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The Verdict (1982)

 -  Drama  -  8 December 1982 (USA)
7.8
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 21,456 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)

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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:

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

The main movie poster for the film featured a long text preamble that read: "Frank Galvin Has One Last Chance At A Big Case. The doctors want to settle, the Church wants to settle, their lawyers want to settle, and even his own clients are desperate to settle. But Galvin is determined to defy them all. He will try the case". See more »

Goofs

When Frank is sitting in his apartment, speaking on the telephone to Sally Doneghy, in long shot we can see a copy of the 'Boston Herald American' on the table in the bottom right hand corner of the screen. When Frank closes the paper and throws it onto the floor, it is clear that this is a copy of the same newspaper with the same headline. See more »

Quotes

Judge Hoyle: This case should never have come to trial. But you know better. You're mister independent. You want to be independent? Be independent now. I have no sympathy for you.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Saturday Night Live: Joan Rivers/Musical Youth (1983) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

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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