The Verdict (1982)

R   |    |  Drama


The Verdict (1982) Poster

A lawyer sees the chance to salvage his career and self-respect by taking a medical malpractice case to trial rather than settling.


7.7/10
34,327

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  • Paul Newman in The Verdict (1982)
  • Paul Newman in The Verdict (1982)
  • Paul Newman and Sidney Lumet in The Verdict (1982)
  • Paul Newman in The Verdict (1982)
  • Paul Newman and Jack Warden in The Verdict (1982)
  • Paul Newman and Charlotte Rampling in The Verdict (1982)

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16 June 2002 | jjh6519
The Best of Newman
I have seen this movie, on screen and as a video, many times. Each time, it gets better. This is no doubt the best acting by Paul Newman in his career. Why he didn't get the Oscar for this role, but instead got it for the lackluster "The Color of Money", is beyond me. The movie is actually about redemption, or the attempt to be redeemed.

His interpretation of Frank Galvin, a desperate, conniving, down-to-the-last-case attorney, is fascinating and totally convincing. And he has a fantastic supporting cast -- from Jack Warden as his partner, Charlotte Rampling as his chance for romantic redemption, Milo O'Shea as the corrupt judge, Lindsay Crouse as his surprising ace-up-his-sleeve, and most of all, in a landmark supporting actor role, James Mason as the seemingly distinguished and respected defense attorney.

And I found the direction by Sidney Lumet to be, once again, outstanding. Lumet has such a long list of great movies that you wonder why he has never won an Oscar or been given an AFI Lifetime Achievement award.

This is a riveting movie -- about the law, but mainly about the flawed nature of the human beings who are entrusted with it. Please hear Newman, as Frank Galvin, on his last, crippled, despairing leg, give the summation to the case. It needs to be carved in marble somewhere. David Mamet, who wrote the screenplay, deserves accolades for how he was able to hand Paul Newman such a moving summation. The summation is about life, not just the law. It is a masterpiece, worth seeing the entire movie for.

Most of all, it is Newman's Finest Hour.

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