Wednesday, 25 August 2010

(500) Films of Empire - Day 344

254 - The Verdict - 3 stars
Sidney Lumet returns to the courtroom after Twelve Angry Men with a drama where the outcome of the case is less important than the redemption of Paul Newman's character.
Newman plays Francis P. Galvin, a once great lawyer who is now an alcoholic and an ambulance chaser. A medical malpractice case gives him a shot at some easy money but soon turns into the chance to put his demons behind him and get his life back.
Whilst the court case has all the usual twists and turns you would expect in this genre of film (surprise witnesses, setbacks, intimidation, etc), it lacks that one grandstanding moment where the lead character can really get there teeth into and create an iconic moment. If any film is to blame for this then I point the finger at Jack Nicholson in A Few Good Men, "You can't handle the truth!".
A great central performance from Newman who shows the character's flaws but also has that movie star sparkle when needed (perhaps he should have won the Oscar for this instead of The Color Of Money), but overall it just doesn't match up to Twelve Angry Men.

Days remaining - 21 Films remaining - 22

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