The Verdict ()

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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.

  • Nominated for 5 Oscars. Another 3 wins & 9 nominations.
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Cast verified as complete

Frank Galvin
Laura Fischer
Mickey Morrissey
Ed Concannon
Judge Hoyle
Kaitlin Costello Price
Bishop Brophy
Maureen Rooney
Sally Doneghy
Kevin Doneghy
Dr. Towler
Dr. Thompson
Lewis J. Stadlen ...
Dr. Gruber (as Lewis Stadlen)
Joseph Alito
Burtt Harris ...
Jimmy - the Bartender
Scott Rhyne ...
Young Priest
Susan Benenson ...
Deborah Ann Kaye
Evelyn Moore ...
Dr. Gruber's Nurse
Juanita Fleming ...
Dr. Gruber's Maid
Jack Collard ...
Ralph Douglas ...
Gregor Roy ...
Jury Foreman
John Blood ...
Funeral Director
Dick McGoldrick ...
Manager of 2nd Funeral Parlor
Edward Mason ...
Widow's Son
Patty O'Brien ...
Irish Nurse #1
Maggie Task ...
Irish Nurse #2
Joseph Bergmann ...
Herbert Rubens ...
J.P. Foley ...
John - Cigar Stand
Leib Lensky ...
Wheelchair Patient
H. Clay Dear ...
Courthouse Lawyer (as Clay Dear)
J.J. Clark ...
Courthouse Guard
Gregory Doucette ...
Sheraton Bar Waiter (as Greg Doucette)
Sheraton Bartender
Marvin Beck ...
Sheraton Bar Patron
Herb Peterson ...
Sheraton Bar Patron
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Courtroom Observer (uncredited)
Funeral Mourner (uncredited)
Jon Hopwood ...
Courtroom Observer (uncredited)
Cullen O. Johnson ...
Bailiff (uncredited)
Joan Tolentino ...
Nurse entering courthouse (uncredited)
Courtroom Observer (uncredited)

Directed by

Sidney Lumet

Written by

Barry Reed ... (based upon the novel by)
David Mamet ... (screenplay)
Jay Presson Allen ... () (uncredited)

Produced by

David Brown ... producer
Burtt Harris ... executive producer
Richard D. Zanuck ... producer

Music by

Johnny Mandel

Cinematography by

Andrzej Bartkowiak ... director of photography

Film Editing by

Peter C. Frank ... (as Peter Frank)

Editorial Department

David Gelfand ... apprentice editor
Andrew Mondshein ... assistant editor (as Andrew Mondschein)

Production Design by

Edward Pisoni

Art Direction by

John Kasarda

Set Decoration by

George DeTitta Sr. ... (as George DeTitta)

Costume Design by

Anna Hill Johnstone

Makeup Department

Joe Cranzano ... makeup artist
Bob Grimaldi ... hair stylist
Monty Westmore ... makeup artist

Production Management

Joseph M. Caracciolo ... unit production manager
Jennifer Ogden ... unit manager (as Jennifer M. Ogden)

Second Unit Director or Assistant Director

Burtt Harris ... first assistant director
Ken Ornstein ... dga trainee
Robert E. Warren ... second assistant director

Art Department

Joseph M. Caracciolo Jr. ... prop master (as Joseph Caracciolo Jr.)
Edward Garzero ... scenic artist
John McDonnell ... props
Carlos Quiles ... construction foreman (as Carlos Quiles Sr.)
William Sohmer ... scenic artist
Dave Weinman ... set dresser (as David Weinman)
Joe Williams Sr. ... construction grip
John Alvin ... poster artist (uncredited)
Mark Bachman ... scenic artist (uncredited)
Philip Gips ... graphic designer (uncredited)
Polly Wood-Holland ... scenic artist (uncredited)

Sound Department

Louis Cerborino ... sound editor (as Lou Cerborino)
Lee Dichter ... re-recording mixer
Frank Graziadei ... boom man
Adam Howell ... sound mixer: Bonus Material DVD
James Sabat ... sound mixer
Louis Sabat ... boom man
Maurice Schell ... sound editor
Harry Peck Bolles ... assistant sound editor (uncredited)
Mark Rathaus ... assistant sound editor (uncredited)
Mel Zelniker ... adr recordist (uncredited)

Camera and Electrical Department

Louis Goldman ... stillman
Gary Muller ... assistant cameraman
Hank Muller ... assistant cameraman
Robert Paone ... second assistant cameraman (as Bob Paone)
Ed Quinn ... dolly grip (as Eddie Quinn)
William H. Steiner ... camera operator (as William Steiner)
Dusty Wallace ... gaffer
Robert Ward ... key grip (as Bobby Ward)
Billy Kerwick ... grip (uncredited)

