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The Star Chamber (1983)

R  |   |  Drama, Mystery, Thriller  |  5 August 1983 (USA)
6.3
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Ratings: 6.3/10 from 4,440 users  
Reviews: 34 user | 18 critic

Disgusted with criminals escaping the judicial system via technicalities, an idealistic young judge investigates an alternative method for punishing the guilty.

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(screenplay), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Title: The Star Chamber (1983)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Superior Court Judge Steven R. Hardin
...
Judge Benjamin Caulfield
...
Det. Harry Lowes
...
Emily Hardin
...
Dr. Harold Lewin (as James B. Sikking)
...
Arthur Cooms
...
Lawrence Monk
John DiSanti ...
Det. James Wickman
...
Stanley Flowers (as DeWayne Jessie)
Jack Kehoe ...
Hingle
...
Det. Kenneth Wiggan
...
Det. Paul Mackey
Margie Impert ...
Louise Pacinni
Dana Gladstone ...
Dept. Dist. Atty. Martin Hyatt
...
Officer Nelson
Edit

Storyline

Disgusted with criminals escaping the judicial system via technicalities, an idealistic young judge investigates an alternative method for punishing the guilty. Written by <bentley@access.digex.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

THEY HAVE COMMITED EVERY CRIME IN THE BOOK. Yet the law cannot touch them. They are free to walk the streets. UNTIL TONIGHT'S MEETING OF... [THE STAR CHAMBER] [UK Theatrical] See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

5 August 1983 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Câmara Secreta  »

Box Office

Gross:

$5,600,000 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(70 mm prints)| (35 mm prints)

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The movie features footage of a baseball game being played between the Atlanta Braves and the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium. The footage shows Dusty Baker hitting a home run off of Phil Niekro. Also, a clip can be seen of a scoreboard during the game showing the Braves leading 4-3. This places the date of the game at 7 June 1982. See more »

Goofs

Obvious stunt double when Judge Hardin is tumbling down the chute in Monk & Coombs' warehouse. See more »

Quotes

Dr. Harold Lewin: Look at the goddamn photograph.
See more »

Connections

References The Parallax View (1974) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Fairly impressive early effort from Douglas
1 February 2004 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

STAR RATING:*****Unmissable****Very Good***Okay**You Could Go Out For A Meal Instead*Avoid At All Costs

In one of his earlier features,Michael Douglas plays a young judge who becomes disillusioned with the law system he used to so admire when he finds himself continually having to aquit particularly dispicable criminals on the grounds of ridiculous technicalities.Sensing his frustration,a close friend (Hal Holbrook) informs him of a secret judicial society that meets and dishes out the appropriate punishment to those who have escaped the clutches of the law.However,events take a turn for the worst as the wheels get set too far in motion and he finds himself having to turn against this group and bring them down.With the aid of an inquisitive detective (Yaphet Kotto) this proves easier than anticipated.

The whole thing weirdly ends up emerging as some sort of left-wing statement against the death penalty and the complications that could arise with it,in much the same way as the Kevin Spacey/Kate Winslet thriller The Life of David Gale would 20 years later.In this sense,it makes it's point fairly well,although the plot does seem to borrow rather too heavily from Clint Eastwood's Magnum Force to have the full lasting impact it could have had and it has a kind of far-fetched,unintentionally surreal feel to it that ultimately clouded my judgement.The odd title is never really explained or delved in to with much detail either.

Still,for all these criticisms,it's riveting and consistently exciting enough to sustain your interest till the end,which,ironically for how unbelievable the plot is in some respects,is extremely believable and satisfactory.This star chamber is lucky enough to be granted two more from this generous benefactor.***


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