Frank Galvin was once a promising Boston lawyer with a bright future ahead. An incident early in his career in which he was trying to do the right thing led to him being fired from the prestigious law firm with which he was working, almost being disbarred, and his wife leaving him. Continually drowning his sorrows in booze, he is now an ambulance chasing lawyer, preying on the weak and vulnerable, and bending the truth whenever necessary to make what few dollars he has, as he has only had a few cases in the last few years, losing the last four. His only friend in the profession is his now retired ex-partner, Mickey Morrissey, who gets Frank a case, his fee solely a percentage of what his clients are awarded. The case should net Frank tens of thousands of dollars by settling out of court, that money which would at least get him back on his feet. It is a negligence suit brought on behalf of Deborah Ann Kaye by her sister and brother-in-law, Sally and Kevin Doneghy, against St. Catherine...Written by
The major legal rulings at the climax are actually gross misunderstandings of the rules of evidence as they had existed under common law for centuries at the time of the trial, rather than being obviously legally correct as the characters suggest. See more »
It seems to me, a fellow's trying to come back, he'd take the settlement, get a record for himself. I, myself. would take it and run like a thief.
I'm sure you would.
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NBC edited 33 minutes from this film for its 1985 network television premiere. See more »
The difference between what is legal and what is just
I like that this film shows how the criminal justice system, solid though it is, has cracks that can prevent justice being done, and that the people participating in it have to have the courage to recognize them. This film has turned out to be a seminal one: legal drama has turned overwhelmingly to rumination of the moral interstices of the law like the one portrayed here. Without "The Verdict," we wouldn't have "The Practice." Gone are the days when all of Perry Mason's clients were innocent.
Paul Newman's performance has been justifiably enshrined in the pantheon of Circumstances When The Academy Dropped The Ball. But what made the film a truly emotional performance for me was Lindsay Crouse as the pivotal witness. The entire ensemble was flawless, as was the incredible atmosphere. "The Verdict" is probably too serious for some movie fans, and that's OK--no film can please everyone. But if you like to be given something to think about by your entertainments, this is the film for you.
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