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The Verdict (1982)

R  |   |  Drama  |  17 December 1982 (USA)
7.8
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 24,063 users  
Reviews: 145 user | 73 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 & 7 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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...
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Judge Hoyle
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Kaitlin Costello Price
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Julie Bovasso ...
Maureen Rooney
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Sally Doneghy
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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 was once a promising Boston lawyer with a bright future ahead. An incident early in his career in which he was trying to do the right thing led to him being fired from the prestigious law firm with which he was working, almost being disbarred, and his wife leaving him. Continually drowning his sorrows in booze, he is now an ambulance chasing lawyer, preying on the weak and vulnerable, and bending the truth whenever necessary to make what few dollars he has, as he has only had a few cases in the last few years, losing the last four. His only friend in the profession is his now retired ex-partner, Mickey Morrissey, who gets Frank a case, his fee solely a percentage of what his clients are awarded. The case should net Frank tens of thousands of dollars by settling out of court, that money which would at least get him back on his feet. It is a negligence suit brought on behalf of Deborah Ann Kaye by her sister and brother-in-law, Sally and Kevin Doneghy, against St. Catherine... Written by Huggo

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
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Did You Know?

Trivia

James Mason was anxious to work with Sidney Lumet again and although the actor was offered the part eventually played by Jack Warden, Lumet didn't believe he wanted to do it. At the prompting of his wife, Mason called the director and fortuitously Burt Lancaster, who was set to play Concannon, dropped out, and that opened up the role for Mason. See more »

Goofs

In common law, when a lawyer has received an offer from opposing council, your lawyer must present this offer to his client (the sister and brother-in-law) and it is up to them to accept or reject the offer. The lawyer takes his instructions from his client.

The opposing council is not allowed to discuss the case of offers etc. with the client (sister or brother-in-law).

Both of these actions could be grounds for disbarment or sanctions and fines against both lawyers. See more »

Quotes

[telling the joke to the others in the bar]
Frank Galvin: So Pat says, he says, "They got this new bar... and you go inside and for half a buck you get a beer, a free lunch and they take you in the back room - they get you laid... Mike says, "Now wait a minute, wait a minute, wait a minute. Do you mean to say there's a new bar and you go inside and for a half a buck they give you a beer, a free lunch and they take you in the back room and they get you laid?" Pat says, "That's right." "Have you ever been in ...
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User Reviews

one of the best legal dramas ever
20 June 2002 | by (Richland, WA) – See all my reviews

"The Verdict" is simply one of the best legal dramas ever done. Of course much of what happens in the movie is unrealistic and wouldn't happen in a real case but the movie isn't a study in courtroom procedure (watch the fantastic "Anatomy of a Murder" for that) it is a study about redemption and in that respect it excels.

This movie captures Paul Newman's finest screen performance and that alone makes it an important movie. The scenes where Newman hardly says anything show how great an actor he is---his look of self-loathing when he's thrown out of the funeral home, his palsied hand and lost look when he's trying to drink his whiskey, his panic when Charlotte Rampling lambastes him for being a failure. Then throw into that his terrific courtroom scenes, his arguments with the judge in chambers, it is just a sensational performance all around.

The level of acting is high all around in this movie. James Mason was Oscar nominated for playing the silky smooth, totally corrupt defense attorney. Jack Warden shines as Frank Galvin's world-weary former law partner. Lindsey Crouse has a small role as a nurse but is given the most powerful and dramatic moment in the entire movie. Her cross-examination by James Mason is where the movie really shines and shows that Paul Newman can keep his ego in check. How many movies give the most powerful and dramatic moment of the film to one of the secondary players? How many lead actors would be willing to just sit there quiet in a chair while a bit player and the second male lead share the big moment? It was a bold decision by both Newman, director Sidney Lumet and writer David Mamet and it is unforgettable.

The movie shows the two extremes of the practice of law. James Mason's win-at-all-costs cheating and Paul Newman getting so emotionally wrapped up in the case that he is no longer protecting his client's interests and instead is out to settle his own personal scores. A great, great movie.


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