Niles-Maine District Library


The Verdict

One of Paul Newman’s strongest performances is given here…in his fourth decade of film acting. Some actors start to rest on their laurels toward the end of their careers. Not Mr. Newman. Sidney Lumet’s movie features one of the strongest, fiercest performances ever put on screen, nevertheless one of Newman’s strongest. Starting out at the beginning of the film, Newman’s character is an alcoholic mess…rarely sober and never thinking about the law or his clients. He sees any new case as a way to buy more liquor…and even when the case of the century comes to him, he almost blows it. Crusty and unkempt, Newman is spot-on here as the attorney who has one last chance to save himself and his client. Can he do it? I would tell you, but I am insistent that people see this film that I wouldn’t dare.

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