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Absence of Malice (1981)

6.9
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 7,645 users  
Reviews: 66 user | 20 critic

When a prosecutor leaks a false story that a liquor warehouse owner is involved in the murder of an union head, the man's life begins to unravel.

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Title: Absence of Malice (1981)

Absence of Malice (1981) on IMDb 6.9/10

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Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 4 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Barry Primus ...
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John Harkins ...
Don Hood ...
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Arnie Ross ...
Phanie Napoli ...
Nickie (as Anna Marie Napoles)
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Joe Petrullo ...
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Storyline

Mike Gallagher is a Miami liquor wholesaler whose deceased father was a local mobster. The FBI organized crime task force has no evidence that he's involved with the mob but decide to pressure him perhaps revealing something - anything - about a murder they're sure was a mob hit. The let Megan Carter, a naive but well-meaning journalist, know he is being investigated and Gallagher's name is soon all over the newspaper. Gallagher has an iron-clad alibi for when the murder occurred but won't reveal it to protect his fragile friend Teresa. When Carter publishes her story, tragedy ensues. Needing to make amends, Carter tells Gallagher the source of the first story about him and he sets out to teach the FBI and the Federal Attorney a lesson. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

murder | reporter | mafia | slander | ethics | See more »

Taglines:

Suppose you picked up this morning's newspaper and your life was a front page headline... And everything they said was accurate... But none of it was true. See more »


Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

18 December 1981 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Absence of Malice  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$12,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$40,700,000 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

One of the film's movie posters/press ads featured a long descriptive preamble that read: "Suppose you picked up this morning's newspaper and your life was a front page headline... And everything they said was accurate... But none of it was true. The D.A., Feds and the police set her up to write the story that explodes his world. Now he's going to write the book on getting even." See more »

Goofs

Meg has a drink with Waddell that she never touches. The straw changes position as Meg gets up to leave. See more »

Quotes

James A. Wells, Assistant U.S. Attorney General: What'd you figure you'd do after government service, Elliott?
Elliott Rosen: I'm not quitting.
James A. Wells, Assistant U.S. Attorney General: You ain't no Presidential appointee, Elliott. One that hired you is me. You got thirty days.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Mystery Science Theater 3000: Time Chasers (1997) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Absence of Feeling
3 May 2003 | by (West Chester, Pa) – See all my reviews

This movie looks to have all the elements of a classic but somehow falls short. Unscrupulous prosecutor dupes reporter Field into creating (false) impression that businessman Newman was involved in a murder, in the hope that will somehow help his investigation. The lie has unexpected and tragic consequences, after which Newman turns the tables. Field is fine as liberated yet vulnerable thirty-something, Newman is also good if a little obscure in a difficult role; but Brimley as Asst US Attorney steals the show when he finally blows the whistle on everyone. Brimley's short time in this movie really is classic and Oscar-quality. The overall problem here is a little too much soapbox and not enough real emotion from nearly everyone.


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Wilford Brimley was great bstar56
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