7.3/10
12,754
63 user 32 critic

Reversal of Fortune (1990)

Wealthy Sunny von Bülow lies brain-dead, husband Claus guilty of attempted murder; but he says he's innocent and hires Alan Dershowitz for his appeal.

Director:

Barbet Schroeder

Writers:

Alan M. Dershowitz (book) (as Alan Dershowitz), Nicholas Kazan (screenplay)

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ON DISC
Won 1 Oscar. Another 12 wins & 16 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Glenn Close ... Sunny von Bulow
Jeremy Irons ... Claus von Bulow
Ron Silver ... Alan Dershowitz
Annabella Sciorra ... Sarah
Uta Hagen ... Maria
Fisher Stevens ... David Marriott
Jack Gilpin ... Peter MacIntosh
Christine Baranski ... Andrea Reynolds
Stephen Mailer ... Elon Dershowitz
Christine Dunford ... Ellen
Felicity Huffman ... Minnie
Mano Singh Mano Singh ... Raj
Johann Carlo ... Nancy
Keith Reddin Keith Reddin ... Dobbs
Alan Pottinger Alan Pottinger ... Chuck
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Storyline

Alan Dershowitz a brilliant professor of law is hired by wealthy socialite Claus von Bulow to attempt to overturn his two convictions for attempted murder of his extremely wealthy wife. Based on a true story the film concentrates not on the trial like other legal thrillers, but on the preparatory work that Dershowitz and his students put in as they attempt to disprove the prosecution's case and achieve the Reversal of Fortune of the title. Written by Mark Thompson <mrt@oasis.icl.co.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The Case of Claus Von Bulow. An American Saga of Money and Mystery.


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA | Japan | UK

Language:

English | German

Release Date:

9 November 1990 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

El misterio Von Bulow See more »

Filming Locations:

Montclair, New Jersey, USA See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$15,445,131
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Included among the "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die", edited by Steven Schneider. See more »

Goofs

Claus von Bulow abruptly switches his eating hand in the restaurant. See more »

Quotes

Raj: I agree von Bülow is guilty, but then, that's the fun - that's the challenge.
Alan Dershowitz: Now THERE is a lawyer.
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Connections

Referenced in Seinfeld: The Suicide (1992) See more »

Soundtracks

LATE NIGHT GOINGS ON
Written and Performed by Les Hooper
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User Reviews

 
Cold, and cruel and the way of the world...
27 June 2006 | by MarieGabrielleSee all my reviews

That is Sonny von Bulow's narrative as she describes the marriage between her and Claus, an infamous fortune seeker, who had made his way in the world the old fashioned way- he inherited it, by marriage.

This is an intriguing story because it is based on truth, and both Glenn Close and Jeremy Irons give stellar performances. It is trite but true; money has not brought happiness to either of these people. Sonny has apparently led a life of depression, eating disorders, alcoholism and prescription drug abuse. Claus was probably no stranger to similar vices, as well as episodic infidelity. It may have been even more interesting had the screenplay delved into their earlier years, lifestyles in Europe and world travel, living a hedonistic life.

In this case, murder is a nebulous concept. Claus von Bulow insists he is innocent, yet his many assertions to attorney Alan Dershowitz indicate otherwise. von Bulow is calculating, mysterious, and cold. Does this indicate guilt? The audience is never completely informed. That is what makes the story so real. As in real life, when murderers are set free, one may never know the truth. There is also a good side-story where Dershowitz is attempting to save two young black males from a death sentence. He does their case "pro bono", for the sake of justice, whereas von Bulow's case, as Dershowitz proclaims, is paying for their defense.

Overall, this is a tragic story which leaves many grey areas, one wonders how the children, Alex and Alah have survived this debacle. Another viewpoint would be an interesting screenplay. 10/10.

Dershowitz is portrayed by Ron Silver, who projects a realistic image.


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