An interesting aspect of creating "Physical Evidence" was determining who would star as the beautiful young lawyer opposite Burt Reynolds' crusty cop. During a career that had seen him repeatedly named America's favorite movie star, Reynolds had been paired with Hollywood's most famous female superstars. After considering all the possibilities, producer 'Martin Ransohoff' and director Michael Crichton went outside Hollywood's mainstream to select the highly regarded London-based film actress Theresa Russell, who was best known for her performance in Black Widow (1987), and for her roles in pictures made by director Nicolas Roeg.
The meaning and relevance of this courtroom drama movie's title Physical Evidence (1989) is that it is a legal term that refers to evidence that is of the form of a physical object that is used to prove a fact, the proving in issue derived from the object's demonstrable physical characteristics. Physical Evidence can be the whole or just a part of a physical object.
At 1:32 into the film, Theresa Russell is standing in front of a bookcase with a political sticker on it, "O'Neill for Congress". Thomas P. 'Tip' O'Neill represented Massachusetts 8th and 11th districts for thirty-four years, retiring two years before the film premiered. O'Neill though was Speaker of the House from 1977 to 1987. About one minute later, Burt Reynolds passes a campaign poster, "Flynn for Mayor." Raymond L. Flynn was Boston's mayor from 1984-1993.
The film was a Columbia Pictures release in the United States and Canada, with Rank Film Distributors Ltd. handling foreign distribution. It was one of the motion pictures made as a result of a venture producer Martin Ransohoff formed in 1986 with Columbia Pictures, Rank Film Distributors Ltd., and Vestron Video.
Regarding the Jenny Hudson character she plays in "Physical Evidence" actress Theresa Russell said: "What particularly intrigued me about Jenny was that she is as strong as her male counterpart in the film, actually stronger in most ways. He is dependent on her, and that is rare on screen today. "Joe and Jenny have a clear, adult relationship, the kind that seems to be regaining popularity with audiences. They meet, they assess and test each other, and they know they will never change the other".
Speaking of his Joe Paris character in "Physical Evidence, a veteran of more than forty films, star Burt Reynolds said: "This seems to be the first true victim I've played in movies. He's a dedicated cop who has lost his temper, lost his job and now he is about to lose his freedom. He's a loner who drinks too much and is emotionally volatile. Joe is not a particularly sympathetic character. Rather than coming to the rescue and taking charge, this time I must turn to someone else to try to bail me out, and it's not just that she's a woman that creates the conflict. Joe and Jenny are as different as night and day".
Cast member Ned Beatty, [prior to W.Germany Premiere], attended the most densely packed (UK non-Award), celebrity event 'Save the Rose Theatre' campaigns, public PR day, May 1989. Where he openly discussed his film characters & pending projects to both press and tourists.
When this movie ceased to be going to be a sequel to Jagged Edge (1985), Glenn Close's character from that movie was no longer going to be called Teddy Barnes. Her character name became Jennifer Hudson / Jenny Hudson and was cast with actress Theresa Russell.
While "Physical Evidence" has the flavor of movies from another era, the movie evokes the spirit of 1940s film noir fare and those big-city dramas that featured tough and mysterious characters never at a loss for words or action in the face of bewildering odds, the picture is set in Boston, USA during the late 1980s.