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The Verdict (1982)

 -  Drama  -  8 December 1982 (USA)
7.8
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 21,159 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

Though entitled "The Verdict", the original final draft of David Mamet's screenplay had no verdict in it. Producer Richard D. Zanuck commented that the title would require a question mark on advertising materials making it "The Verdict?". It was director Sidney Lumet who convinced Mamet to add in a verdict so the film could have a third act denouement. See more »

Goofs

Frank takes Polaroids of Deborah and lays them on the bed apart from each other, but when seen from an overhead view, they are touching. See more »

Quotes

Kevin Doneghy: You guys... you guys are all the same! The doctors at the hospital, you... it's always what I'm going to do for you. And then you screw up, and it's, "Ah, we did the best that we could, I'm dreadfully sorry." And people like us live with your mistakes the rest of our lives.
See more »

Connections

Featured in The 77th Annual Academy Awards (2005) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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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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