One standout example of a difference between the film and reality is in regards to the courtroom treatment of defendant Bobby Seale. Believe it or not, as horrible as the events depicted in the movie are, Seale’s treatment was even worse in real life.
In Aaron Sorkin’s version of events, Seale is severed from the case against the Chicago 7 just minutes after being chained to a chair and gagged, but things didn’t play out that quickly in the real case. Seale actually spent multiple days sitting in court in those restraints before William Kunstler’s pleas against it were heard. Judge Hoffman also tried to sentence the Black Panther co-founder to four years in prison for contempt of court, but that was overruled on appeal.
All that being said, The Trial Of The Chicago 7 might not be a perfect representation of history, but for the most part it is accurate. Some of the more outlandish details, such as Abbie Hoffman and Jerry Rubin arriving to court in police uniforms cloaked in judges robes, are taken straight from the true story, as is the key portion of the film where former Attorney General Ramsey Clark is forbidden from providing testimony in front of a jury.