Monday, September 12, 2011
But even though truly great films of the 80's were somewhat barren in numbers, it still did produce some exceptionally good ones. Without question 1982's The Verdict must rate as one of the best. Of course it starred the incomparable Paul Newman in one of his very best performances....ever. But like all great films The Verdict is not all about the performances. This film worked because it had a superb script, and was directed by one of the great directors in Sidney Lumet.
Put the three together and it is no surprise that The Verdict is considered on the decade's finest films. It is based on the 1980 novel of the same name by Barry Reed. It was adapted to film by David Mamet. The script Mamet initially wrote was discarded and re-written by other writers. But when they didn't work Mamet's script was dug out and used for the film. But it had to have an ending added as the novel didn't go as far as having a verdict in it. I think it an excellent script and it was nominated for an Oscar ( Best Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium ).
Jack Warden as Mickey Morrisey is the other stand out as Galvin's friend and former partner. He has stood by Frank for years, and had thrown the case his way for the substantial financial gain Galvin would get from it. He reluctantly agrees to help Galvin take the case to trial. It is his character who finds Galvin's recent girlfriend is selling off his legal strategy to Concannon. We see the result in the court scenes as Galvin's case is shredded with ease.