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The Accused (1988)

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After a young woman suffers a brutal gang rape in a bar one night, a prosecutor assists in bringing the perpetrators to justice, including the ones who encouraged and cheered on the attack.


Jonathan Kaplan


Tom Topor
3,550 ( 562)
Won 1 Oscar. Another 5 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Kelly McGillis ... Kathryn Murphy
Jodie Foster ... Sarah Tobias
Bernie Coulson ... Ken Joyce
Leo Rossi ... Cliff 'Scorpion' Albrect
Ann Hearn ... Sally Fraser
Carmen Argenziano ... D.A. Paul Rudolph
Steve Antin ... Bob Joiner
Tom O'Brien ... Larry
Peter Van Norden ... Attorney Paulsen
Terry David Mulligan ... Lieutenant Duncan
Woody Brown Woody Brown ... Danny
Scott Paulin ... Attorney Wainwright
Kim Kondrashoff ... Kurt
Stephen E. Miller ... Polito
Tom Heaton ... Bartender Jesse


Sarah Tobias goes to her local bar and is gang-raped by three men. The district attorney on the case is Katheryn Murphy who wants to prove that although Sarah had taken drugs that night and was acting provocatively while in the bar, this is no reason for her to be so brutally attacked and the men responsible should be brought to justice. Written by Sami Al-Taher <staher2000@yahoo.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


On April 18th 1987, Sarah Tobias stops for a drink at a bar called The Mill. See more »


Crime | Drama


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »



Canada | USA



Release Date:

14 October 1988 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Reckless Endangerment See more »


Box Office


$6,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$4,316,369, 16 October 1988, Wide Release

Gross USA:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Jane Fonda was offered the role of Kathryn but turned it down because she thought the script was so poor. It had already been announced that Fonda would star in the movie when she changed her mind and bowed out. See more »


When man is playing the pin-ball machine in the bar his score reads 196,100, but a few seconds later, after a reaction shot of Kathryn, the score is only 14,050. See more »


Sarah Tobias: [Larry tries to kiss Sarah] Stop! Stop!
Larry: When are you going to get over this? Because it's getting really boring!
Sarah Tobias: Get out!
Larry: Fine. I'll be back in a couple of hours.
Sarah Tobias: No. This is my house, and I don't want you in it. Get out!
See more »


Referenced in Girl 27 (2007) See more »


Love To The Limit
By Paul Sabu & Debrah Neal
Performed by Only Child
Courtesy of Rhino Records, Inc.
See more »

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User Reviews

Kind of TV-movie-ish
17 March 1999 | by David N.See all my reviews

Jodie Foster's performance is good and the gang rape scene at the end of the film is horrific, but the whole movie has the unfortunate feel of a made-for-TV movie. As Jarvis Cocker of Pulp sang, "A movie made for TV, with bad dialogue, bad acting, and no interest. Along with no story and no sex."

Actually, I don't feel the movie was THAT uneventful (I just wanted to squeeze in the Pulp reference, to tell you the truth.) But the difficult subject matter is rendered tame with a boring court case and lots of "You can't win this trial!" dialogue between Kelly McGillis and her bosses. What's worse, the conclusion of the case of the case is never in doubt. Yawn.

The movie is best when it focuses on how Sarah reacts to the rape. She is a fragile woman who acts braver than she is, and her struggle with the rape is rendered clearly and plainly on Foster's face and in her mannerisms. The scene in the record store is uncomfortable and disconcerting, as it should be.

McGillis, though, isn't believable as the prosecutor. She is too bland, too unconvincing; she seems like a calculated attempt at a strong woman character. She never exists as anything more than "the lawyer."

This could have been a very powerful film, one that conveys the pain and anguish of such a terrible crime. As it is, I had to settle for a few powerful moments and some toothless filler.

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