Presumed Innocent (1990)

R  |   |  Crime, Drama, Mystery  |  27 July 1990 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 27,841 users  
Reviews: 79 user | 35 critic

When the female deputy prosecutor R.K. Sabich had an affair with is murdered, he is chosen to lead the investigation. However, when he digs too deeply, he finds himself framed for the murder.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Judge Larren Lyttle
Carolyn Polhemus
Det. Lipranzer
Nico Della Guardia
'Painless' Kumagai
Jamie Kemp
Lydia 'Mac' MacDougall
Mr. Polhemus
Madison Arnold ...
Sgt. Lionel Kenneally


Carolyn Polhemus, an up-and-comer in the Kindle County D.A.'s Office, is found viciously murdered in her home. Immediately her boss, D.A. Raymond Horgan and his chief deputy, Rusty Sabich start an investigation. Horgan, however, is in the middle of a campaign to keep his job, which he ultimately loses to former subordinate Nico Della Guardia. Della Guardia and his new deputy, Tommy Molto, decide to prosecute Sabich for Carolyn's murder when it is revealed that Sabich was a former lover of Polhemus. Horgan also turns against his former subordinate, and Rusty soon realizes he has few friends left - except for Sandy Stern, whom he has often faced on the other side of the courtroom, and who will become his new defense lawyer when he is put on trial for murder. Investigation by Stern and his team leads them to think that Rusty was framed for murder - by Molto, who wanted Sabich's job and was trying to punish him for backing Horgan. Is Rusty Sabich innocent...or is he a murderer? Written by Derek O'Cain

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Attraction. Desire. Deception. Murder. No one is ever completely innocent. See more »


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

27 July 1990 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Aus Mangel an Beweisen  »

Box Office


$86,303,188 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Theatrical film debut of Joseph Mazzello. See more »


Bottle of Dewer's Scotch on desk turns clockwise between shots. See more »


[first lines]
Rusty Sabich: [voiceover] I'm a prosecutor. I'm part of the business of accusing, judging and punishing. I explore the evidence of a crime and determine who is charged, who is brought to this room to be tried before his peers. I present my evidence to the jury and they deliberate upon it. They must determine what really happened. If they cannot, we will not know whether the accused deserves to be freed or should be punished. If they cannot find the truth, what is our hope of justice?
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Bland, Boring Pakula
14 April 2011 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

The lead investigator (Harrison Ford) on a murder case becomes the prime suspect after it is revealed that he was having an affair with her. With fingerprints and DNA everywhere, can he convince them of his innocence? Besides Harrison Ford, we have Raul Julia playing a role other than Gomez Addams, which is nice to see. There is also the medical examiner, who is hilarious, by far my favorite character in the movie.

Not director Alan Pakula's best work by far, though he does well by covering the ground he covered in "All the President's Men" by mixing crime and politics. This is always an intriguing mix, especially when executed by a capable director, writer and cast. This film has such things, and is therefore a worthy film, and enjoyable.

I found the flashbacks to be annoying more than anything. I understand they were important to make the connection between the victim and the accused, but she was presented as if she was a gorgeous catch, but was rather hideous and manipulative. Her alleged liaisons with important men does not make her a victim that gets much sympathy from me.

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

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Can we please get a modern remake that's not cheesy gmp08401
did the wife .. stella-4-star
'Innocent' IanDSmith
If you read the book, or even if you didn't, can you explain... verastegui
I thought he killed her for a minute at the end, anyone else?
The movie's a 7...the book's a 10. goooooost8
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