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...and justice for all. (1979)

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A lawyer is forced to defend a guilty judge, while defending other innocent clients, and trying to find punishment for the guilty and provide justice for the innocent.


Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Grandpa Sam
Gail Packer
Robert Christian ...
Ralph Agee
Jeff McCullaugh (as Thomas Waites)
Warren Fresnell
Frank Bowers
Carl Travers
Victor Arnold ...
Leo Fauci
Vincent Beck ...
Elderly Man


When a judge is charged with rape, Arthur Kirkland is forced to defend him. Kirkland has had problems with the judge in the past, including one incident when the judge wrongly sentenced his client Jeff McCullaugh because of a technicality. Kirkland faces a moral and legal dilemma. Written by Melissa Portell <mportell@s-cwis.unomaha.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


This man needs the best lawyer in town. But the problem is... he is the best lawyer in town.


Crime | Drama | Thriller


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

19 October 1979 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

...And Justice for All  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Director 'Norman Jewison said of this film's lead actor: "It's an unusual role for 'Al Pacino'. In past films, like Dog Day Afternoon (1975) and even Serpico (1973), he's been the eccentric, cut off from a sane world. This time, he's the most rational person in the picture. It's everyone around him, and his environment, which is bizarre". See more »


The number of plates that Jay has changes. See more »


Arthur Kirkland: [Arthur is visiting his client Jeff McCullaugh in jail, and sees that he has been assaulted] Jeff, what happened?
Jeff McCullaugh: Some... somebody beat me up...
Arthur Kirkland: Why?
Jeff McCullaugh: I dunno, I didn't ask.
See more »


Referenced in The Simpsons: The Joy of Sect (1998) See more »


Something Funny Goin' On
Music by Dave Grusin
Lyrics by Alan Bergman & Marilyn Bergman
Sung by Zachary Sanders (as Zack Sanders) and the N.Y. Jailhouse Ensemble
See more »

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User Reviews

Get with the program
11 April 2003 | by (Richmond, Virginia, United States) – See all my reviews

C'mon, people. Are you really having trouble determining whether this is a comedy or not? From beginning to end, it's filled with hysterical and whimsical (if sometimes troubling) situations, wickedly funny bits of dialogue, and sight gags. There are way too many to mention here, but the highlights would include the trial of the foul-mouthed gentleman, the helicopter ride, the defendant eating the lottery tickets, Arthur and Gail's Chinese dinner, the ethics committee hearing, Carl and the prostitute and, of course, the "opening statement" in the courtroom. An important subplot runs through all this -- Arthur trying to hold his sanity and legal practice together, while sparking up his love live -- along with some of the tragedy he witnesses. He is, after all, a budget-priced criminal defense lawyer in a large Eastern city, so I wouldn't expect everything to be pretty and tidy, even in a comedy. Contrary to some of the comments below, this movie is highly pedigreed. Thought the script was weak? Barry Levinson co-wrote it. And what's all this bellyaching about the music? This movie was released during the disco craze and the score was performed by a jailhouse ensemble. What did you expect the music to sound like, Tangerine Dream? Porter Wagoner? Beethoven? It was written by Dave Grusin, who has been nominated for seven Oscars (he won in 1988 for "The Milagro Beanfield War") and also has collected seven Grammys over the years. Of course, it was directed by Norman Jewison, who has shown good, if occasional, aptitude for comedy ("The Russians Are Coming, the Russians Are Coming," "Moonstruck," "Other People's Money"). Also, if you look at Pacino's performance with a critical eye, you may decide it was one of the best of his career -- especially compared with some of the more contrived (if popular) portrayals subsequent to this movie ("Scarface," "Scent of a Woman"). Try to remember the context in which a movie was released while watching with that critical eye and it's generally apparent if it stands the test of time. I'd say this one does -- beautifully.

28 of 42 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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For Anyone Who Saw This Film in the Theater on First Release? jbartelone
Good film, but less would have been more Resumption-of-Disbelief
Exactly underrated beyhanerel
Lawyers Laughing Scene! LMAO! crybern
Ending??? angelbuffy_3
Never Watch on Commercial TV For The First Viewing of This Film!!! jbartelone
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