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The Verdict (1982)

 -  Drama  -  17 December 1982 (USA)
7.8
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 21,656 users  
Reviews: 141 user | 68 critic

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

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(based upon the novel by), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Title: The Verdict (1982)

The Verdict (1982) on IMDb 7.8/10

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Nominated for 5 Oscars. Another 5 wins & 11 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
Judge Hoyle
...
Kaitlin Costello
...
Julie Bovasso ...
Maureen Rooney
...
Sally Doneghy
...
Kevin Doneghy
...
Dr. Towler
...
Dr. Thompson
Lewis J. Stadlen ...
Dr. Gruber (as Lewis Stadlen)
Kent Broadhurst ...
Joseph Alito
...
Billy
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Storyline

Frank Galvin is a down-on-his luck lawyer, reduced to drinking and ambulance chasing. Former associate Mickey Morrissey reminds him of his obligations in a medical malpractice suit that he himself served to Galvin on a silver platter: all parties willing to settle out of court. Blundering his way through the preliminaries, he suddenly realizes that perhaps after all the case should go to court: to punish the guilty, to get a decent settlement for his clients, and to restore his standing as a lawyer. Written by Murray Chapman <muzzle@cs.uq.oz.au>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

17 December 1982 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Dommen  »

Box Office

Budget:

$16,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$54,000,000 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Producers Richard D. Zanuck and David Brown picked-up the original option on the film's source Barry Reed novel "The Verdict" for US $150,000. Zanuck and Brown had read the book one week before it had been first published in 1980. See more »

Goofs

The pinball machine Frank Galvin plays at the bar is named Disco Fever, and is an early electronic pinball, with digital sound and gas-discharge score displays. The sound effects however, are of mechanical bells and score reels made by an electro-mechanical pinball machine made before 1976. See more »

Quotes

[the church has offered a check for $210,000 to settle the case]
Frank Galvin: How did you settle on the amount?
Bishop Brophy: We thought it was just.
Frank Galvin: You thought it was just?
Bishop Brophy: Yes.
Frank Galvin: Because it struck me, um, how neatly 'three' went into this figure: 210,000. That means I would keep seventy.
Bishop Brophy: That was our insurance company's recommendation.
Frank Galvin: Yes, that would be.
Bishop Brophy: Nothing we can do can make that woman well.
Frank Galvin: And no one will know the truth.
[...]
See more »

Connections

References Saturday Night Fever (1977) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Newman amazing as drunken lawyer in story of redemption...
10 March 1999 | by (Philadelphia, PA) – See all my reviews

The title of this movie is deceiving. THE VERDICT suggests a courtroom drama, something like TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD, or INHERIT THE WIND. It does have some riveting court scenes, but what happens outside of court and to Paul Newman is the real attraction here. The title not only refers to the inevitable decision of the important case of the film, but also to how the Newman character is going to live the rest of his life. Should he sell out and take the easy settlement, or take the highly regarded archdiocese of Boston to court for real justice. These are the questions Newman must face in this profound drama that seems more like a picture of the 70's than an 80's film.

Director Sidney Lumet has dealt with the legal system before in his first film, 12 ANGRY MEN. He takes it to a more personal level and Paul Newman, one of the finest actors of the past 40 years, is the person to do it. He is a legend and he bares his soul as attorney Frank Galvin, a lonely, corrupt drunk whose license to practice law is hanging by a thread. Jack Warden plays his trusty assistant who gets him a case that could help Frank change his life. Warden, however, has had enough.

Newman plays an excellent drunk, even cracking an egg into an 8am beer to start his day. This is a dim looking movie, shot during a cold winter in Boston. There are no great shots, or even any emotionally-rousing speeches, but this is Lumet's style. It is plodding and we see into the life of a lawyer on the ropes. James Mason is perfect as the slimy defense lawyer. Newman is constantly underestimated because of past failures. He is a drunk, but he still has some tricks up his sleeve.

NOTE: Look closely at the closing argument given by Newman. In the background, you can glimpse a then-unknown Bruce Willis.


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