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Primal Fear (1996)

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An altar boy is accused of murdering a priest, and the truth is buried several layers deep.

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Writers:

(novel), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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1,702 ( 332)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 10 wins & 11 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Martin Vail
... Janet Venable
... Shaughnessy
... Shoat
... Molly
... Aaron / Roy
... Yancy
... Goodman
... Pinero
... Stenner
... Martinez
... Rushman
... Naomi
... Alex
... Connerman
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Storyline

Courtroom thriller about a slick, hotshot lawyer who takes the seemingly unwinnable case of a young altar boy accused of murdering an eminent catholic priest. Written by Jonathan Broxton <j.w.broxton@sheffield.ac.uk>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Sooner or later a man who wears two faces forgets which one is real. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for brief grisly violence, pervasive strong language and a sex scene | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

3 April 1996 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Iskonski strah  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$30,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$293,515, 26 July 1996

Gross USA:

$56,116,183

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$102,616,183
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Richard Gere also plays a self-centered, narcissistic lawyer who loves the limelight and uses questionable means to successfully represents guilty clients in Chicago (2002). See more »

Goofs

(at around 24 mins) Martin's bottle of water changes position on the table beside him between shots as he watches TV. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
[while getting dressed as Naomi helps him]
Martin Vail: On my first day of law school, my professor says two things. First was: from this day forward, when your mother tells you she loves you, get a second opinion.
Jack Connerman: [chuckles] And?
Martin Vail: If you want justice, go to a whorehouse. If you wanna get fucked, go to court.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Mr. Robot: eps3.2_legacy.so (2017) See more »

Soundtracks

Canção Do Mar
by Frederico de Brito & Ferrer Trindade
Performed by Dulce Pontes
Courtesy of BMG Ariola Musik GmbH / Movieplay Portuguesa S.A.
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Three outstanding performances/characters (or "four?")
17 February 2007 | by See all my reviews

Edward Norton's debut was outstanding in this film, and his work since has confirmed his substantial talent.

Richard Gere was equally-proficient in his role as the big-shot defense attorney defending Norton's seemingly hapless "Aaron."

And Laura Linney - although in a role with less screen-time, was also equal in her performance as the prosecutor, and Gere's courtroom opposition and former lover.

The supporting roles were well-cast and played, and perhaps the only criticism to be given would be some brief sub-plot elements which weren't necessary to the main story, but really didn't detract from it significantly.

This film provides an excellent combination of courtroom- and psycho-drama - each excellent in its own right, and superb together in this presentation's plot.

Gripping, thoroughly-enjoyable entertainment.


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