Reversal of Fortune (1990)

R  |   |  Biography, Drama, Mystery  |  9 November 1990 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 10,796 users   Metascore: 93/100
Reviews: 58 user | 27 critic | 18 from

Wealthy Sunny von Bülow lies brain-dead, husband Claus guilty of attempted murder; but he says he's innocent and hires Alan Dershowitz for his appeal.



(book) (as Alan Dershowitz) , (screenplay)
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Won 1 Oscar. Another 11 wins & 13 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Maria, Sunny's Personal Maid
Jack Gilpin ...
Peter MacIntosh, Dershowitz's Student Staff
Andrea Reynolds, Claus' Girlfriend
Minnie, Dershowitz's Student Staff
Mano Singh ...
Raj, Dershowitz's Student Staff
Johann Carlo ...
Keith Reddin ...
Dobbs, Dershowitz's Student Staff
Alan Pottinger ...
Chuck, Dershowitz's Student Staff


Alan Dershowitz a brilliant professor of law is hired by wealthy socialite Claus von Bulow to attempt to overturn his two convictions for attempted murder of his extremely wealthy wife. Based on a true story the film concentrates not on the trial like other legal thrillers, but on the preparatory work that Dershowitz and his students put in as they attempt to disprove the prosecution's case and achieve the Reversal of Fortune of the title. Written by Mark Thompson <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The Case of Claus Von Bulow. An American Saga of Money and Mystery.


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Parents Guide:




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Release Date:

9 November 1990 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El misterio Von Bulow  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$15,445,131 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Jeremy Irons met the real Claus von Bülow three years after the release of the film. Irons commented "he didn't tell me anything I didn't already know." Irons recalled that von Bulow asked him if he was aware that the real Alan M. Dershowitz was (at the time) representing Leona Helmsley and Mike Tyson. Irons replied that he was aware of that, to which von Bulow quipped: "I don't suppose you've been asked to play either of them, have you?" See more »


When the intern wants to quit the project and heads for the door, the shot is flopped. Her books and purse change arms between shots. See more »


Claus von Bülow: [warmly shaking his hand] Professor Dershowitz, how good of you to come!
See more »


Referenced in Totally F***ed Up (1993) See more »


Performed by Eva Marton with the London Philharmonic
Written by Richard Wagner
Arranged by Arpád Joó (conductor)
Courtesy of Sefel Records
Division of Phoenix Entertainment Inc.
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User Reviews

How Good Is This Film?..."You Have No Idea!"
15 May 2002 | by (Pa.) – See all my reviews

Ever since the film premiered in 1990 Jeremy Iron's portrayal of the Aristocratic Claus Von Bulow has been etched in my memory. Iron's has without question created one of the most brilliantly layered historical characterizations to ever grace the screen.He gets to the heart of the haughty Von Bulow and brings us as close to liking the man as anyone ever could.His performance rightly won Him an Oscar for Best Actor. Just as engaging is Ron Silver's driven and hyper Alan Dershowitz. his performance of the great trail lawyer is facinatingly accurate. Having seen Dershowitz speak and meeting him afterwards it is very clear that Silver was able to capture even the smallest details of the man's movements,vocal inflections and dynamic rhetoric(Dersowitz himself claimed Silver used a tad too many hand gestures however!)

The supporting cast is equally strong. Glenn Close narrates the film as the comatose Sunny Von Bulow and appears in flashback during the events that lead to her coma. She captures Sunny's selfishness as well as her vulnerability. The great Uta Hagan appears as Sunny's maid and protector and give a performance worthy of her reputation.

Barbet Schroeder slickly directs the film,not as a linier plot but as a series of flashbacks,moments and current incidents. This is one of the few films that I cannot find a single flaw in.For direction,plot,characterization,writing..and Jeremy Iron's wonderful performance this film is an absolute 10!

31 of 36 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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