THE VERDICT: COLLECTOR’S EDITION
MOVIE: *** (out of 5)
DVD EXPERIENCE: **** (out of 5)
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
Created by: Sidney Lumet
Studio: 20th Century Fox
BY KEVIN CARR
20th Century Fox has released another Paul Newman classic, “The Verdict: Collector’s Edition.” As a companion to “The Hustler,” this film shows a solid performance in Newman’s later years. It’s what you might consider a forgotten classic, one that people remember but rarely list as a classic.
The story follows a sleazy lawyer named Frank Galvin (Newman), who has been handed a slam-dunk malpractice case that should get a fast buck in the settlement. But after Galvin realizes the devastating effect the case had on the family, he plans to go trial. Of course, as a booze-loving sleaze, he has trouble keeping himself focused on justice.
Not an action flick by any means, “The Verdict” is a slow burn from frame one to the end. It’s a spotlight on Newman as an older fellow, and he carries the film well. Unlike most courtroom dramas, “The Verdict” portrays the dark underbelly of the legal system. We see that it’s not always about right or wrong, but about the money and the people making the decisions.
Like “The Hustler,” “The Verdict” is a story of redemption. In this case, Galvin must redeem himself for the family of the victim. He’s still laden with problems, but this dreadful case makes him a better man for it.
This collector’s edition DVD comes with three new featurettes analyzing Newman’s acting, Lumet’s directing and how “The Verdict” went from a routine release to a milestone film. Other resurrected features include an audio commentary, two featurettes, photo gallery and trailers.