Honest and hard-working Texas rancher Homer Bannon has a conflict with his unscrupulous, selfish, arrogant and egotistical son Hud, who sank into alcoholism after accidentally killing his brother in a car crash.
Frank Capua is a rising star on the race circuit who dreams of winning the big one--the Indianapolis 500. But to get there he runs the risk of losing his wife Elora to his rival, Luther ... See full summary »
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
At one point in the film when, Sally Field and Paul Newman are having dinner, Field tells a story about her father laying down on the lawn waiting for her character to return from a date. This is in fact a true story from Ms. Field's autobiography. Her step father (Jock Mahoney) waited for to come home by laying on the lawn. See more »
The union workers who struck Michael told him that if their union cards were pulled they would not be able to work anywhere. Florida is a right to work state and you don't need to have a union card to work. They would be considered "scabs" but they would be able to work at any dock in Miami. See more »
Sydney Pollack's harsh take on the press plays out with Paul Newman as an innocent liquor dealer and Sally Field as the delusional, yet still spunky reporter that implicates Newman in the disappearance of a local Miami labor leader.
"Absence of Malice" takes a rather tough look at the newspapers in this country. Instead of being the hero, as they were in say "All the President's Men," they are portrayed here as the agitators that don't seem to care about flimsy accusations and exposing very personal secrets.
The plot is at times a little too convoluted and Newman's character's actions/dealings toward the end of the film are a little too unbelievable for me, at least. Tension also fails to build. The film, however, isn't a mystery, so plot machinations like people getting murdered in a dark alley aren't here and shouldn't be.
Newman is great here. At his cool, suave best. Even at 56 years of age, he is still incredibly gorgeous. He could just coast on that, but he doesn't. He gives a polished and reserved performance, while definitely adding more layers to the character. Sally Field, on the other hand, is totally miscast here - too much Norma Rae here. She is feisty for sure, but seems to be trying too hard to play this strong willed, tough, and smart reporter. This is especially evident when she's playing against Paul Newman who in turn is giving such an effortless performance. Jane Fonda would've been so much better! Wilford Brimley is great in a small supporting role near the end of the film and Melinda Dillon, giving a very subtle and quiet performance, is very effective as a woman with a secret that eventually gets exposed.
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