Jed Ward is an attorney who specializes in whistle blower, David vs. Goliath, type cases. He finds a client who is suing an auto company over a safety problem that has had a severe effect ... See full summary »
Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio,
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>
Multiple characters make subtle fun of Mr. Cheeseman's name, emphasizing CHEESE-man. James Gandolfini calls him Chessman after his deposition, subtly implying he is merely a pawn. This is reinforced later when Facher (Robert Duvall) refers to himself and Schlichtman (John Travolta) as Kings. Several shot set-ups also emphasize the chess-theme being played out in court. See more »
At the meeting in the hotel where Jan asks for $300+ million, Cheeseman begins calculating the figures on a pad of paper with his left hand. A cut to an over-the-shoulder shot shows him writing the figures with his right hand. 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 Teenie 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 »
"A Civil Action" was a fine book, and the film does it justice. No, it's not perfect, but it is emotionally moving, and faithful to the non-fiction account of the case.
Some of the heart-rending short scenes featuring parents of the child-victims (the father at the deposition; the parents trying to revive the dying child in the car) were absolute masterpieces. There should be special Academy Awards available for brief scenes of this kind that are too "small" for Best Supporting Actor awards, but are, in themselves, worthy of acclaim.
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