentencing.

Promise. Seale was then severed from the case and instead sentenced to 4 years in prison for 16 counts of contempt of court. It was terrible, and incredibly racist. .This isn’t a biopic. Judge Hoffman (no relation to Abbie) was so angry that he continuously cited contempt. Just like 2020, there was more than one reason for political unrest and protest in 1968. Director Aaron Sorkin is hopping back on the political drama train with Netflix's The Trial of the Chicago 7. (All in all, he assigned a staggering 175 counts of contempt, a number of which are depicted in the movie.) Judge Hoffman had no relation to Abbie Hoffman, and, as we see in the film, rumor has it that when the judge stated for the record, “He is not my son,” Hoffman called out in reply, “Dad, have you forsaken me?”. Hollywood routinely tackles movies about real-life events, but dramatic storytelling and historical accuracy don’t always mix. He had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder nine years earlier. Even Kunstler received a four-year sentence, in part for calling Hoffman’s courtroom a “medieval torture chamber.”, “There was a lot of electricity in the air,” recalls Charles Henry, professor emeritus of African American studies at the University of California, Berkeley, who attended the trial while in college. All seven defendants were acquitted of conspiracy, with Froines and Weiner acquitted completely and the other five convicted of crossing state lines with the intent to incite a riot – sentenced to five years in prison and fined $5,000 each. On one occasion which, of course, is included in the movie, the two yippies arrive in court wearing judicial robes, which they removed on the judge’s orders to reveal blue policeman’s uniforms underneath. This is the guy who wrote The West Wing and The Social Network, after all. Lily Looks Like an American Girl Doll in 'Rebecca'.

“What I remember most vividly were Kunstler and Weinglass, who were doing the talking for the defense at the time, getting up a couple of times and before they could get a word out of their mouths [Judge] Hoffman overruled.

Ultimately Seale was dismissed, tried separately, and then there were seven. With all of that in mind, thousands flew to Chicago to join local groups protesting at the convention where the whole world would be watching. Vote Now! The True Story Behind Amazon’s ‘The Report’ Movie, ‘The Laundromat’ Is Kinda Based on a True Story. It was one of the most shocking scenes to ever take place in an American courtroom. Abbie blew the jury a kiss; the judge told the jury to “disregard the kiss.” When Abbie said he resided in “Woodstock Nation,” the judge demanded he give a “place of residence…Nothing about philosophy or India, sir.” At one point, Abbie even renounced his last name. For the sake of good storytelling, some timelines are rearranged, relationships are changed and fictional characters are added (a Sorkin-invented female undercover cop lures Jerry Rubin, for example). The remaining seven defendants – and in particular Hoffman and Rubin – frequently mocked courtroom procedures, one day even turning up to the court wearing judicial robes, and then removing them to reveal Chicago police uniforms, while they also repeatedly insulted the judge to his face. Froines and Weiner were acquitted of all charges. The trial went on for months and included celebrity testimonies from popular poets, writers, and musicians who supported the defendants.

Two, Froines and Weiner, were acquitted. From early on it appeared to many following the trial that Hoffman was biased against the defendants, with the judge making sure to point out that defendant Abbie Hoffman was not related to him and voicing his disapproval of Kunstler’s long hair.

But what actually happened at the trial? Tom Hayden was a political activist and politician. He had spent only four hours in Chicago that weekend, having travelled there to fill in as a speaker. Abbie Hoffman (played by Sacha Baron Cohen) and Jerry Rubin (Jeremy Strong) were the counterculture activists of the Youth International Party (yippies), who brought a tie-dye, merry-prankster sensibility to their anti-authoritarianism. In fact, while The Trial of the Chicago 7 shows Seale being severed from the trial immediately after Judge Julius Hoffman ordered him to be bound, gagged, and chained to … At one point leading up to the convention, IRL, Rubin did a whole bit where he nominated a pig named "Pigasus" for president. Last were two professors named John Froines (Danny Flaherty) and Lee Weiner (Noah Robbins) who were accused of instructing others in how to make Molotov cocktails, and a pacifist organizer named David Dellinger (John Carroll Lynch). We may earn commission from links on this page, but we only recommend products we love.

Hoffman” instead as “Your Honor” and eight months to Abbie Hoffman for laughing in court. Editors handpick every product that we feature.

When Ginsberg was prodded to continue his testimony, he said, “I am afraid I will be in contempt if I continue to Om.” Ginsberg was also subject to a homophobic line of questioning from prosecutor Thomas Foran (J.C. MacKenzie), who made him read his poems that alluded to gay sex. Bobby Seale: At 83, Seale resides in Liberty, Texas. I thought, ‘This is crazy. 604, This story has been shared 542 times.

Hayden married three times, but his most high-profile union was to actress and fellow activist Jane Fonda for 17 years. . 3,422, This story has been shared 3,156 times. When you read about the defendants and the way they were treated by the court during their trial in 1969, it’s clear that an overall disdain for “hippies” and the counterculture played a major factor in exacerbating the trial and turning it into an event. You may be able to find more information about this and similar content at, Rachel True Wanted More for Rochelle in The Craft, Everything We Know About 'After We Fell' So Far, A Real-Life Witch Reviews HBO Max's 'The Witches', Discuss: What's Real in the New 'Borat' Movie, Stars and Fans React to *That* 'Borat 2' Scene. The true story of The Trial Of The Chicago 7 begins with anti-Vietnam War demonstrations outside of the 1968 Democratic Convention. From left: Abbie Hoffman, John Froines, Lee Weiner, Jerry Rubin, Rennie Davis, and Tom Hayden, outside the Dirksen Federal Building, Chicago, Illinois, 1969. Here are the craziest moments from the trial that didn’t entirely make it into Sorkin’s script—or, if they did, played out with even more drama in real life than onscreen. They represented different factions of “the movement” and had distinctly different styles, strategies and political agendas. David Dellinger: Dellinger died in 2004 at 88. By entering your details, you are agreeing to Radio Times privacy policy. “Nixon was throwing down a marker in order to intimidate the entire anti-war movement. Fritz was a juror in the Chicago 7 trial, which is back in the news thanks to Aaron Sorkin's movie, "The Trial of the Chicago 7," which debuted Friday on Netflix. Abbie Hoffman: After spending years underground, Hoffman resurfaced in 1980, lectured at colleges and worked as a comedian and community organizer, He died in 1989 at 52 from a self-inflicted overdose of barbituates due to manic depression. At the trial – which drew demonstrations outside the courtroom – Julius Hoffman served as judge, Richard Schultz and Tom Foran as prosecutors and William Kunstler, Leonard Weinglass, Michael Kennedy, Michael Tigar, Charles Garry, Gerald Lefcourt and Dennis Roberts as defence attorneys. Most continued their work as leaders in the "New Left" movement after the trial. Their son is actor Troy Garity. Like most films based on a true story, things were condensed or cut for the sake of good storytelling in The Trial of Chicago 7.

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