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...and justice for all. (1979)

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.



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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
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

Plot Keywords:

judge | attorney | lawyer | prison | law | See All (135) »


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  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Debut theatrical feature film of actor Jeffrey Tambor. See more »


When a helicopter's motor fails, for whatever reason, it does not just drop straight out of the sky - the pilot puts the nose into a shallow dive and the rotor auto-rotates providing some lift. The chopper glides much like a fixed-wing aeroplane, provided it is high enough to begin the glide and develop enough rotor speed - which the judge would have made sure of since he was anticipating (or at least planning for) running out of fuel. See more »


Arnie: [about Arthur's grandfather] He keeps telling us you're going to make a great lawyer.
Arthur Kirkland: I wish he could remember that I AM a lawyer.
Arnie: Sometimes he does, sometimes he doesn't, what's it matter? He's still proud of you.
See more »


Spoofed in The Mentalist: Blood Money (2010) 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

The Movie's Out Of Order
23 July 2015 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Spoilers Ahead:

Look, I adore Jewison's Rollerball. I even like the original Thomas Crown Affair, this is his worst movie by a mile. We will get to the worst ending in the history of legal movies. Sometimes, like Flashdance, it helps just to let you read a summary of the narrative. How does this sound?: a transvestite that is mistreated in a series of coincidences that make Snowpiercer realistic? Of course, he ends up killing himself. An insane judge with a death wish who sits on the edge of ledges eating his lunch? Later, he takes Arthur for a ride on his helicopter that he only fills with barely enough; less and less each time? A lawyer friend of Arthur's who has a breakdown and starts throwing plates and glasses at people in the Courthouse? A woman beating judge who just happens to be Arthur's nemesis who wants Arthur, who hates his guts, to represent him with his career on the line? Suspension of disbelief does not cover this utter insanity. Hey, I was one of the few people that like Jewison's FIST, this is just an awful piece of utter crap. In philosophy we call this temporal compression, if these ridiculous events were spread out over vast periods of time maybe, just maybe, we could believe them. The last event, which is the core of the plot, Fleming choosing Arthur, his worst enemy to defend him is a piece of brainless absurdity. It is there for only one reason to set up the worst ending in any courtroom movie.

Lawyers out there, what would the Bar have done to a man who turned on his client and made the prosecution's case for them? Now, you understand the suicidal judge Warden don't you? Guess who the judge turns out to be when Arthur blows a gasket, starts yelling and cursing in a courtroom, Hello?, then proceeds to jump to attacking Fleming instead of defending him. First, he would never have practiced law for the rest of his life, Fleming would have sued him for every penny he would ever earn; these things would have worried him after he got out of jail years later for all the contempt charges. See the painful plot contrivance? Out of all the judges, Arthur draws the suicidal judge who is his best friend and lets him go Postal without having him beaten to the ground like in reality. This is what makes this the steaming piece of poop it always has been. The transvestite's fate, the suicidal judge, the lawyer throwing plates, his worst enemy on earth selecting Pacino to represent him.

The worst written movie you will ever watch. Pacino is just starting out here, and do not kid yourself, the man made some very terrible films: Revolution, Author, Author. This is at the top of the list. None of Jewison's library comes close to this on the stink level; it is the single worst courtroom movie ever made. Want to see a good one? Watch Anatomy Of A Murder or The Verdict. Disagree with me? Ask yourself, if my life hung in the balance would I select my worst freaking enemy to defend me? The whole script is so phony and manufactured; it has the verisimilitude of a Fred Flintstone episode. One Big Pile Of Poop

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