MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Down 1,380 this week

Absence of Malice (1981)

6.9
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.9/10 from 7,908 users  
Reviews: 70 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.

Director:

Writer:

Watch Trailer
0Check in
0Share...

Watch Now

From $9.99 on Amazon Instant Video

Editors' Spotlight

Venice Film Festival

See the latest from the 2014 Venice Film Festival


User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 25 titles
created 03 Apr 2011
 
a list of 21 images
created 10 Jun 2011
 
a list of 26 titles
created 06 Jul 2012
 
a list of 33 titles
created 10 Aug 2013
 
a list of 30 titles
created 18 Aug 2013
 

Related Items


Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Absence of Malice (1981)

Absence of Malice (1981) on IMDb 6.9/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Absence of Malice.

User Polls

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

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

The Verdict (1982)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A lawyer sees the chance to salvage his career and self-respect by taking a medical malpractice case to trial rather than settling.

Director: Sidney Lumet
Stars: Paul Newman, Charlotte Rampling, Jack Warden
Action | Crime | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A big-city private detective travels to the Deep South to help out an old girlfriend who is being blackmailed.

Director: Stuart Rosenberg
Stars: Paul Newman, Joanne Woodward, Anthony Franciosa
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

From the sight of a police officer this movie depicts the life in New York's infamous South Bronx. In the center is "Fort Apache", as the officers call their police station, which really ... See full summary »

Director: Daniel Petrie
Stars: Paul Newman, Edward Asner, Ken Wahl
Comedy | Western | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Sonny Steele used to be a rodeo star, but his next appearance is to be on a Las Vegas stage, wearing a suit covered in lights, advertising a breakfast cereal. When he finds out they are ... See full summary »

Director: Sydney Pollack
Stars: Robert Redford, Jane Fonda, Valerie Perrine
Nobody's Fool (1994)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Sully is a rascally ne'er-do-well approaching retirement age. While he is pressing a worker's compensation suit for a bad knee, he secretly works for his nemesis, Carl, and flirts with ... See full summary »

Director: Robert Benton
Stars: Paul Newman, Bruce Willis, Jessica Tandy
Havana I (1990)
Drama | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

Cuba, December 1958: The professional gambler Jack visits Havana to organize a big Poker game. On the ship he meets Roberta and falls in love with her. Shortly after they arrive in Cuba, ... See full summary »

Director: Sydney Pollack
Stars: Robert Redford, Lena Olin, Alan Arkin
Harry & Son (1984)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

Harry Keach has been widowed for two years and works as a demolition crane operator on a demolition crew.

Director: Paul Newman
Stars: Paul Newman, Robby Benson, Ellen Barkin
Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A member of British Intelligence assumes a fictitious criminal identity and allows himself to be caught, imprisoned, and freed in order to infiltrate a spy organization and expose a traitor.

Director: John Huston
Stars: Paul Newman, Dominique Sanda, James Mason
Blaze (1989)
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

This movie tells the story of the latter years of Earl Long, a flamboyant governor of Louisiana. The aging Earl, an unapologetic habitue of strip joints, falls in love with young stripper ... See full summary »

Director: Ron Shelton
Stars: Paul Newman, Lolita Davidovich, Jerry Hardin
Hud (1963)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Hud Bannon is a ruthless young man who tarnishes everything and everyone he touches. Hud represents the perfect embodiment of alienated youth, out for kicks with no regard for the ... See full summary »

Director: Martin Ritt
Stars: Paul Newman, Melvyn Douglas, Patricia Neal
The Yakuza (1974)
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Harry Kilmer returns to Japan after several years in order to rescue his friend George's kidnapped daughter - and ends up on the wrong side of the Yakuza, the notorious Japanese mafia...

Director: Sydney Pollack
Stars: Robert Mitchum, Ken Takakura, Brian Keith
Hombre (1967)
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

John Russell, disdained by his "respectable" fellow stagecoach passengers because he was raised by Indians, becomes their only hope for survival when they are set upon by outlaws.

Director: Martin Ritt
Stars: Paul Newman, Fredric March, Richard Boone
Edit

Cast

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

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 | newspaper | mafia | reporter | slander | See more »

Taglines:

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 »


Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

18 December 1981 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Ausencia de malicia  »

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
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

At around the time the picture launched in theaters, lead actor Paul Newman said: "I would say that 90% of what people read about me in the newspapers is untrue. Ninety percent is garbage. [Reporters] are expected to come up with something sensational every night of the week to keep their readers' noses buried in the pages, and, well, you tell me. If nothing's happening, what do you do? Well, in their case, they make it up." See more »

Goofs

Other date continuity errors: After Meghan says that the year is 1981 and Michael prints a cashier's check dated Dec. 11, 1980, Meghan gives him the clipping announcing that the investigation is off; the clipping is dated November 22, 1980. Still later Michael gets another cashier's check dated December 16. See more »

Quotes

James A. Wells, Assistant U.S. Attorney General: We can't have people go around leaking stuff for their own reasons. It ain't legal. And worse than that, by God it ain't right.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Newhart: Presence of Malice (1988) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
The Fourth Estate on trial
23 February 2006 | by (Van Buren, Arkansas) – See all my reviews

Paul Newman and Sally Field, though somewhat opposites both in their roles as Michael Colin Gallagher and Megan Carter respectively and in real Hollywood life, mesh and make believable lovers. Megan tells Michael that she is 30 something and doesn't need courting to play in the hay. Michael retorts, "Maybe I do," and drives away. Megan winds up somewhat of a failure both as a newspaper hound and as a liberated female. Then along comes Wilford Brimley in a bit part and runs away with the show. That's saying a lot since the well chosen cast gives it all they've got including ace jobs by Bob Balaban and Melinda Dillon.

The essence of the film is "What is the nature of truth?" What we read in the paper ain't necessarily so. Jibes are poked at bureaucrats too who certainly have problems determining what is truth. As long as the paperwork looks good then so goes the world. With the Horatio Alger success formula still around in the world of big government and big business, empire builders are a dime a dozen. Usually their asses are saved by cover ups and fall guys. In "Absence of Malice" the innocent victim outsmarts the bureaucrats and the Fourth Estate to bring the house of cards down, certainly an anomaly in the 21th century as it was in 1981, maybe even more so.

Admittedly, the film becomes too preachy at times which not only grates on the nerves but also slows the picture down. Yet the well-written script and Sydney Pollack's knowing direction keep it from becoming a total disaster. Not on the level of Pollack's previous "Three Days of the Condor" or his next feature "Tootsie," "Absence of Malice" still packs a wallop.


9 of 12 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Wilford Brimley was great bstar56
Megan is a poor excuse for a reporter caladon
6.8? azumahh
viewability? deaston
scariest movie? chips76309
Where did the movie take place? motyka
Discuss Absence of Malice (1981) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page