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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)
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Popularity
4,985 ( 732)
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 »
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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

[June 2006] Ranked #75 on the American Film Institute's "100 Years . . . 100 Cheers: America's Most Inspiring Movies" list. See more »

Goofs

When Frank is playing the pinball machine, he randomly presses the flippers to no effect while the ball is on the board, yet he makes no attempt to flip the ball back into play when when it goes down, allowing it to roll off the end of the flipper. Yet he somehow manages to score high. See more »

Quotes

[Judge Hoyle is speaking with Concannon and Galvin about the case]
Judge Hoyle: Frank, what would you and your client take - right now, this very minute - to walk out of here, let this damn thing drop?
Frank Galvin: My client can't walk, your honor.
Judge Hoyle: I know full well she can't, Frank. You see the padre on your way out; he'll punch your ticket... you follow me?
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Alternate Versions

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

Connections

Featured in Backstory: The Verdict (2001) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

one of the best legal dramas ever
20 June 2002 | by AjtlawyerSee all my reviews

"The Verdict" is simply one of the best legal dramas ever done. Of course much of what happens in the movie is unrealistic and wouldn't happen in a real case but the movie isn't a study in courtroom procedure (watch the fantastic "Anatomy of a Murder" for that) it is a study about redemption and in that respect it excels.

This movie captures Paul Newman's finest screen performance and that alone makes it an important movie. The scenes where Newman hardly says anything show how great an actor he is---his look of self-loathing when he's thrown out of the funeral home, his palsied hand and lost look when he's trying to drink his whiskey, his panic when Charlotte Rampling lambastes him for being a failure. Then throw into that his terrific courtroom scenes, his arguments with the judge in chambers, it is just a sensational performance all around.

The level of acting is high all around in this movie. James Mason was Oscar nominated for playing the silky smooth, totally corrupt defense attorney. Jack Warden shines as Frank Galvin's world-weary former law partner. Lindsey Crouse has a small role as a nurse but is given the most powerful and dramatic moment in the entire movie. Her cross-examination by James Mason is where the movie really shines and shows that Paul Newman can keep his ego in check. How many movies give the most powerful and dramatic moment of the film to one of the secondary players? How many lead actors would be willing to just sit there quiet in a chair while a bit player and the second male lead share the big moment? It was a bold decision by both Newman, director Sidney Lumet and writer David Mamet and it is unforgettable.

The movie shows the two extremes of the practice of law. James Mason's win-at-all-costs cheating and Paul Newman getting so emotionally wrapped up in the case that he is no longer protecting his client's interests and instead is out to settle his own personal scores. A great, great movie.


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