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...And Justice for All. (1979)

R  |   |  Crime, Drama, Thriller  |  19 October 1979 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 21,204 users  
Reviews: 126 user | 20 critic

A lawyer (Al Pacino) 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
Sam Levene ...
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


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 <>

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

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


According to director Norman Jewison's audio-commentary, in legal circles the film was criticized for its portrayal and depiction of legal eagles, lawyers and judges. Jewison described the film as "a terrifying comedy". See more »


When Gail and Arthur are eating Chinese takeout, Gail opens the same container twice. See more »


Judge Rayford: [in a helicopter] Would you like to go anywhere in particular?
Arthur Kirkland: No! Down! I'd prefer to go down!
See more »


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
See more »

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User Reviews

`Catch-22' inside a courtroom
24 November 2003 | by (Lisbon, Portugal) – See all my reviews

I liked And Justice for All. I found it very entertaining and absorbing. In its satiric way, the movie is full of rich characters and plausible situations even if sometimes you can spot the cliché around the corner. Sometimes satire works as a magnifying glass to expose and better criticize something. And I believe that's what happens in this movie with all those bizarre scenes and deranged characters.

Even though Jewison focuses problems such as corruption, criticizes the danger of powerful people in the wrong places and brings up moral dilemmas about the practice of law, I believe And Justice for All is more of a satire than a serious alert to a possible decadence of the judicial system. The odd elements in the plot are one too many to see the movie strictly from its dramatic point of view: a cross-dresser client, an evidence-eating defendant, a suicidal judge, a hysterical lawyer.

In a certain way, the message of this movie reminded me the one of Mike Nichols anti-war comedy Catch-22: in order to cope with a crazy situation you have to become a little crazy. In a war scenario people fight for values like justice and order, but they also fight for power and interests; the same thing happens inside a courtroom. Some lawyers see Law as a business, some see it as a way to promote their personal careers and some see it as the opportunity given to those who have nothing else to lose.

The performances are just great, specially the ones of Jack Warden and Jeffrey Tambor. Al Pacino unquestionably steals the movie with another over-the-top performance as the lawyer willing to risk everything and delivers another memorable speech during his `opening statement'.

40 of 49 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
Lawyers Laughing Scene! LMAO! crybern
Ending??? angelbuffy_3
Exactly underrated beyhanerel
Never Watch on Commercial TV For The First Viewing of This Film!!! jbartelone
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