The Verdict

For other uses, see The Verdict (disambiguation).

that this may be his last chance to do something right as a
lawyer, and that merely taking the handout would render
him “lost.” Everyone, including the presiding judge and
The Verdict is a 1982 courtroom drama film that tells the
story of a down-on-his-luck alcoholic lawyer who takes the victim’s relatives, is stunned by Frank’s decision.
a medical malpractice case to improve his own situation, Things quickly go wrong for Frank: his client’s brotherbut discovers along the way that he is doing the right thing. in-law finds out from “the other side” that he has
The lawsuit involves a woman in a persistent vegetative turned down a $210,000 settlement, and angrily confronts
state and is thus reminiscent of the Karen Ann Quinlan Frank; his star medical expert disappears; a hastily arcase. The film stars Paul Newman, Charlotte Rampling, ranged substitute’s credentials and testimony are called
Jack Warden, James Mason, Milo O'Shea and Lindsay into serious question on the witness stand. His opponent
Crouse.
— the high-priced attorney Ed Concannon (James MaDirected by Sidney Lumet, the film was adapted by David son) — has at his disposal a large legal team that is masMamet from the novel by Barry Reed and is not a remake terful with the press; the presiding judge (Milo O'Shea)
makes deliberate efforts to obstruct Frank’s questioning;
of the 1946 film of the same name.
and no one who was in the operating room is willing to
The Verdict garnered critical acclaim and box office suc- testify that there was any negligence.
cess. The film was nominated for five Academy Awards,
including Best Actor in a Leading Role (Paul Newman), While looking for cigarettes in Laura’s handbag, Mickey
discovers a cheque from Concannon, implying that she
Best Actor in a Supporting Role (James Mason), Best
Director (Sidney Lumet), Best Picture and Best Screen- is providing information on Frank’s legal strategy to the
opposition. At their next encounter a coldly furious Frank
play Based on Material from Another Medium (David
strikes Laura in the face with great force, knocking her to
Mamet).
the floor. Mickey informs him that he can get the case
declared a mistrial, but Frank decides to continue.

1

Frank’s big break comes when he discovers the whereabouts of a lone witness quickly hushed after the incident: Caitlin Costello (Lindsay Crouse), the nurse who
admitted his client to the hospital. Her testimony — that
she was told by one of the doctors in the case to change
her notes on the admitting form after the incident to hide
his fatal error — stuns the entire courtroom. Concannon,
obviously surprised and distressed (and thus apparently
not having been informed by Laura of Frank’s discovery of Costello), attempts to discredit her and manages to
get the judge to declare her testimony stricken from the
record on technicalities. Frank delivers a brief but moving closing argument, telling the jury “you are the law,”
and entreating them to seek “truth and justice” in their
hearts before they vote. When the jury returns, they find
for Frank’s client and ask whether they can award more
than the amount sought by the plaintiffs. The judge resignedly replies that they can.

Plot

Frank Galvin (Paul Newman), once a promising graduate of Boston College Law School and a lawyer at an elite
Boston law firm, is now an alcoholic ambulance chaser
who has lost all of his four cases over the last three years.
As a favor, his former partner and friend Mickey (Jack
Warden) throws him a medical malpractice case where
it’s all but assured that the defense will settle for a large
amount. The case involves a young woman who was given
a knock-out anesthetic during childbirth, after which she
choked on her own vomit and was deprived of oxygen
for a number of minutes. The baby died and the young
woman is now in a coma, on a respirator. Her sister
and brother-in-law are hoping for a settlement to properly care for the victim, and Frank assures them they have
a strong case. Meanwhile, Frank becomes romantically
involved with Laura (Charlotte Rampling), a woman he
As Frank is congratulated by his clients, Mickey, and colmeets at a local bar.
leagues and strangers alike, he catches a glimpse of Laura
Frank visits the comatose woman and is deeply affected. watching him from afar. That night, Laura, in a drunken
He then meets with the defendants: the Archdiocese of stupor on her bed, drops her whiskey on the floor, drags
Boston, which runs the Catholic hospital where the in- the phone toward her, and picks up the receiver. The final
cident took place. As expected, the archdiocese offers shot is of Frank in his office looking thoughtful, drinka fairly substantial amount of money — $210,000 — to ing coffee out of a paper cup, and ignoring the persistent
settle out of court, but Frank declines the offer as he fears
1

