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USA 1982
Directed by
Sidney Lumet
122 minutes
Rated M

Reviewed by
Bernard Hemingway
4 stars

The Verdict

A screenplay by David Mamet, a tip-top performance by Paul Newman as the burnt-out lawyer, Frank Galvin. on a last-ditch drive to redeem his professional name, with fine supports by James Mason as Galvin’s smarmily ruthless opponent and Charlotte Rampling and Jack Warden as his supporters, make The Verdict a gripping courtroom drama.

The script has none of Mamet’s stylizations but turns what might have been an overly-familiar against-all-odds templated story in the hands of a hack writer into a powerfully convincing account of one man’s struggle to turn his life around. Lumet whose first film was the classic courtroom drama 12 Angry Men (released in 1957 and in which Jack Warden was one of the jurors) and who has a CV peppered with social conscience films directs with typical economy although some of the shot-reverse-shot editing looks noticeably stilted.




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