97 user 32 critic

The Accused (1988)

R | | Drama | 14 October 1988 (USA)
After a young woman suffers a brutal gang rape in a bar one night, a prosecutor assists in bringing the perpetrators to justice, including the ones who encouraged and cheered on the attack.



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Won 1 Oscar. Another 5 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Ken Joyce
Sally Fraser
D.A. Paul Rudolph
Attorney Paulsen
Lieutenant Duncan
Woody Brown ...
Attorney Wainwright
Bartender Jesse

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Sarah Tobias goes to her local bar and is gang-raped by three men. The district attorney on the case is Katheryn Murphy who wants to prove that although Sarah had taken drugs that night and was acting provocatively while in the bar, this is no reason for her to be so brutally attacked and the men responsible should be brought to justice. Written by Sami Al-Taher <staher2000@yahoo.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


On April 18th 1987, Sarah Tobias stops for a drink at a bar called The Mill. See more »




R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

14 October 1988 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Reckless Endangerment  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$6,000,000 (estimated)


$32,069,318 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Phoebe Cates reportedly turned down the offer to play Sarah. See more »


When Sarah is going through the rape exam, and she is first shown with her face, she does not have abrasions or bruising on her lip or chin. Then when she's laying down for the rest of the exam she has bruising, an abrasion on her lip, and chin. See more »


Sarah Tobias: [Larry tries to kiss Sarah] Stop! Stop!
Larry: When are you going to get over this? Because it's getting really boring!
Sarah Tobias: Get out!
Larry: Fine. I'll be back in a couple of hours.
Sarah Tobias: No. This is my house, and I don't want you in it. Get out!
See more »


Featured in Dreamworlds II: Desire, Sex, Power in Music Video (1997) See more »


Mojo Boogie
By J.B. Lenoir
Performed by Johnny Winter
Courtesy of Alligator Records
See more »

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User Reviews

Kind of TV-movie-ish
17 March 1999 | by (Fredericton, New Brunswick) – See all my reviews

Jodie Foster's performance is good and the gang rape scene at the end of the film is horrific, but the whole movie has the unfortunate feel of a made-for-TV movie. As Jarvis Cocker of Pulp sang, "A movie made for TV, with bad dialogue, bad acting, and no interest. Along with no story and no sex."

Actually, I don't feel the movie was THAT uneventful (I just wanted to squeeze in the Pulp reference, to tell you the truth.) But the difficult subject matter is rendered tame with a boring court case and lots of "You can't win this trial!" dialogue between Kelly McGillis and her bosses. What's worse, the conclusion of the case of the case is never in doubt. Yawn.

The movie is best when it focuses on how Sarah reacts to the rape. She is a fragile woman who acts braver than she is, and her struggle with the rape is rendered clearly and plainly on Foster's face and in her mannerisms. The scene in the record store is uncomfortable and disconcerting, as it should be.

McGillis, though, isn't believable as the prosecutor. She is too bland, too unconvincing; she seems like a calculated attempt at a strong woman character. She never exists as anything more than "the lawyer."

This could have been a very powerful film, one that conveys the pain and anguish of such a terrible crime. As it is, I had to settle for a few powerful moments and some toothless filler.

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