. Willis can be seen. Retrieved January 29.1 American Film Institute • AFI’s 100 Years. Thompson • Lewis J. Redford suggested they hire James Bridges as a writer-director and Bridges wrote several drafts of the screenplay. they fired Redford. Cary Grant and Dustin Hoffman. Pepperman praised the scene in which Judge Hoyle eats breakfast and offers Galvin coffee as “a terrific use of objects.”[9] • Kent Broadhurst as Joseph Alito • Colin Stinton as Billy • Tobin Bell as Courtroom Observer • Bruce Willis as Courtroom Observer (uncredited) 3 Production Film rights to the novel were bought by the team of Richard Zanuck and David Brown. Retrieved January 29. Box Office Information”. expressed interest in the project because of the strength of the lead role. Movie Reviews”. including Roy Scheider. comfortable and suitable place. the doctor and their attorney) without an abundance of expository dialogue. Retrieved January 5. . 4 Courtroom Drama 5 References [1] “The Verdict. 75 • AFI’s 10 Top 10 – No. A number of actors.2 5 ringing of his phone. Twentieth Century Fox: A Corporate and Financial History. 1982 p 62-67 [5] Shawn Levy. 2012.. who ultimately agreed to star.[4] Zanuck and Brown then hired Sidney Lumet to direct. Scarecrow Press. to Newman’s right. After the verdict is read for the plaintiff. Frank Sinatra... Empire. irritated. sending him all versions of the script. Box Office”. so Hiller left the project and the producers commissioned another screenplay.[6] In a poll of 500 films held by Empire magazine.[5] Bruce Willis has an uncredited background appearance as an extra. Adventures in the Screen Trade. 2 Cast • Paul Newman as Frank Galvin • Charlotte Rampling as Laura Fischer REFERENCES fast devolving and chose Mamet’s original script. Tobin Bell also appears. [7] "Empire’s The 500 Greatest Movies of All Time”. 2012. Retrieved January 5. Arthur Hiller was originally attached to direct and David Mamet hired to write a screenplay. Stadlen as Dr. [4] William Goldman. Gruber The Verdict holds a 96% “Fresh” rating on the review aggregate website Rotten Tomatoes.[7] In 2013. p 436. After several rewrites. Neither ZanuckBrown or Hiller liked Mamet’s script. 2012. it was voted 254th Greatest Movie of all time. Redford then began having meetings with Sydney Pollack without telling the producers. 2012. This was agreed to by Paul Newman. to the left of Newman’s head. Towler • Joe Seneca as Dr. • Jack Warden as Mickey Morrissey • James Mason as Ed Concannon 4 Reception • Milo O'Shea as Judge Hoyle • Lindsay Crouse as Kaitlin Costello • Edward Binns as Bishop Brophy • Julie Bovasso as Maureen Rooney • Roxanne Hart as Sally Doneghy • James Handy as Kevin Doneghy • Wesley Addy as Dr. in one of his first film appearances. The Numbers. Box Office Mojo. William Holden.[8] Richard D. as well as a Physical Action (motion) that demonstrates the subtext of the Judge’s objective (in support of the insurance company.100 Cheers – No. who liked the project but did not like Allen’s script. Paul Newman: A Life. smiling. Rotten Tomatoes. The producers liked this script and were approached by Robert Redford. Lumet decided the story’s original grittiness was 4. 1989 p260 [3] “The Verdict. from Jay Presson Allen. the Writers Guild of America ranked the screenplay #91 on its list of 101 Greatest Screenplays ever written. but Redford was not happy with any of them and Bridges left the project.100 Heroes and Villains: • Frank Galvin – Nominated Hero • AFI’s 100 Years. [2] Aubrey Solomon. [6] “The Verdict. making for a believable judge in his personal.

184–185. Retrieved April 7. (2008). “WGA Lists Greatest Screenplays. 2013. Sophia (February 27. Richard D. [9] Pepperman. Film School: How to Watch DVDs and Learn Everything about Filmmaking. 2013. Michael Wiese Productions. Retrieved February 28. 2013). From 'Casablanca' and 'Godfather' to 'Memento' and 'Notorious’".3 [8] Savage. ISBN 9781615930401. pp. 6 See also • Trial movies 7 External links • The Verdict at the Internet Movie Database • The Verdict at Rotten Tomatoes .

John K. Tadorne. DeWaine.0 . RobotG. Spinerod. and licenses 8. Ldavid1985.2 Images • File:Wikiquote-logo. Dutchy85.4 8 TEXT AND IMAGE SOURCES. Patent4u100. Bharath Ram. Alaibot. Richard Arthur Norton (1958. Windchaser.svg Source: http://upload. MachoCarioca. Thijs!bot. Wingedsubmariner. Cmlloyd1969. Tassedethe. FlaBot. Yankees10. EmausBot. LilHelpa.wikimedia. Rchaknight and Anonymous: 68 8.3 Content license • Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3. PatGallacher. Addbot. GrahamHardy. VolkovBot. Wukai. DutchDevil.org/wikipedia/commons/f/fa/Wikiquote-logo.svg License: Public domain Contributors: ? Original artist: ? 8. Sanguis Sanies. Rjwilmsi. Abyssopelagic. BetacommandBot. Inwind. Ziva 89. Cydebot. DASHBotAV. Orbicle. StewieBaby05. TashTish. Ackatsis. D Monack. Willowhale. Thane. Sangwoo92. Before My Ken. Sngnisfuk. MelonBot. Toolnut. 7&6=thirteen. Astor. Bovineboy2008. Easchiff. Hicalibre009. Cburnett. Jedi94. AND LICENSES 8 Text and image sources. GregorB.wikipedia. Lady Aleena. MisfitToys. VVVBot. BD2412. Edward. Qrsdogg. AlbertSM. Whobot. Broadbot. Intractable. Rotideypoc41352. Xqbot. Atlas-maker. Sreejithk2000. MwNNrules. PixelBot. Bueller 007. Rigadoun. YurikBot. Rojek. Binabik80. SpikeJones. Treybien. CONTRIBUTORS. Estrose. contributors. UDScott.1 Text • The Verdict Source: http://en. Fuhghettaboutit. Aspects. RedBot.org/wiki/The%20Verdict?oldid=639246251 Contributors: Zoe. HG1. Mindeye. Kerowyn. Squiddy. Drunkenpeter99. SidP. LGagnon. Ὁ οἶστρος. Delawaresky. Full-date unlinking bot. Trivialist. Yobot. DrilBot. SporkBot. ZéroBot. ChakaKong.). FutureNJGov.

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