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The Verdict (1982)

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A lawyer sees the chance to salvage his career and self-respect by taking a medical malpractice case to trial rather than settling.

Director:

Sidney Lumet

Writers:

Barry Reed (based upon the novel by), David Mamet (screenplay)
Nominated for 5 Oscars. Another 3 wins & 9 nominations. See more awards »

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Director: Sydney Pollack
Stars: Paul Newman, Sally Field, Bob Balaban
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Paul Newman ... Frank Galvin
Charlotte Rampling ... Laura Fischer
Jack Warden ... Mickey Morrissey
James Mason ... Ed Concannon
Milo O'Shea ... Judge Hoyle
Lindsay Crouse ... Kaitlin Costello Price
Edward Binns ... Bishop Brophy
Julie Bovasso ... Maureen Rooney
Roxanne Hart ... Sally Doneghy
James Handy ... Kevin Doneghy
Wesley Addy ... Dr. Towler
Joe Seneca ... Dr. Thompson
Lewis J. Stadlen Lewis J. Stadlen ... Dr. Gruber (as Lewis Stadlen)
Kent Broadhurst ... Joseph Alito
Colin Stinton ... Billy
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Storyline

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 Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Frank Galvin Has One Last Chance At A Big Case.

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

17 December 1982 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Será justicia See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$16,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$54,000,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Twentieth Century Fox See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film takes place in February 1982. See more »

Goofs

The case Concannon cites at a key moment is described with an incorrect legal form. For the United States legal reporter, the citation should be a whole number followed by "U.S." or "United States" and then another whole number, not a decimal. See more »

Quotes

Ed Concannon: I know how you feel. You don't believe me, but I do know. I'm going to tell you something that I learned when I was your age. I'd prepared a case and old man White said to me, "How did you do?" And, uh, I said, "Did my best." And he said, "You're not paid to do your best. You're paid to win." And that's what pays for this office... pays for the pro bono work that we do for the poor... pays for the type of law that you want to practice... pays for my whiskey... pays for your clothes... pays for ...
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Alternate Versions

NBC edited 33 minutes from this film for its 1985 network television premiere. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Better Call Saul: Talk (2018) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
One of the best courtroom dramas
27 June 2005 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

I've always believed that actors are drawn to courtroom material because of the inherent conflict within them makes for good drama and good parts. They're quite a few of them in The Verdict.

This has always been my favorite Paul Newman film, it's the one he should have won the Oscar for. His Frank Galvin is not the noblest of creatures, he's a once promising attorney now an alcoholic ambulance chaser. But the skills are still there and he shows them battling tremendous odds. Thirty years earlier Frank Capra could easily have made this the subject of one of his populist dramas.

Newman gets great support from an outstanding cast. James Mason, Jack Warden, Charlotte Rampling, Joe Seneca deliver some outstanding performances. The one I particularly liked here was Milo O'Shea as the corrupt and biased judge.

Most of the great courtroom dramas have been about criminal cases. The Verdict was a landmark film that set the stage for the success of other great films about civil cases, including A Civil Action and Erin Brockovich. Those I don't think would have been made but for the critical and popular success of The Verdict.

Paul Newman was never better on screen.


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