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Showing 1-10 of 290 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 407 reviews
on June 21, 2007
In a career of unforgettable portrayals, "The Verdict" stands as Paul Newman's pinnacle; as a shattered idealistic lawyer, on an alcoholic road to self-destruction, finding a chance at redemption, he is absolutely perfect. With respect to Ben Kingsley, Newman SHOULD have won the 'Best Actor' Oscar in 1982!

Directed by Sidney Lumet, from a remarkably candid screenplay by David Mamet, this is a film that never makes a wrong step. Newman's 'Frank Galvin' is not heroic, or even likable, in the film's opening scenes, but he finds, in a simple malpractice suit, an injustice so blatant that he sees an opportunity to redeem himself...but he'll have to defeat a rich, duplicitous law firm (headed by legendary James Mason), argue before an indifferent judge (Milo O'Shea), and, worst of all, face betrayal from within his tiny circle of friends, if he has any hope of rising out of his personal 'hell'.

With a superb cast, including the remarkable Jack Warden as his ex-mentor/best friend, and Charlotte Rampling, as the woman he trusts far too much, "The Verdict" is raw, powerful, and occasionally disturbing, but never dull!

This new two-disc edition is certainly THE version to own, with commentary by Newman and Lumet, and an entire disc of extras, including Lumet and Newman's personal recollections, and several 'Making of' documentaries, from 1982, and today. You'll never find a more complete presentation of a truly extraordinary film!

There are few films that I can watch, again and again, and never grow tired of..."The Verdict" is one. Bravo to Newman, Lumet, Mamet, and everyone involved in creating this classic!
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on October 30, 2013
The film that Newman (as attorney Frank Galvin)deserved an Oscar for. The performance of his career. It wasn't Paul Newman playing Paul Newman. The film is strengthened by impeccable performances from superb artists like the always "steady-eddie" and vastly underrated and unappreciated Jack Warden; the mysterious Charlotte Rampling; LIndsey Crouse (an absolute moving performance); James Handy (dead-on, perfect acting; unforgettable); James Mason (perfect as Frank Galvin's foe, who has all the loyalty of a rabid dog, and all the ethics of an alleycat; he deserved an Oscar, too);Julie Bavaso (an absolutely superb actress); Edward Binns (brilliant as the Archbishop who is caught between his religious ethics and practical considerations of the case); and many others. Perfect film. Flawless acting, directing, casting and writing. David Mamet deserved the Oscar for his superbly-crafted
script, Sidney Lumet for his brilliant, understated and unobtrusive directing. An absolute masterpiece. One of the ten greatest films of all time, and the best courtroom drama I've ever seen, bar none, though in fact, much of the film takes place outside the courtroom. Based on the fine book by Barry Reed. ("Things change" is the key line to this movie.) There is redemption and a second chance in this life, and this movie proves it. Not a day goes by that I don't think about it, and it was made in the 1980s. One of my favorite credos is this: "In the end, he always did the right thing. Always." THE VERDICT is the embodiment of that testament. Not a second of filler I this film, thanks to Mamet, Lumet and the whole cast. On a zero to ten scale, it goes off the sheet. A ten-plus.

Philip Von Borries
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on June 29, 2016
"The Verdict" is an imperfect movie that I never tire of watching. Paul Newman as the alcoholic has been lawyer Frank Galvin is at his mesmerizing best. The veteran character actor Jack Warden as Galvin's former professor-turned-sidekick Mickey Morrissey is in his element in what might be the role of his brilliant career. The rest of the supporting cast -- led by Charlotte Rambling as the withholding, impermeable woman sent to spy on Galvin, and James Mason as the unprincipled opposing counsel who sends her -- are fine indeed. Meanwhile, director Sidney Lumet is weaving that old movie magic at which he excelled. The imperfection comes in the legal plot. Galvin's clients have a legitimate beef against two doctors, a hospital and the Catholic Diocese of Boston, which runs it. Unfortunately, Galvin, shaky at best, is repeatedly thwarted by the despicable opposition and a judge (played well by Milo O'Shea) who's in the bag. Nonetheless, he sees a chance to redeem himself, reclaim some pride and help some deserving people. Never mind that all of the defendants and their various interests would not be represented by the same lawyers. Never mind that, once Rampling's character's dishonesty is discovered, Galvin chooses not to use this information to destroy his opponents ostensibly because he wants to win the case on its merits. Never mind that he does. Improbabilities abound, in other words. But "The Verdict" never fails to entertain. Just squint through those nettlesome second-half details.
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on April 19, 2017
Newman often played to stereotype, though doing it very well. He exceeded that here, but not brilliantly as some reviewers suppose. Also stereotypical is the hero-wins-against-long-odds ending. Newman's greatest role? "Somebody Up There Likes Me." However, given that it's a send-up on the hard-boiled detective genre, I quite like "Twilight."
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on December 14, 2014
A fantastic film. A compelling story. An extraordinary performance by Paul Newman and the supporting cast of James Mason, Milo O'Shea, Charlotte Rampling, and Jack Warden. Newman plays an attorney, burnt-out and world-weary, who is given a case that should carry him easily and financially for a long while. Instead, the attorney earnestly (against his lack of drive) investigates, deciding that the lawsuit should go to trial, against the wishes of his colleagues and those involved on both sides of the suit. What transpires is drama in the courtroom and drama in life outside as passions, manipulations, strategies for victory, and hopes for redemption intertwine. The dialogue is smart and real. The setting of the cold city effectively mirrors the need to move against freezing forces that is the challenge of the protagonist attorney. Others can say more about production details and personnel, sources for inspiration, and so forth. These are my recollections and opinions from having seen the film thirty years ago. I recommend you, the reader, watch the film to form your own opinion. Mainly, watch the film to be wondrously entertained.
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on October 7, 2013
This was an excellent film.

