[author]Alison W. Conner
This article analyses the depiction of judges and lawyers in some of Shanghai's most famous movies of the 1930s and 1940s. During that golden age for early Chinese cinema, scenes in courts and lawyers' offices often appeared in movie plots, despite the relative newness of a modern legal profession. Thus, in Street Angel we see a mercenary lawyer dismiss two worthy but penniless clients - but Bright Day and Long Live the Missus show us versions of the model lawyer that might resonate now. Indeed, though all these movies were very much the products of their time and place (and the views of their writers and directors), their broader themes - access to justice and the use of law by ordinary people - remain of great importance in China's legal system today.