When a judge is charged with rape, Arthur Kirkland is forced to defend him. Kirkland has had problems with the judge in the past, including one incident when the judge wrongly sentenced his client Jeff McCullaugh because of a technicality. Kirkland faces a moral and legal dilemma.Written by
Melissa Portell <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Co-screenwriter Barry Levinson said of the film's central character Arthur Kirkland who is played by Al Pacino: "The character is not a celebrity lawyer like a Perry Mason or an F. Lee Bailey. He's a guy who's trying to practice his profession honestly and responsibly, without getting disbarred. Which is itself crazy". Arthur Kirkland, Levinson says, first came to life as a minor character in a different screenplay. Levinson said: "But he became so likable and important to me that I dropped the other script and began working with Valerie [Curtin] on this one". See more »
Camera and crew in reflection of window as Arthur leaves with Carl in the new car. See more »
Superb performances of all players without exception, but of course special mention has to go to Pacino who gives one of the best performances of his career. If you are interested in joining the legal profession (as I was), this is a must-see. Pacino is an over-worked, successful defence lawyer, juggling his heavy caseload. When a judge, whom he is publicly known to hate, is charged with Rape, Pacino is asked to defend him. Although this is the premise for the film, it is so beautifully entwined with many different, rich characters and a multitude of cases, it's almost unfair to even pinpoint the main thread. A perfect blend of tragedy, comedy and drama, I would rank this film in my all-time top 10.
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