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The Verdict (1982)

 -  Drama  -  8 December 1982 (USA)
7.8
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 21,219 users  
Reviews: 140 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 & 7 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:

8 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

David Mamet's draft was rejected at first because he refused to put the outcome of the verdict into the script. It was director Sidney Lumet who convinced him to alter his ending. See more »

Goofs

In the climactic courtroom scene, when Frank calls Kaitlin to the stand, Concannon is flustered and confers with one of his lawyers. We then see the lawyer leave the courtroom, presumably having been given some direction by Concannon. Later, after Kaitlin has been questioned by Frank and cross-examined by Concannon, the lawyer returns with a book containing the case Concannon cites to get the judge to disallow the admittance of the photocopy of the hospital admission form as evidence. However, at the point at which Concannon calls the lawyer over and then, presumably, sends him out to "find" this book/case, he doesn't even know about the existence of the photocopy because he hasn't yet questioned Kaitlin; it's during his questioning of Kaitlin that she reveals she has a photocopy of the form. So there's no way the lawyer would have known to go out and find a case regarding the inadmissibility of a photocopy. See more »

Quotes

[Frank is giving his summation to the jury]
Frank Galvin: You know, so much of the time we're just lost. We say, "Please, God, tell us what is right; tell us what is true." And there is no justice: the rich win, the poor are powerless. We become tired of hearing people lie. And after a time, we become dead... a little dead. We think of ourselves as victims... and we become victims. We become... we become weak. We doubt ourselves, we doubt our beliefs. We doubt our institutions. And we doubt the law. But today...
[...]
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Saturday Night Live: The Best of David Spade (2005) See more »

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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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