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The Verdict is a 1982 courtroom drama film directed by Sidney Lumet and written by David Mamet, based on a novel by Barry Reed and starring Paul Newman. Frank Galvin is a washed-up alcoholic attorney who hasn't won a case in years and who spends his time lying his ways into funerals. His friend, Mickey Morrissey, gets him a medical malpractice suit about a woman rendered comatose during surgery with a guaranteed large settlement. However, a visit to the girl deeply affects him, and at the meeting with Archdiocese of Boston to hammer out the settlement, he rejects the money, deciding that this is his last chance to save himself and resolves to fight it out. This, of course, displeases everyone, from the family to the judge, and his opponent in the trial is Ed Concannon, backed by a large and professional legal team. To make matters worse, no one seems to be able to tell him what actually happened during the surgery. Also along the way he finds a lover in a woman named Laura, a complex relationship that isn't made any easier by the trial.


This Film contains examples of:

  • The Alcoholic: Galvin
  • Ambulance Chaser: What Galvin is at the start. He rejects the settlement party to get out of this.
  • Amoral Attorney: Both Galvin and Concannon have a bit of this, with Galvin not above lying and breaking into mailboxes, and with Concannon resorting to having Laura spy on Galvin, though on the other hand he's quite disgusted when he finds out Dr. Towler really is guilty.
  • Anti-Hero: Frank Galvin is a pretty scummy attorney, and even after he rediscovers his thirst for justice he's not above using tactics of questionable morality.
  • David Versus Goliath: One attorney representing a small family versus a large high payed legal team payed for by the Catholic Church.
  • Hollywood Law
  • The Judge: Judge Hoyle, who wears his dislike for Galvin on his sleeve.
  • The Mole: Laura
  • Redemption Quest
  • Surprise Witness
  • What the Hell, Hero?: The Doneghys confront Galvin when he goes to court without consulting them.
  • Would Hit a Girl: Galvin, when he finds out Laura is The Mole.
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