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Absence of Malice (1981)

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When a prosecutor leaks a false story that a liquor warehouse owner is involved in the murder of a union head, the man's life begins to unravel.

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Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 3 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Gallagher
... Megan
... Rosen
... Teresa
... Malderone
... Waddell
... McAdam
... Davidek
... Quinn
... Wells
Arnie Ross ... Eddie Frost
Phanie Napoli ... Nickie (as Anna Marie Napoles)
Shelley Spurlock ... Sarah Wylie
... Hood 1
Joe Petrullo ... Hood 2
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Storyline

Mike Gallagher is a Miami liquor wholesaler whose deceased father was a local mobster. The FBI organized crime task force have no evidence that he's involved with the mob but decide to pressure him into perhaps revealing something - anything - about a murder they're sure was a mob hit. They let Megan Carter, a naive but well-meaning journalist, know he is being investigated and Gallagher's name is soon all over the newspaper. Gallagher has an iron-clad alibi for when the murder occurred but won't reveal it to protect his fragile friend Teresa. When Carter publishes her story, tragedy ensues. Needing to make amends, Carter tells Gallagher the source of the first story about him and he sets out to teach the FBI and the Federal Attorney a lesson. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

In America can a man be guilty until proven innocent? See more »


Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

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Release Date:

18 December 1981 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Ausencia de malicia  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$12,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$64,775, 22 November 1981, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$40,716,963
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Sound Mix:

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The name of the newspaper in the film is the fictional paper 'The Miami Standard'. Its interiors were portrayed by the actual newspaper 'The Miami Herald'. See more »

Goofs

Megan sends Michael a note containing a spelling error. It reads "Michael: This is tomorrow's page one - just in case you've cancelled your sibscription - I'm happy for you," yet is told she'd make a good editor. However, she isn't being considered as a copy editor (who proofreads written stories from spelling and grammar) but for position of one who assigns stories and makes key judgment calls. See more »

Quotes

Michael Colin Gallagher: Waiter? Check.
Megan Carter: Oh, no, no, no. I'll pay. Unless you think that would make you impotent.
Michael Colin Gallagher: You got some mouth.
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Connections

Referenced in The Directors: The Films of Sydney Pollack (2000) See more »

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User Reviews

 
All the news that's fit to print (and then some)
1 October 2005 | by See all my reviews

This movie provides a clever insight into the principles the press live by. Reporters sometimes lose their basic humanity because they're not looking at the human interest, but at covering all the angles. What's newsworthy is what's in the public domain as fact, not gossip. It's definitely something to think about in this age when large sections of the media are intent on muckraking over the affairs of those who are deemed to be 'high-profile'...

The movie asks us, though, to keep in mind that sometimes there's more going on than meets the eye, and that certain acts function as a means to an end. It can be seen as an extension of that great 70's movie tradition where acclaimed directors make polished films exposing high-level corruption. "Absence of Malice" is an involving exercise in paranoid mystery, with Newman in fine form as always, and Sally Field providing capable support.


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