Jan Schlichtmann, a tenacious lawyer, is addressed by a group of families. When investigating the seemingly non-profiting case, he finds it to be a major environmental issue that has a lot of impact potential. A leather production company could be responsible for several deadly cases of leukemia, but also is the main employer for the area. Schlichtmann and his three colleagues set out to have the company forced to decontaminate the affected areas, and of course to sue for a major sum of compensation. But the lawyers of the leather company's mother company are not easy to get to, and soon Schlichtmann and his friends find themselves in a battle of mere survival. Written by
Julian Reischl <email@example.com>
When Boston and Jan Schlichtmann's office suffers a widespread power outage during an evening thunderstorm, he uses a PBX90 AT&T Merlin office phone which would've been inoperable without AC electricity thus he couldn't have called Al Eustis at W.R. Grace. See more »
It's like this. A dead plaintiff is rarely worth as much as a living, severely-maimed plaintiff. However, if it's a long slow agonizing death, as opposed to a quick drowning or car wreck, the value can rise considerably. A dead adult in his 20s is generally worth less than one who is middle aged. A dead woman less than a dead man. A single adult less than one who's married. Black less than white. Poor less than rich. The perfect victim is a white male professional, 40 ...
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The producers wish to thank the people of Boston, Waltham, Northbridge, Charlestown, Dedham, Brimfield and Palmer, MA. See more »
"Take Me to the River"
Music and Lyrics by Al Green and Mabon Hodges
Performed by Talking Heads
Courtesy of Sire Records Company
By Arrangement with Warner Special Products and licensed courtesy of EMI Records Ltd. See more »
Starting the film as the traditional stereotypical lowlife lawyer, John Travolta is actually superb as his character develops into someone who actually cares about his clients, and about people other than himself.
Robert Duvall is excellent as his opposing counsel, and his character's interplay in the courtroom drama with Travolta is worth seeing the film for alone. Duvall plays quirky characters like few else in modern cinema.
Given the job of prosecuting a tannery over water pollution that has led to the death of many children, this is well written and structured - as well as being brilliantly acted and well directed.
The one complaint I would have is that this petered out a little in the finish, which was perhaps inevitable as it's a true story, and sometimes the climax of real life isn't as good as in fiction.
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