The Verdict (1982)

R  |   |  Drama  |  17 December 1982 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 24,672 users  
Reviews: 146 user | 74 critic

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



(based upon the novel by), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 5 Oscars. Another 3 wins & 9 nominations. See more awards »



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


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




R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

17 December 1982 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Será justicia  »

Box Office


$16,000,000 (estimated)


$54,000,000 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Among the people in the courtroom during the dramatic closing speech is a young Bruce Willis. See more »


Early in the film, when Frank leaves a building you can see a reflection in the window of an entire crowd of people across the street who were watching the scene with Paul Newman being filmed. See more »


Frank Galvin: I changed my life today, what did you do?
Laura Fischer: I changed my room at the hotel.
Frank Galvin: Why did you do that?
Laura Fischer: TV didn't work.
See more »


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User Reviews

One of the best courtroom dramas
27 June 2005 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

I've always believed that actors are drawn to courtroom material because of the inherent conflict within them makes for good drama and good parts. They're quite a few of them in The Verdict.

This has always been my favorite Paul Newman film, it's the one he should have won the Oscar for. His Frank Galvin is not the noblest of creatures, he's a once promising attorney now an alcoholic ambulance chaser. But the skills are still there and he shows them battling tremendous odds. Thirty years earlier Frank Capra could easily have made this the subject of one of his populist dramas.

Newman gets great support from an outstanding cast. James Mason, Jack Warden, Charlotte Rampling, Joe Seneca deliver some outstanding performances. The one I particularly liked here was Milo O'Shea as the corrupt and biased judge.

Most of the great courtroom dramas have been about criminal cases. The Verdict was a landmark film that set the stage for the success of other great films about civil cases, including A Civil Action and Erin Brockovich. Those I don't think would have been made but for the critical and popular success of The Verdict.

Paul Newman was never better on screen.

26 of 30 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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