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...And Justice for All. (1979)

7.4
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 17,827 users  
Reviews: 119 user | 23 critic

An ethical Baltimore defense lawyer disgusted with rampant legal corruption is asked to defend a judge he despises in a rape trial. But if he doesn't do it, the judge will have him disbarred.

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Title: ...And Justice for All. (1979)

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

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Cast

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

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

Taglines:

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

Genres:

Drama | Thriller | Crime

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

19 October 1979 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

And Justice for All  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

On and off the set, Al Pacino was seen frequently being "in character" due to his method acting, something to which he had been a student of under co-actor Lee Strasberg. At meal breaks, Pacino would be known to call Strasberg by his character name of Grandpa and once when asked about a contract by someone working on the film, Pacino started to assess it for him legally even though Pacino is an actor not a lawyer. See more »

Goofs

When Arthur and Gail argue about Jay appearing before the committee, Arthur's position on the pillow changes. In the same sequence, the position of the pillow itself also changes. See more »

Quotes

Arthur Kirkland: At this point, I would just like to say that what this committee is doing in theory is highly commendable. However, in practice, it sucks... and I'm not going to answer any more questions.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Californication: ...And Justice for All (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

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

 
The Object Is After All, Justice
14 May 2006 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

I doubt you will ever see as thorough an indictment of the American legal system as you are brought in the film And Justice For All. Too often the object of that legal system has been terribly lost in the process.

This film has become my favorite Al Pacino role. I don't think he was ever better on the screen as Arthur Kirkland, an attorney who cares maybe too much for his clients both for his career and his own mental health.

During the course of And Justice For All, Pacino has two clients who for reasons I won't go into here, do not get their proper day in court and both stories end tragically. The clients are Robert Christian as the cross dressing Ralph Agee and Thomas G. Waites as Jeff McCullaugh and both players give stunning performances. The hardest audience heart out there will feel their pain.

Their stories are mixed in with Pacino's running feud with a malevolent judge played by John Forsythe. John Forsythe in this film is not the John Forsythe of Dynasty or Bachelor Father or the disembodied employer of three shapely female private eyes. As it turns out this law and order judge thinks he's quite above the law. And he involves Pacino in his effort to prove his innocence after he's accused of rape.

Life does have a funny way of imitating art and later on the New York State Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals, Sol Wachtler, was brought down in a similar scandal to what Forsythe is accused of here.

Jack Warden is another judge operating out of that same Baltimore courthouse that Forsythe does. He's quite a whack job himself, sitting on a window ledge eating his lunch, wearing a concealed revolver under his judicial robes. It's a crime for the rest of us to do that, but he's another judge who feels himself above the law.

Pacino has some very tender scenes with Lee Strassberg who plays his grandfather and Sam Levene who is Strassberg's friend at the nursing home they reside it. They're all such good players that you don't even think while you're watching them that this is a reunion of Michael Corleone and Hyman Roth. His scenes with them are his link to a world beyond his chosen profession.

The tragedy of And Justice For All is not so much the personal tragedies of Christian and Waites, bad as they are. It is the arrogant abuse of the rules and procedures of our legal system by the very men who are a bound by it as Pacino is. Pacino finds himself so boxed in that the only way he can see justice done is blow up his own career in a now legendary courtroom climax scene.

In the post Watergate Era, And Justice For All found its audience. And its message is still a timely one.


7 of 9 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

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