Synopsis by Linda Rasmussen
In Sidney Lumet's powerful courtroom drama The Verdict, Paul Newman stars as Frank Galvin, an alcoholic Boston lawyer who tries to redeem his personal and professional reputation by winning a difficult medical malpractice case. Frank, down on his luck, is presented with the case of his life when he is approached by the family of a woman who has been left in a coma following an operation in a large Catholic hospital. Helped by his assistant Mickey (Jack Warden), he agrees to take the case, hoping for a fast settlement. When he visits the victim in the hospital, he becomes emotionally involved, turns down a sizable settlement offer made by the hospital, and decides to bring the case to trial despite the formidable opposition of the Church and its lawyer, Newman (James Mason). He is also assisted by his new girlfriend, Laura (Charlotte Rampling), a woman who turns out to have an unusual past. Oscar-nominated for "Best Picture" and "Best Director" (Lumet) as well as for "Best Adapted Screenplay" (David Mamet from a novel by Barry Reed), The Verdict is an outstanding, if not very legally accurate, courtroom drama; Frank's decision to try the case without telling the family of the victim of the settlement offer would probably lead to his real-life disbarment. Paul Newman and James Mason give fine, Oscar-nominated performances, and Charlotte Rampling is quite good as the deceitful Laura, who never seems to turn down a drink.
alcoholism, career, courtroom, lawyer, malpractice, neglect, redemption, self-esteem, trial [courtroom]
High Artistic Quality