The VerdictClosed Captioning
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In Sidney Lumet's powerful courtroom drama The Verdict, Paul Newman stars as Frank Galvin, an alcoholic Boston lawyer who tries to redeem his personal and professional reputation by winning a difficult medical malpractice case. Frank, down on his luck, is presented with the case of his life when he is approached by the family of a woman who has been left in a coma following an operation in a large Catholic hospital. Helped by his assistant Mickey (Jack Warden), he agrees to take the case, hoping for a fast settlement. When he visits the victim in the hospital, he becomes emotionally involved, turns down a sizable settlement offer made by the hospital, and decides to bring the case to trial despite the formidable opposition of the Church and its lawyer, Newman (James Mason). He is also assisted by his new girlfriend, Laura (Charlotte Rampling), a woman who turns out to have an unusual past. Oscar-nominated for "Best Picture" and "Best Director" (Lumet) as well as for "Best Adapted Screenplay" (David Mamet from a novel by Barry Reed), The Verdict is an outstanding, if not very legally accurate, courtroom drama; Frank's decision to try the case without telling the family of the victim of the settlement offer would probably lead to his real-life disbarment. Paul Newman and James Mason give fine, Oscar-nominated performances, and Charlotte Rampling is quite good as the deceitful Laura, who never seems to turn down a drink.
Rotten Tomatoes Movie Reviews
- Reviews Counted: 26
- Fresh: 25
- Rotten: 1
- Average Rating: 7.8/10
Top Critics' Reviews
Fresh: The performances, the dialogue and the plot all work together like a rare machine.
Fresh: Sidney Lumet's direction, like David Mamet's patchy script, may not be quite good enough to justify the Rembrandt-like cinematography of Edward Pisoni and the brooding mood of self-importance, but it's good direction nonetheless.
Fresh: Paul Newman goes into court a drunken bum and comes out a better man in this superb legal drama about a man finding redemption.
Fresh: The first courtroom drama in years to recapture the brilliance of the form.
Newman was robbed!!!
Yes, Ben Kingsly did a terrific job as Gandhi, but the best acting performance of 1982 was Newman's Frank Galvin. Newman brilliantly captures the troubled, complex, struggling, second-guessing, ambulance-chasing Galvin . It is painful, trying and then uplifting to watch. Oh, and that Lumet guy knows what he is doing behind the camera.
One of his very best
Newman came to like his later work more than his performances in the films that made him a star like The Hustler or Hud. Watch this movie, and you'll see why. He doesn't posture. He doesn't declaim. He doesn't emote. He doesn't use any of his old Actors Studio tricks. Instead, he inhabits the role the role of Frank Galvin and acts rings around such great performers as Jack Warden, Milo O'Shea, and James Mason.
A forgotten masterpiece
One his best roles, but a bit forgotten. Sidney Lumet takes a theatre like approach to this courtroom drama. Frank lost everything and has to redeem himself. A role that fits Paul perfectly. Great, great movie full of great acting.