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 »
If Newman hadn't been up against Ghandi, he probably would have. I think the Academy realized their error and Newman's win for The Color of Money was really for his portrayal of Frank Galvin, in this well-done tale of moral decrepitude and ultimate redemption. Writer Mamet and Director Lumet are into heavy symbolism throughout, with the scene of the developing Poloroids of the victim (the case becomes clear in Galvin's mind), to Galvin's pilfering of a woman's mail to run down a lead on a potential witness. The closing statement of Newman's character to the jury is powerful.
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