Costume and Wardrobe Department

William Loger ... wardrobe (as Bill Loger)
Marilyn Putnam ... wardrobe

Location Management

Alexandra Decker ... locations
Chris Stoia ... locations

Music Department

Joel Moss ... music engineer
Miles Goodman ... orchestrator (uncredited)
Angela Morley ... additional orchestrator (uncredited)

Script and Continuity Department

Kay Chapin ... script supervisor

Transportation Department

James Fanning ... transportation captain
Michael Avallon ... driver (uncredited)

Other crew

Sarah M. Brim ... production assistant (as Sally Brim)
Eileen Eichenstein ... production office coordinator
Lilith Jacobs ... assistant: Mr. Lumet
Ellen Levene ... unit publicist
Kathleen McGill ... production auditor: Production Services, Ltd.
Todd Winters ... production assistant
Crew verified as complete

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Special Effects


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Plot Summary

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 Labouré Hospital, operated by the Archdiocese of Boston, and Drs. Towler and Marks. Kaye was admitted to the hospital for what should have been a routine delivery, but something that happened while Kaye was on the operating room table led to her brain being deprived of oxygen, resulting in permanent brain damage, and Kaye now being in a totally vegetative state requiring hospitalization for the rest of her life. Frank eventually learns that the cause seems to be that Dr. Towler, the anesthesiologist and an expert in the field, used the incorrect anesthetic for the situation. However, all but one person that was in the operating room that day has provided depositions that nothing improper occurred in the operating room. The one holdout is the operating room head nurse, Maureen Rooney, who is not talking, period, to Frank or the other side. Upon seeing the state Kaye is in, Frank unilaterally decides to do what he believes is the right thing by declining the lucrative out of court settlement offered by the Archdiocese and take the case to court. In doing so, he hopes the truth that the hospital and the doctors truly were negligent comes to light. Feeling that this case may be a turning point in his life, Frank has a new spring in his step, enough that he attracts the attention of Laura Fischer, the two who begin a relationship. Despite having whatever the truth is on his side, that truth which he does not know, and having an expert witness of his own, Frank has an uphill battle in that the Archdiocese has retained the services of Ed Concannon, a high priced lawyer who has a large team of associates whose task is to help Concannon and the Archdiocese win at any cost. Concannon's task seems even easier as Judge Hoyle, the presiding judge, is already biased against Frank for taking the case to court. Written by Huggo

Plot Keywords
Taglines Frank Galvin Has One Last Chance At A Big Case. See more »
Parents Guide View content advisory »

Additional Details

Also Known As
  • Le verdict (France)
  • The Verdict - Die Wahrheit und nichts als die Wahrheit (Germany)
  • Veredicto final (Spain)
  • Η ετυμηγορία (Greece)
  • Присъдата (Bulgaria, Bulgarian title)
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  • 129 min
Aspect Ratio
Sound Mix
Filming Locations

Box Office

Budget $16,000,000 (estimated)

Did You Know?

Trivia Two cast members - Edward Binns and Jack Warden - played jurors #6 and #7, respectively, in 12 Angry Men (1957), which was likewise directed by Sidney Lumet. See more »
Goofs In the climactic courtroom scene, when Frank calls Kaitlin to the stand, Concannon is flustered and confers with one of his lawyers. We then see the lawyer leave the courtroom, presumably having been given some direction by Concannon. Later, after Kaitlin has been questioned by Frank and cross-examined by Concannon, the lawyer returns with a book containing the case Concannon cites to get the judge to disallow the admittance of the photocopy of the hospital admission form as evidence. However, at the point at which Concannon calls the lawyer over and then, presumably, sends him out to "find" this book/case, he doesn't even know about the existence of the photocopy because he hasn't yet questioned Kaitlin; it's during his questioning of Kaitlin that she reveals she has a photocopy of the form. So there's no way the lawyer would have known to go out and find a case regarding the inadmissibility of a photocopy. See more »
Movie Connections Featured in The Making of 'The Verdict' (1982). See more »
Quotes [Frank is giving his summation to the jury]
Frank Galvin: You know, so much of the time we're just lost. We say, "Please, God, tell us what is right; tell us what is true." And there is no justice: the rich win, the poor are powerless. We become tired of hearing people lie. And after a time, we become dead... a little dead. We think of ourselves as victims... and we become victims. We become... we become weak. We doubt ourselves, we doubt our beliefs. We doubt our institutions. And we doubt the law. But today you are the law. You ARE the law. Not some book... not the lawyers... not the, a marble statue... or the trappings of the court. See those are just symbols of our desire to be just. They are... they are, in fact, a prayer: a fervent and a frightened prayer. In my religion, they say, "Act as if ye had faith... and faith will be given to you." IF... if we are to have faith in justice, we need only to believe in ourselves. And ACT with justice. See, I believe there is justice in our hearts.
[he sits down]
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