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Deliberate Intent (2000)

A First Amendment scholar is recruited by an attorney to sue a publishing company after a hit man commits a triple murder by allegedly following a how-to manual the book company published. ... See full summary »


Andy Wolk


Andy Wolk, Lisa Mohan

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1 nomination. See more awards »


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Credited cast:
Timothy Hutton ... Rod Smolla
Ron Rifkin ... Howard Siegel
Clark Johnson ... James Perry
Penny Johnson Jerald ... Laura Harmon (as Penny Johnson)
Cliff De Young ... Tom Kelley (as Clifford DeYoung)
Kenneth Welsh ... Peder Lund
James McDaniel ... Lawrence Horn
Bill McDonald Bill McDonald ... Peder Lund
Dean McDermott ... Leasure
Yanna McIntosh Yanna McIntosh ... Elaine
David Hemblen ... Judge Luttig
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Karen Andren Karen Andren ... Tiffani
Yank Azman ... Trial Judge
Christopher Barry Christopher Barry ... Butler
Oliver Becker ... Agent Casey


A First Amendment scholar is recruited by an attorney to sue a publishing company after a hit man commits a triple murder by allegedly following a how-to manual the book company published. They set out to put the company on trial for providing blueprints for would-be murderers. Arguing that the publisher is not protected by the First Amendment, the crusading lawyers seek monetary damages for the victims' families. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


The Law Is On Trial. See more »


Thriller | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for mature thematic material involving violence, and a sexual reference | See all certifications »






Release Date:

6 August 2000 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Bérgyilkosok kézikönyve See more »

Filming Locations:

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Detective looks through a phone record, points to a record which contains the state abbreviation MA and declares a payphone call was from Maryland. MA is the abbreviation for Massachusetts; MD is for Maryland. See more »

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User Reviews

why the low rating here?
9 February 2012 | by blanche-2See all my reviews

Admittedly, "Deliberate Intent" is not the greatest film ever made, but a 5.4 rating seems a little harsh.

The true story concerns the lawsuit against Paladin Press for their handbook "Hit Man," which helped a man kill his family.

A first amendment attorney, Timothy Hutton, who normally would be on the side of the publisher, is approached by another attorney (Ron Rifkin) who wants to take on Paladin. Up to that time, no publisher had ever been successfully sued for content, as publishers depend on the first amendment to publish their material.

Granted, it can be a slippery slope, but this case was not only very interesting but thought-provoking, calling into issue the responsibility of the publisher. Is it enough to say, I just published the book, collect the money, and not care about the content? This seems like it was a TV movie and not particularly well put together. It would have made a great feature film and could have used some extra time to flesh out the story a little. Also, the Supreme Court scene was not well researched, so it was done incorrectly.

Worth seeing for the story and for Timothy Hutton, who gives an excellent performance.

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