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Presumed Innocent (1990)

R  |   |  Crime, Drama, Mystery  |  27 July 1990 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 27,582 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.



(novel), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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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


Some people would kill for love. 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?


Before the book was released in August 1987, producer Sydney Pollack purchased the rights to the film for $1 million. See more »


When Rusty is dining with his wife and son in the restaurant he asks his son, who is holding a glass of milk, a question. His son answers immediately holding his knife and fork. It also happens the other way round when the son speaks to his father. 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?
See more »


Featured in Casting By (2012) See more »


Let The Drummer Loose
Written by Richard Wolf, Bret Mazur and Y.C. Smith
Produced by Richard Wolf and Bret Mazur
Performed by Y.C Smith
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Excellent legal drama
27 November 2003 | by See all my reviews

Presumed Innocent presents a stiff challenge to its principal actors. Many of them must read their lines and convey body language that is ambiguous, suggesting both guilt or innocence and good or evil. The talented cast accomplishes this superbly. The story (based on a book of the same name which I haven't read) intelligently and knowledgeably examines the morality of the legal system and how it is compromised because of human fallibility. All in all, this was a very engrossing motion picture. Strongly recommended, 8/10.

23 of 32 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

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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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