7.8/10
29,169
160 user 82 critic

The Verdict (1982)

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

Director:

Writers:

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

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Sally Doneghy
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Lewis J. Stadlen ...
Dr. Gruber (as Lewis Stadlen)
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Joseph Alito
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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

Taglines:

Frank Galvin Has One Last Chance At A Big Case.

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:

Será justicia  »

Box Office

Budget:

$16,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$54,000,000 (USA)
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Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Rehearsals prior to principal photography ran for three weeks, a period customary for director Sidney Lumet. See more »

Goofs

When Frank first sees Laura at the bar he offers to buy her a drink and she refuses. This playing 'hard to get' would run the risk of him never approaching her again. 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.
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Connections

References Dr. Kildare (1961) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

A Classic
14 September 2000 | by (la) – See all my reviews

I love this film, I own a copy and I watch it at least once a year. It's hard to pick a "best work" from Sidney Lumet, Paul Newman or David Mamet, but this film ranks up there for all three. And really, when you say those three names on one film, that says it all, doesn't it?

Newman plays a down and out lawyer, a drunk ambulance chaser whose life changes when he turns down a pultry settlement offer to try a case that he can't possibly win. There are so many great scenes in this film, it's hard to pick a favorite. Possibly, the very end, the ringing phone Paul Newman ignores as he sips on some coffee, rather than whiskey, might be one of the all time greats. The scene sums up the movie so well. My other favorite is a long, single shot where Newman is on the phone trying to get another doctor to testify and Jack Warden paces the room. The camera is at the other end of the room, on the floor and the scene is about five or six minutes long, one continuous shot, beautifully done.

I read a book a couple years ago that covered blunders in film regarding court cases and apparently there were a couple in this one. But this is a film that is so great, so well done, I think Godzilla could have trampled part of Boston and Lumet could have made it believable. Although Cool Hand Luke is my favorite film of all time, The Verdict is my second favorite Newman film. See it if you can.


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