6.9/10
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78 user 26 critic

Absence of Malice (1981)

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

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Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 3 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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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 have no evidence that he's involved with the mob but decide to pressure him into perhaps revealing something - anything - about a murder they're sure was a mob hit. They 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. 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 »

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Details

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Release Date:

18 December 1981 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Ausencia de malicia  »

Box Office

Budget:

$12,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$64,775 (USA) (22 November 1981)

Gross:

$40,716,963 (USA)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This picture has often been considered as being the thematic opposite or reverse of All the President's Men (1976). In their review, show-business trade paper 'Variety' stated that this movie was "the flipside of All the President's Men (1976)". See more »

Goofs

On the boat, Meg tucks the strap of her bag under her lapel. In the next shot, it is over her lapel. See more »

Quotes

Michael Colin Gallagher: [tersely] I'm Michael Gallagher. I want to know where this story came from.
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Connections

Referenced in The Making of 'The Verdict' (1982) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Compelling
20 October 1998 | by (Iowa City, IA) – See all my reviews

There's really no other word for it. I find the whole of this movie compelling, from Sally Fields' naivete to Paul Newman's innocent who turns the tables on his prosecutors, to the various supporting characters who all have their little niche. The best of all is Wilford Brimley, who gets to chew scenery and totally steal the scene he's in. It's an intelligent drama, addressing a subject as relevant today as it was in '81, with just enough humor to leaven the whole thing.


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