Wednesday, March 07, 2007

One Sad and Angry Man

Twenty-five years after directing the seminal 12 Angry Men, Sidney Lument returned to the field of courtroom drama with The Verdict, a film that is even better then the aforementioned Henry Fonda classic. Paul Newman plays a once great lawyer, scapegoated more then ten years previous in a jury tampering scheme, in which he was not even involved. Now a down on his luck lawyer with a truly sad looking office, Newman's Frank Galvin has a chance to redeem himself in a malpractice suit involving a hospital owned by the Catholic Archdiocese of Boston. Charlotte Rampling plays a potential love interest for Newman, while the under-apricated Jack Warden is Gavens old law school instructor who helps him out on the case (shades of Walter Brennan assisting James Stewart in Anatomy of a Murder). James Mason plays the opposing lead lawyer. A powerful, excellent, surprisingly underplayed movie. Nominated for five Academy Awards.


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