MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Up 1,725 this week

The Star Chamber (1983)

6.3
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.3/10 from 4,179 users  
Reviews: 34 user | 19 critic

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

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
0Check in
0Share...

On Disc

at Amazon

Editors' Spotlight

Emmy Awards 2014

We have the winners, photos and more in our 2014 Emmys section.


User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 30 titles
created 04 Jan 2011
 
a list of 39 titles
created 24 Oct 2011
 
a list of 33 titles
created 25 Aug 2012
 
a list of 45 titles
created 24 Jul 2013
 
a list of 47 titles
created 8 months ago
 

Related Items


Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: The Star Chamber (1983)

The Star Chamber (1983) on IMDb 6.3/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of The Star Chamber.
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Narrow Margin (1990)
Action | Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A woman secretly witnesses the murder of her blind date for the evening by a top Mafia boss. She immediately goes into hiding without informing the authorities. When they finally catch up ... See full summary »

Director: Peter Hyams
Stars: Gene Hackman, Anne Archer, James Sikking
Hail, Hero! (1969)
Certificate: M Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  
Director: David Miller
Stars: Michael Douglas, Arthur Kennedy, Teresa Wright
Our Time (1974)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A student of Penfield girls school falls in love with a male student in 1955. They are deeply in love but meet difficulties and disapproval on every corner.

Director: Peter Hyams
Stars: Pamela Sue Martin, Parker Stevenson, Betsy Slade
Peeper (1976)
Comedy | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

Set in the 1940s, the story follows a private eye on a case to find a long lost daughter of an oddball client. Two goons are on a mission to stop him.

Director: Peter Hyams
Stars: Michael Caine, Natalie Wood, Kitty Winn
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

A disenchanted young Professor of Semantics at a California college learns of a distant relative's death in Missouri. He journeys cross-country to the funeral, then decides to spend the ... See full summary »

Director: Robert Scheerer
Stars: Michael Douglas, Lee Purcell, Joe Don Baker
Busting (1974)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

LA cops Gould and Blake get in over their heads when they don't heed orders from above and go after a big crime boss. While higher ups in the police department want the cop duo to just ... See full summary »

Director: Peter Hyams
Stars: Elliott Gould, Robert Blake, Allen Garfield
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

Remake of the 1956 film noir film "Beyond a Reasonable Doubt" in which a writer's plan to expose a corrupt district attorney takes an unexpected turn.

Director: Peter Hyams
Stars: Jesse Metcalfe, Amber Tamblyn, Michael Douglas
Action | Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Two street-wise Chicago cops have to shake off some rust after returning from a Key West vacation to pursue a drug dealer that nearly killed them in the past.

Director: Peter Hyams
Stars: Gregory Hines, Billy Crystal, Steven Bauer
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A reporter finds what appears to be a cover-up of safety hazards at a nuclear power plant.

Director: James Bridges
Stars: Jane Fonda, Jack Lemmon, Michael Douglas
Summertree (1971)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

Jerry, not a member of the 'protest generation' but is instead, an 'All American boy,' is drafted into the Army, just as things begin to go well for him. He decision to flee to Canada ... See full summary »

Director: Anthony Newley
Stars: Michael Douglas, Jack Warden, Brenda Vaccaro
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

Margaret is a nurse in England during WW2, and married to a secret agent. Things get complicated when she falls for David, an American pilot.

Director: Peter Hyams
Stars: Harrison Ford, Lesley-Anne Down, Christopher Plummer
Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

Two young children, who, rather than part with an old pet lion who was once a circus performer, go on a perilous mountain trek to stay with a recluse friend.

Director: Bernard McEveety
Stars: Michael Douglas, Jodie Foster, Johnny Whitaker
Edit

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:

The only one willing to stop them is one of their own. And when you know who they really are, you'll wish you didn't. See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

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  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

This 1983 picture was the second legal drama in consecutive years for the 20th Century Fox Studio who the previously year had produced 1982's The Verdict (1982). Both that movie and The Star Chamber (1983) were legal thrillers which had "The ... " type titles. This was something which would become popular with Hollywood in the later 1990s decade with various filmed adaptations of John Grisham stories [viz: The Firm (1993), The Client (1994), The Chamber (1996), The Rainmaker (1997), The Pelican Brief (1993) and The Gingerbread Man (1998)]. See more »

Goofs

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

Quotes

Superior Court Judge Steven R. Hardin: The law. Nothing is right or wrong! It's either the law or its not the law. Well, we got a problem here, because it's not working anymore. It turns out that right and wrong count.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Wrong Turn 3: Left for Dead (2009) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Judges, Juries...And Executioners
8 February 2004 | by (San Gabriel, Ca., USA) – See all my reviews

The 1983 film THE STAR CHAMBER posits a situation that must seem outlandish, but does go right to the root of our justice system. What if a secret cabal of judges were set up to pass their own verdicts on criminals who had gotten off on minor technicalities?

This is the problem facing Michael Douglas, who portrays an idealistic judge of the L.A. Superior Court who finds himself being forced to free criminals up on charges that include kidnapping and murder because the police bent the law a bit to get the evidence that would send "the bad guys" to jail for life or possibly to Death Row. Douglas later learns from his mentor (the always watchable Hal Holbrook) about a secret cabal of judges--a Star Chamber--that metes out its own brand of justice against those it feels have wrongly been set free. As a result, numerous criminals wind up getting executed. The further Douglas gets into the Star Chamber, however, the more he realizes that the cure these judges propose to rid society of criminal disease is far worse than the disease itself.

Though it is not always plausible, THE STAR CHAMBER is nevertheless compelling, with Douglas and Holbrook giving standout performances under the direction of Peter Hyams (OUTLAND; CAPRICORN ONE; 2010), who co-wrote the film's script with Roderick Taylor. Some might compare it to the 1973 Dirty Harry film MAGNUM FORCE (in which the cops take the law into their own hands), and many would say its theme of vigilante judges is drenched in right-wing gilt, but I don't think that's the case. This is one of those films that definitely makes you think; and while THE STAR CHAMBER may have been released twenty years ago, its themes still hold up in a world where, rightly or wrongly, people see the justice system as too slanted in favor of the criminals.


7 of 9 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
You know how I hate to do paperwork russflex-46-299747
The Trash can and the warrant brendangrehan
why is Douglas holding a gun in the picture? jk80
Remake? thrill_5150
Good and Bad MAFishman1
Why didn't the cop say he smelt marijuana and back up his partner? UmbertoJones
Discuss The Star Chamber (1983) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?