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Physical Evidence

3.1 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

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

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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.)
  • 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 (10 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000089764
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #237,453 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Physical Evidence" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Peter Shelley on 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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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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I remembered this movie from back when it was on movie channels on TV and wanted to see it again. The DVD was in excellent condition. Burt Reynolds was at his best and Theresa Russell was a hottie even in her Dynasty era wide shoulder suits.
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Format: DVD
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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Format: DVD
I'm reviewing the video (Not The DVD) which I taped from HBO or Showtime back in the 1990s. As I've mentioned in the above caption, this movie was listed as One & A Half Stars by Leonard Maltin, who said (Correctly) that Theresa Russel was miscast in her role. Glenn Close (Jagged Edge) and Rebecca De Mornay (Guilty As Sin) had performances that were light years ahead of Theresa Russels! That is why the movie fell flat-- that and tepid direction from Crichton. He clearly got little from his stars. Aside from Reynolds and Beatty, few of the actors held their own in this production. Speaking of production, couldn't they (Producers) have chipped in more money so the film could have been shot completely on location in Boston instead of Toronto standing in for that tea party city?

It's a shame that this movie did not come together. It had all the marks of a solid thriller, yet never reaches its mark. I recommend it only for those who (Like Me) love Burt Reynolds and always desire a thriller with stars.

In short, if you can overcome Russell's bad acting and Crichton's lackluster direction (He Got Nothing From His Stars), you might be able to barely stand this below-average movie.

A. Nathaniel Wallace, Jr.
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