Best Courtroom Movies – The Verdict
Frank Galvin is a Boston attorney struggling with alcoholism and failure. He makes one last stab at respectability and redemption in Sidney Lumet’s 1984 film The Verdict. Played by Paul Newman, Galvin is formerly the member of an elite Boston law firm almost disbarred for jury tampering. He turns to alcohol and taking bad personal injury cases as a sole practitioner.
- Paul Newman as Frank Galvin
- Charlotte Rampling as Laura Fischer
- Jack Warden as Mickey Morrissey
- James Mason as Ed Concannon
- Milo O’Shea as Judge Hoyle
- Lindsay Crouse as Kaitlin Costello Price
- Edward Binns as Bishop Brophy
- Julie Bovasso as Maureen Rooney
- Roxanne Hart as Sally Doneghy
- James Handy as Kevin Doneghy
- Wesley Addy as Dr. Towler
- Joe Seneca as Dr. Thompson
- Lewis J. Stadlen as Dr. Gruber
- Kent Broadhurst as Joseph Alito
- Colin Stinton as Billy
- Tobin Bell as Courtroom Observer (uncredited)
- Bruce Willis as Courtroom Observer (uncredited)
Galvin is sent a referral for a medical malpractice case that involves a young woman given an anesthetic during childbirth. Having choked on her vomit and being deprived of oxygen, she is now comatose and on a respirator. She requires substantial long-term medical care Frank tells them assuredly that they have a good case.
After visiting the comatose woman, Frank becomes deeply affected by her condition. After a representative of the defendant hospital offers a significant settlement, Frank refuses to accept it without consulting the family and says he is taking the case to trial. This stuns all parties including the presiding judge and the victim’s relatives. Taking the case to trial is one and the same as redeeming himself and regaining his self-respect.
The redemption of Frank Galvin occurs within the context of the courtroom in The Verdict. Paul Newman portrays Frank Galvin without his customary youthful vitality. He looks tired and weary of his life, drinking, and not living up to expectations, trying to make it right one last time.
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