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The Accused (1988)

R | | Drama | 14 October 1988 (USA)
1:57 | Trailer

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After a young woman suffers a brutal 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.



4,864 ( 63)
Won 1 Oscar. Another 5 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Bernie Coulson ...
Ken Joyce
Sally Fraser
D.A. Paul Rudolph
Attorney Paulsen
Terry David Mulligan ...
Lieutenant Duncan
Woody Brown ...
Attorney Wainwright
Kim Kondrashoff ...
Stephen E. Miller ...
Tom Heaton ...
Bartender Jesse


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?


Heather Locklear tried to audition for the role of Sarah, and Ally Sheedy was considered, but she backed out. See more »


When Sarah, after the rape, goes back to The Mill, her red car is first shown dry and shiny and without a rear license plate. A few seconds later, in a close-up shot, we see the same car is wet from rain drops and with the license plate 'SXY SADI' on the back. 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 The 79th Annual Academy Awards (2007) See more »


Love To The Limit
By Paul Sabu & Debrah Neal
Performed by Only Child
Courtesy of Rhino Records, Inc.
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User Reviews

a serious and troubling study of sexism at its worst
1 November 2010 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

The shocking true story of a bar room gang rape is lifted from the headlines to become, with dramatic license, a serious and troubling study of sexism at its worst, when the victim herself is accused of 'asking for it'. Jodie Foster offers a courageous performance as the tough but vulnerable Sarah Tobias, whose behavior on the night of the crime was certainly provocative, but as the flashback re-enactment shows all too clearly no amount of provocation could justify such a brutal response. Up until those final scenes the film is a well-crafted but largely conventional topical drama, with lots of predictable bonding between Foster and her conscience stricken attorney Kelly McGillis. But the attack itself, teasingly saved until the final reel, is so graphic and degrading it obliterates the memory of everything that happened earlier. The scene is pure exploitation, but it serves a purpose, putting audiences in the same, ugly position as the cheering onlookers in the bar, who in many ways were even guiltier than the rapists themselves.

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