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  • I did not see mention anywhere about the locations in which this movie were filmed.

    It just so happens that I am one of the people who worked on this film, so for anyone who happens to be curious enough, I can tell you all about it. During the filming, I was working as an Armed Security Officer for a small company named Central Park Patrol. There was another man named Hilario Gomez who worked with me and together, we provided 98% of all of the security for the crew and equipment. The locations were probably chosen by a man named Craig Busch (I would have to verify it in the credits on the print), who had worked as the location manager for a number of films shot in the Houston Metro area (Robocop, I Come In Peace, Etc.) Our Primary locations were in the Houston Heights and Galveston, because that is where most of the Victorian Architecture can be found in houses of this area. One of the locations that was not in these areas was 'The Isabella Courts' apartment complex located at the corner of Main Steet and Isabella Street.

    If my memory is correct, we used an old building that was originally built as a print shop for bank documents, stocks, bonds, and checks for our sound stage. We also used this same building again for the HBO movie 'The James Brady Story' and the Motion Picture 'Rush'. In the late 1990s, this building was converted into 'lofts' and sold off to the tenants.

    At any rate, I will always remember the first day I worked on this film, standing in full uniform and guarding the equipment trucks. Treat Williams came by (finished with his day's work) and spoke to me. He was carrying a can of Budweiser beer. He offered it to me and I politely refused it. I explained that I was still on duty. He laughed and said 'have it when you get home.' I put it in my car, and since I didn't drink beer...just the harder stuff...I put it in the fridge when I got home. I believe that my wife drank it a day or two later. It was great to meet Treat and find out what a really friendly guy he is. I have been a fan ever since. I especially loved the TV series Everwood while it was on the air.
  • bkoganbing20 July 2007
    Adela Rogers St. John's loving memoir about her father, famed criminal defense attorney Earl Rogers, is brought to life here in one of the best made for television films ever.

    Earl Rogers is arguably the best criminal lawyer of his time or any other. His success is the yardstick that future generations of those who go into criminal law are measured. Treat Williams plays Rogers who between courtroom engagements is a man with some very human weaknesses after all. His daughter's novel A Free Soul is based on her father and Lionel Barrymore won a Best Actor Oscar for it.

    The best scenes in the film are with Williams and young Olivia Burnette who plays his daughter Nora who was known by her middle name during her youth. The young lady idolizes her father and later on, no matter what happens he can never lose his special place with her.

    Williams is the son of a minister who is played by Glenn Ford in what turned out to be his farewell performance. Ford is not some bible thumper, he's a decent and reasonable man, charged as he sees it with guiding man's soul towards a good destiny. Getting guilty people, and obviously, guilty people off is spreading evil into the world in his eyes.

    The period in St. John's growing up shows her father's involvement with two notorious cases. They were real cases, a man killing his wife so he can be with his girlfriend and the killing of a well known gambler by someone who in fact was being cheated.

    If God were the one judging us every day, we'd have no need of the talents of those like Earl Rogers. The guilty, and we're all guilty of something would be punished. The legal system in our Anglo-Saxon based countries and in others is man's attempt to make sure punishment is provided in the here and now and to keep a decent order in society. The phrase is after all, law AND order. Ford's inability to understand what Williams's function in society leads to conflict between them, creating a breach that never healed in this world.

    Rogers was a notorious alcoholic and much after the action of this film, he died in 1922, is the result of his excesses. His daughter chose the career path of journalism and became as much a success in her field as he in his. For a glimpse of her childhood and of her brilliant, loving, and terribly flawed father, Final Verdict is absolutely recommended.
  • It's true that this movie is not fast-paced, but there are so many historical details to notice, and enjoy, that it's not the point. How could we have progressed so little in such a long time (100 years)? -- look out for great Model T (et al) replicas, trams, moustaches, telephones and a fantastic cigarette lighter... it's the first movie I've seen that gives whorehouses a truly romantic glint. The acting is very good throughout, and not strained. Relax and wonder what it is that we've actually improved on in a century of "civilisation".
  • This made for TV movie with Treat Williams(The Phantom) as lawyer trying to defend two people at the same time. Earl Roger's (Williams) is a lawyer who was taught believe in truth and justice . Earl learned of this through his father played Glenn Ford(Superman). During the story , Earl takes on two cases, in which his daughter tags along and helps the father.They become partners during the trial of these two people. But there are problems that the two of them must deal with. A sudden death and family problems at home are thrown in for the family. This movie will have you guessing as the final verdict at the end. The daughter also narrates so if you leave or need to do something else , there is a way to keep with this touching family movie!!
  • FINAL VERDICT

    Aspect ratio: 1.33:1

    Sound format: Mono

    Treat Williams plays Earl Rogers, a defense lawyer who specialised in sensational murder trials in turn of the century California, in the true-life TV movie FINAL VERDICT. Williams' performance is restrained and dignified, much like the film itself, which lacks passion. Instead of relating Rogers' entire life story, the film chooses to focus on the events surrounding two particular trials, and is narrated from the point of view of his inquisitive young daughter (Olivia Burnette), who's admiration for her father's legal skills was always tempered by his battle with alcoholism and by the dissolute nature of some of the people he defended. It's a sugar-coated reminiscence, glossy and nostalgic, but the pacing is just a little too laidback for its own good, and the film never really rises to the occasion. But Williams is excellent, as usual, and the production values are solid.
  • With real material abundant on the great Earl Rogers, this ridiculous melodrama based on his daughter's book of the same title is not worth watching. Glenn Ford stood out as the only professional who rose above the lack of script and direction to deliver a believable performance.

    It's a good thing that this was released (just 3 years) after Adela Rogers' (author) death so that she never had to see it.

    A truly epic film could be made about this legal defense legend, who in his only role as prosecutor in the LA Times bombing, defeated the bomber's defense attorney Clarence Darrow, then defended Darrow against jury tampering charges and got him acquitted.

    Adela's book 'Final Verdict' (1962), and 'Take the Witness' (1932), both outline Earl Rogers as a groundbreaking attorney who introduced modern forensics, ballistics, alcohol defense, and other modern concepts into American courts with a flair never before seen. Roger's precedent of allowing the defendant (Darrow) to summarize his own defense to the jury was cited in the Simpson trial in the 1990's.

    His life would make an excellent TV miniseries centered around his most famous and groundbreaking cases - without the needless melodrama.

    Someone please make it.
  • This film lacks only one thing, really - a believable,consistent script.

    I hoped for the first 20 minutes that it would have a twist at the end, then realised it wouldn't. It's "To Kill a Mockingbird" lite.

    I know I'm in England, but was US law in this period REALLY that shoddy? I didn't believe it for a minute.

    Good performances all round, though: special mention to Fionnula Flanagan (Pearl, the Madame) - she really should, at least, have been Oscar nominated for Best Supporting for "The Others" this year.

    Good cast,solid direction, good art direction. Pity about the story & script.

    See "To Kill a Mockingbird" or "Inherit the Wind" instead.