Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.
Thursday, May 6, 2010
THE VERDICT (1982). Director: Sidney Lumet.
Lawyer Frank Galvin (Paul Newman) takes a medical malpractice case -- the wrong anesthetic was administered -- even though he was offered a settlement and the hospital is owned by the Catholic church. Initially he wants a chance to salvage his wrecked career, but eventually he comes to the conclusion that his comatose client deserves to be fought for. James Mason is great as opposing counsel, and Jack Warden scores as Galvin's associate, Mickey Morrissey. Charlotte Rampling is, as usual, the ice princess to end all ice princesses, and walks through the movie -- again as usual -- with one expression. Newman gives a solid performance. But somehow this never quite becomes the explosive classic you might have hoped for.
Verdict: Okay, but nothing really special. **1/2.