THE VERDICT (1982)









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Brief Movie Synopsis [courtesy of The Internet Movie Database]:

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






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REVIEWS:





"A solidly old-fashioned courtroom drama such as 'The Verdict' could have gotten by with a serious, measured performance from its leading man, or it could have worked well with a dazzling movie-star turn. The fact that Paul Newman delivers both makes a clever, suspenseful, entertaining movie even better. This is as good a role as Mr. Newman has ever had, and as shrewd and substantial a performance as he has ever given. .... [Sidney] Lumet's best direction here is utterly unobtrusive, speeding the film along suspensefully and shading it in rich, dark tones. .... Most of the film is swift and exciting, told in a style so measured that even the relatively farfetched
moments take on an air of plausibility."

-- Excerpt from The New York Times; December 8, 1982







"As a courtroom drama, 'The Verdict' is superior work. But the director and the star of this film, Sidney Lumet and Paul Newman, seem to be going for something more; 'The Verdict' is more a character study than a thriller, and the buried suspense in this movie is more about Galvin's own life than about his latest case. Frank Galvin provides Newman with the occasion for one of his great performances. This is the first movie in which Newman has looked a little old, a little tired. .... Newman always has been an interesting actor, but sometimes his resiliency, his youthful vitality, have obscured his performances; he has a tendency to always look great, and that is not always what the role calls for. This time, he gives us old, bone-tired, hung-over, trembling (and heroic) Frank Galvin, and we buy it lock, stock and shot glass. .... The movie is populated with finely tuned supporting performances (many of them by British or Irish actors, playing Bostonians not at all badly). .... The performances, the dialogue and the plot all work together like a rare machine. .... If you allow yourself to think about what Frank Galvin is going through, there's not a moment of this movie that's not absorbing. 'The Verdict' has a lot of truth in it, right down to a great final scene in which Newman, still drinking, finds that if you wash it down with booze, victory tastes just like defeat."

-- Roger Ebert; 1982




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