7.3/10
12,155
64 user 30 critic

Reversal of Fortune (1990)

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.

Director:

Writers:

(book) (as Alan Dershowitz), (screenplay)

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Won 1 Oscar. Another 11 wins & 14 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Maria
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Jack Gilpin ...
Peter MacIntosh
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Andrea Reynolds
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Ellen
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Minnie
Mano Singh ...
Raj
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Nancy
Keith Reddin ...
Dobbs
Alan Pottinger ...
Chuck
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Storyline

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 <mrt@oasis.icl.co.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

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


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

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Language:

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Release Date:

9 November 1990 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El misterio Von Bulow  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Gross:

$15,445,131 (USA)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Included among the "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die", edited by Steven Schneider. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

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

References Dark Shadows (1966) See more »

Soundtracks

TRISTAN UND ISOLDE
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

 
Cold, and cruel and the way of the world...
27 June 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

That is Sonny von Bulow's narrative as she describes the marriage between her and Claus, an infamous fortune seeker, who had made his way in the world the old fashioned way- he inherited it, by marriage.

This is an intriguing story because it is based on truth, and both Glenn Close and Jeremy Irons give stellar performances. It is trite but true; money has not brought happiness to either of these people. Sonny has apparently led a life of depression, eating disorders, alcoholism and prescription drug abuse. Claus was probably no stranger to similar vices, as well as episodic infidelity. It may have been even more interesting had the screenplay delved into their earlier years, lifestyles in Europe and world travel, living a hedonistic life.

In this case, murder is a nebulous concept. Claus von Bulow insists he is innocent, yet his many assertions to attorney Alan Dershowitz indicate otherwise. von Bulow is calculating, mysterious, and cold. Does this indicate guilt? The audience is never completely informed. That is what makes the story so real. As in real life, when murderers are set free, one may never know the truth. There is also a good side-story where Dershowitz is attempting to save two young black males from a death sentence. He does their case "pro bono", for the sake of justice, whereas von Bulow's case, as Dershowitz proclaims, is paying for their defense.

Overall, this is a tragic story which leaves many grey areas, one wonders how the children, Alex and Alah have survived this debacle. Another viewpoint would be an interesting screenplay. 10/10.

Dershowitz is portrayed by Ron Silver, who projects a realistic image.


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