MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Up 1,945 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 7,996 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

IMDb Picks: October

IMDb's editors share the movies and TV shows they are excited to see in October.


User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 35 titles
created 17 Aug 2011
 
a list of 25 titles
created 01 Sep 2011
 
a list of 33 titles
created 10 Aug 2013
 
a list of 35 titles
created 7 months ago
 
a list of 34 titles
created 6 months ago
 

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
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
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
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
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
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
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
WUSA (1970)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

A radio station in the Deep South becomes the focal point of a right-wing conspiracy.

Director: Stuart Rosenberg
Stars: Paul Newman, Joanne Woodward, Anthony Perkins
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
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A college volunteer at the crisis phone gets a call from a suicide caller.

Director: Sydney Pollack
Stars: Sidney Poitier, Anne Bancroft, Telly Savalas
Castle Keep (1969)
Action | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

During the Battle of the Bulge, an anachronistic count shelters a ragtag squad of Americans in his isolated castle hoping they will defend it against the advancing Germans.

Director: Sydney Pollack
Stars: Burt Lancaster, Patrick O'Neal, Jean-Pierre Aumont
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

It's about a five member family. The father is a conservative and traditional person who directs the family. The mother is at home, she tries to hold together the family, while Mr. Bridge ... See full summary »

Director: James Ivory
Stars: Paul Newman, Joanne Woodward, Saundra McClain
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

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:

 »
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

Actor Luther Adler's last film. 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: Now we'll talk all day if you want to. But, come sundown, there's gonna be two things true that ain't true now. One is that the United States Department of Justice is goin' to know what in the good Christ - e'scuse me, Angie - is goin' on around here. And the other's I'm gonna have somebody's ass in muh briefcase.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Richard Pryor Live on the Sunset Strip (1982) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Does Anyone Remember Maurice Nadjari?
20 December 2005 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

For a while back in the seventies the hottest political property in New York State was one Maurice Nadjari. He was appointed a special prosecutor and ran up a big string of convictions of various figures on the New York scene.

Then his convictions began being tossed out one by one until a once feared figure became a laughingstock. Turned out he used tactics very similar to those countenanced by Bob Balaban in this film.

Nadjari turned out in the end to be worse than any of the people he was prosecuting. That's the message here, don't idealize some of these prosecutors on a white horse.

Bob Balaban is part of the Justice Department Strike Force looking into the murder of a labor leader in Florida. It's been months and his investigation is yielding bupkis. So he tries some extralegal tactics.

Paul Newman is the son of a reputed mobster, but who's been out of the rackets for years. But Balaban leaks to gullible reporter Sally Field that Newman is the target of his investigation. The idea is for Newman to go undercover and work to get information on his uncle, Luther Adler, who Balaban suspects.

Newman's reputation is smashed and Balaban's actions lead to the death of Melinda Dillon who is a friend of Newman's.

Paul Newman was nominated for Best Actor, but lost to Henry Fonda that year for On Golden Pond. Sally Field was at the height of her career. This film came right around the time she got her two Oscars for Norma Rae and Places in the Heart.

The leads and cast are just fine. This turned out to be the farewell picture of Luther Adler, one of the great character actors in the history of film.

However the two people this film really belongs to are Bob Balaban and Wilford Brimley. Balaban got his career role in this as Elliott Rosen of the Organized Crime Strike Force. He is truly one loathsome little creep. All it's about with him is getting another notch on his belt, another scalp for the lodgepole.

And then there's Wilford Brimley. He's the big honcho from Washington, DC sent down to do damage control when it all blows up in their faces. He gathers all the principals together at the very end of the film, like Nick Charles would, and dispenses the justice accordingly. He's on the screen for about twenty unforgettable minutes.

The office of prosecutor in our system is one of responsibility and should never be entrusted to any lightweights or any overly ambitious folks.


41 of 50 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