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Physical Evidence (1989)

Burt Reynolds , Theresa Russell , Michael Crichton  |  R |  DVD
3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Burt Reynolds, Theresa Russell, Ned Beatty, Kay Lenz, Ted McGinley
  • Directors: Michael Crichton
  • Writers: Bill Phillips, Steve Ransohoff
  • Producers: Don Carmody, Martin Ransohoff
  • Format: Color, Full Screen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Live / Artisan
  • DVD Release Date: March 18, 2003
  • Run Time: 99 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000089764
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #298,051 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Physical Evidence" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Physical Evidence is meant to be a hard-boiled, gritty courtroom whodunit. With two sexy leads, a big-name director (Michael Crighton), and a classy score by legendary composer Henry Mancini (The Pink Panther), everything would appear to be in place. Burt Reynolds, whose career had shifted into low-gear in the late '80s, plays Joe Farley, a hard-living, hard-drinking cop with a volatile temper and plenty of enemies. When he becomes the main suspect in a high-profile murder, tyro public defendant Jenny Hudson (Theresa Russell), eager to make a name for herself, jumps to Joe's defense. Lies, red herrings, and double crosses follow as the body count rises. Jenny is in over her head and soon realizes that her life is in danger, and trouble is, she's falling hard for Joe, but can she trust him? Though the pacing is brisk and there's some good courtroom melodrama, Reynolds and Russell don't exactly ignite up the screen, and most of the scenes play like bad late-night television. Final verdict? A solid guilty pleasure. --Matt Wold

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars the truth could save him, the lies could kill her November 1, 2001
Format:VHS Tape
This Rank thriller directed by Michael Crichton has a scuzzy screenplay by Bill Phillips, from a story by Phillips and Steve Ransohoff, which is half courtroom drama and half street investigation. The title is explained by the means of execution of a hood being found in the home of Burt Reynolds, a Boston cop on suspension for "unwarranted violence". In spite of the obvious setup, Reynolds is charged with the murder and Theresa Russell becomes his defence attorney. Russell is given more screentime than Reynolds, and the treatment even allows for her breathy mannerisms by making her an inexperienced and ambitious. At one point someone even tells her "I can do without the dramatics" which gets a laugh. As Russell's boyfriend, Ted McGinley benefits from the same effect, with his ineffectualness used for himbo-ism. She and Reynolds banter well, and thankfully the inevitable romance is given a light touch. The only Phillips line that passes for wit is someone referring to the "reverse Midas touch, where everything touched turns to manure", though Reynolds is around to underplay. If the divisive focus and ultimately the seriousness with which we are supposed to take the court case are questionable, Crichton pulls us along with his skill. He creates multiple scenes of messy group anger, and provides a beautifully executed climactic chase. Ned Beatty is also pleasing as the District Attorney, probably the only one who attempts the region dialect.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars PREDICTABLE MURDER ROMP.... October 17, 2010
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
The other day, I was thinking about movies I've enjoyed over the years, and thought of this film starring Burt Reynolds and Theresa Russell--from the late 80s.

PHYSICAL EVIDENCE - Format: [DVD Movie] was a flick that I thought would be fun to see again. And it was.

My favorite parts were the interactions between the characters. Theresa Russell portrayed a defense attorney named Jennifer Hudson, while Burt Reynolds was Joe Paris, the cop on trial for murder.

Watching the growing attraction between these characters as they tried to solve the case (in between trial scenes) was fun, if a bit predictable.

The movie was set in Boston, so I also enjoyed the street scenes, as well as the interiors of some really gorgeous homes, like the loft where Theresa Russell's character lived with her very annoying fiance, who was materialistic and a bit of an obsessive-compulsive snob.

Lots of action, some violence, and a few thrill scenes, especially toward the end--all added up to a so-so movie that I'll probably watch again, but it certainly wasn't one of my favorites. Not like I thought it would be, since back in the eighties I obviously had different tastes.

However, I decided that it deserved three stars.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars July 13, 2014
By jack
Good movie.Jack
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4.0 out of 5 stars Sight and Sound July 22, 2013
I enjoyed this film since it falls into my favorite genre "Police Crime Drama - Film Noir". Burt Reynolds plays an broke ex-cop who is accused of murder and he draws a public defender played by Jenny Hudson to defend him. Poor Burt.
I recommend this film based in the genre and the MUSIC!
A number of times I have watched a new film that I had never seen before and I would notice that the music was touching me deeply only to discover that it was composed by Henry Mancini. Case in point is "Physical Evidence". In this film you will hear one of the most beautiful and haunting themes composed. As the credits roll by for 1 minute and 35 seconds and then you see "Music by HENRY MANCINI". Wonderful!
Thanks Mr. Mancini!

Check it out!
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