Tuesday, January 03, 2017
Forgotten Movies: THE VERDICT
What holds up best in THE VERDICT is Paul Newman's performance and the gritty feel Lumet gives it. In the 35 years since it came out, a million TV shows and movies have come up with more twisty plots, more diabolical insurance, law firms and hospitals. So it seems pretty tame now. There are a few characters who would have been knocked off nowadays,
Newman plays an alcoholic lawyer who's given a last chance for a big payoff by his pal. All he needs to do is take the settlement. But once he sees the comatose woman he's settling for, he goes for a bigger payoff. This was a highly watchable film, Lumet really knows how to give a film texture and make it seem real. Newman was expected to win the Oscar for this but he didn't win until THE COLOR OF MONEY a few years later. This was the first film where I remember thinking that he was finally getting older. Charlotte Rampling is the gorgeous young woman he has an affair with.
A year earlier in ABSENCE OF MALICE