The acting was excellent on everyone's part.

There were surprising plot twists. Incidentally, I disagreed with one online reviewer, I think it was Ebert, that the Newman character was still drinking when the movie ended, giving it a somewhat cynical cast. I didn't think it looked that way at all.

There were a few loose ends. Why did the doctors who were prepared to testify for the plaintiffs convinced that the wrong anesthetic was given, when it turned out that no anesthetic at all should have been given under the circumstances? Was this an educated guess? How would that have stood up in court?

Did the former admitting nurse really change the notation, or did the doctor do it? I thought that wasn't clear. Either way, the outcome was the same: she soon left the hospital and stopped being a nurse, either because the doctor forced her to do it or because she felt so bad about what had happened. I guess the implication was that she changed it. I may have to see it again to be sure.

A fascinating detail for us today is the way that the existing technology, or lack of it, affected the plot very much. The rotary phones were there all the time. Nobody had a cellular phone, making some people unreachable at times. No one had a PC. When Frank Galvin's ex-girlfriend tries to call him, he has no way of knowing who it is because the phone would not have a display panel, but somehow you guess that he suspects that it is she, and he doesn't pick up. Also, nowadays, when you go to the hospital, there's a nurse sitting at a computer taking down the information. I doubt any system is failsafe, but a computer can be set up so that no one can change an entry once the Enter or Submit key has been hit, and if there's an override possible, only authorized personnel, determined by the instituion, can do it. This was true at the agency where I worked--the Human Resources Administration of New York City--regarding comments the workers entered on anything they put into a client's record. You might be able to add a comment that a mistake was made, but you couldn't change the original entry.

The black doctor, who was unable to help as much as he wanted to, was very affecting. I think he probably did have some good influence on the jury. The way he spoke about justice was sincere. The character, and the actor playing the part, would have known firsthand about the need for justice as he had encountered racism. Some racism shows itself in the film right away when he enters the picture, and it was clearly designed by the filmmakers to make a statement about that.

The film haunted me. It seems so dated, and yet all the issues it raises are up to date.

Lindsay Krouse (sp?) as the former nurse was very fine.

I had heard of the film but never seen it before. I learned more about it when it was discussed, with selected clips, in the very fine class on the cinema given at the Aesthetic Realism Foundation by noted filmmaker Ken Kimmelman.
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on December 29, 2015
Great movie. 'Newman!' is great (which is to say he's Newman) in what begins as an unsympathetic role turned down by some vain unknown pretty boy named Redford who hired his own writer to rewrite the script because he thought it'd mess up his hair... Thanks Bob. That act of providence turned what would have been a mediocre rewrite into a classic courtroom drama with the nefarious Desert Fox himself, James Mason. Newman was unquestionably the perfect choice!
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on May 2, 2017
Riveting story with great performances by all of the cast, but it was Newman's performance that was beyond just great -- it was outstanding.
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on January 24, 2014
I have always believed, like others, that Paul Newman should have won the Oscar for his performance in The Verdict. I have seen this movie over 30 times and still enjoy some of the smaller details. Although a couple of props like the phones and phone booths are dated, the story is timeless. Trivia: Bruce Willis makes one of his first appearances, albeit uncredited, as an extra sitting in the courtroom behind Paul Newman's character. Last movie I saw with my father, while he was still alive and will always be one of my favorite movies. Pure David vs Goliath in the two legal firm comparisons. Enjoy.
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on March 5, 2016
I have watched this movie before. It is a simple story told in a subtle way. Great roles for many of the actors. Paul Newman's summary to the Jury
is so perfect without all the pomp of normal courtroom drama. It brings me to tears every time I hear it. Small gestures throughout the film
reveal much. Intelligent and moving. A quiet movie of the best kind.
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