|The Verdict (VHS) PAUL NEWMAN|
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|The Verdict (VHS) Paul Newman..Oversized CBS FOX.....RARE|
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|The Verdict (VHS) (VHS)|
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Alcoholic lawyer, Frank Galvin (Paul Newman), has alienated himself from all clients until Mickey Morrissey (Jack Warden) leads him to a medical malpractice case for an irreversibly comatose woman, who was medically neglected during childbirth. At first, it seems like easy money to settle with the Catholic hospital for $200,000; that is, until Galvin sees his client in a vegetative state. Outraged by what's become of her, Galvin forgoes out of court settlement & engages in a battle for his client's & his own dignity.
David Mamet's screenplay is a tight scripted, suspenseful legal drama. Paul Newman's dramatic performance is stellar. James Mason's Edward J. Concannon is as sleazy as a defense lawyer gets. Since the film records Newman's best performance, it is a significant film. Scenes when Galvin hardly speaks at all reveal Newman's acting prowess. Whether insecure, panicked, self-loathing, tremulous from withdrawal, stupified drunk or afraid of failure his speechless expressions speak volumes. Such moments occur during trying courtroom scenes, over-heated arguments in the judge's chambers, in private moments when Galvin's morally rejecting corrupt defense tactics, as well as when Galvin's mind lingers on self-doubt because there is no time during the film when it seems as if he's on the side of the law that will justly prevail.
Jack Warden is so well cast as Mickey Morrissey, Galvin's loyal but burnt-out former law partner. Lindsey Crouse's bit part as nurse Kaitlin Costello has to be performed spot-on because it is essential to the case's height of (con)tension & its ultimate conclusion.
Director Sidney Lumet & playwright David Mamet leave the lead actor sitting silently in a courtroom chair while the bit player & sleazy opposing counsel resolve the case during an all revealing cross-examination. That's never how it happened in "Perry Mason!" The lead actor gets to land the case in most legal dramas--in fact, actors say that's the sport of acting--they get to be the best lawyers, the best doctors, the best athletes, not just an average joe. "The Verdict" is easily one of the best legal dramas of the late 20th century. This film deserved all 5 Oscar nominations & Newman should have been awarded Best Actor of 1983~
(The nominations were for Best Leading & Supporting Actors for Newman & Mason, respectively; Best Director for Sidney Lumet; Best Screenplay for David Mamet; and Best Picture for producers Zanuck & Brown).
"The Verdict" is a 5 Oscar nomination Paul Newman classic from 1982. What makes the film impeccable to watch is that Newman's leading lady is Charlotte Rampling. Newman plays Frank Galvin, an attorney who's likely one stiff drink away from being completely disbarred. Charlotte Rampling plays Laura Fischer, the initially hard to get knock out at the end of the bar who eventually becomes both Galvin's lover and on case side kick.
Jack Warden plays Mickey Morrissey, who's kind of the conscience of the derlict lawyer Galvin's nearly become. Morrissey's also somewhat of a private investigator for Galvin, once he takes the grand leap into a major disability damages civil case. To really square off this formiddable cast, James Mason plays Ed Concannon, the defense attorney representing the guilty ArchDiocese that Galvin's on the war path to take down. There's ample evidence on film why "The Verdict" was rightly nominated for 5 Oscars. The cast delivers, the screenplay's a sweet success, there are unexpected twists and turns by the major players that are unpredictable, and, of course, we struggle along with Paul Newman, the whole while, wanting his character to land this case. There's also some grand erotic tension between Newman and Rampling. Supreme and fiery acting jabs between Newman and Mason. Warden is ever the guy to the rescue and right on cue. This was easily one of the best films of 1982 and remains a brand new best film of any year for a first time viewer~