7.4/10
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...and justice for all. (1979)

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2:24 | Trailer
A lawyer is forced to defend a guilty judge, while defending other innocent clients, and trying to find punishment for the guilty and provide justice for the innocent.

Director:

Norman Jewison
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Al Pacino ... Arthur Kirkland
Jack Warden ... Judge Francis Rayford
John Forsythe ... Judge Henry T. Fleming
Lee Strasberg ... Grandpa Sam
Jeffrey Tambor ... Jay Porter
Christine Lahti ... Gail Packer
Sam Levene ... Arnie
Robert Christian Robert Christian ... Ralph Agee
Thomas G. Waites ... Jeff McCullaugh (as Thomas Waites)
Larry Bryggman ... Warren Fresnell
Craig T. Nelson ... Frank Bowers
Dominic Chianese ... Carl Travers
Victor Arnold ... Leo Fauci
Vincent Beck Vincent Beck ... Officer Leary
Michael Gorrin ... Elderly Man
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Storyline

When a judge is charged with rape, Arthur Kirkland is forced to defend him. Kirkland has had problems with the judge in the past, including one incident when the judge wrongly sentenced his client Jeff McCullaugh because of a technicality. Kirkland faces a moral and legal dilemma. Written by Melissa Portell <mportell@s-cwis.unomaha.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

rape | judge | attorney | lawyer | court | See All (136) »

Taglines:

This man needs the best lawyer in town. But the problem is... he is the best lawyer in town. See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

AL | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

14 February 1980 (Netherlands) See more »

Also Known As:

Het recht van de sterkste See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$33,300,000, 31 December 1979
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In the final shot of the last scene, Al Pacino breaks the fourth wall and looks straight into the camera with a look of disbelief. See more »

Goofs

In one aerial shot of Judge Rayford's helicopter, the shadows of the camera helicopter and Judge Rayford's aircraft are visible together on the water. See more »

Quotes

[Officer Leary is on the witness stand]
Officer Leary: I told him to move on, but he continued to use profanity and he refused to leave the premises.
Judge Rayford: What sort of profanity?
Officer Leary: You know, the normal kind.
Judge Rayford: Officer Leary, we've all heard these words before, now for the record what did he say?
Officer Leary: [uncomfortably] He used... "fuck" a lot.
[quiet laughter from the gallery]
Officer Leary: ..."piss on you"...
[more laughter]
Officer Leary: ...then said he was gonna... "bung-hole the short order chef"... "cream on the waitress"...
[...]
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Rage - Furia primitiva (1988) See more »

Soundtracks

Something Funny Goin' On
Music by Dave Grusin
Lyrics by Alan Bergman & Marilyn Bergman
Sung by Zachary Sanders (as Zack Sanders) and the N.Y. Jailhouse Ensemble
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Poorly conceived
23 September 2011 | by itamarscomixSee all my reviews

Al Pacino's comically baffled expression at the very last shot of this film says it all, really. But is he baffled by Jeffrey Tambor's silly toupee, or by the fact that he has no idea what kind of movie he was just in? Not to worry - he's not alone. Director Norman Jewison doesn't know either, and neither does the audience.

...And Justice For All, according to many reviews, is supposed to be some sort of Catch-22-ish satirical black comedy, but if so then it fails miserably, since it's never as funny or outrageous as that, and the scenes that force the film's messages - and those are excruciatingly obvious - are melodramatic and heavy-handed. The comedic scenes seem to be there more to relieve the tension cause by the more dramatic scenes, but instead they just confuse. Most of the time the message we get is that very simply, law doesn't work, and always with tragic results - innocent men rot away in prison, guilty powerful men go unpunished, and guilty evil men walk free and kill again.

Pacino was famed for his subtle performances throughout the 70's - nobody else could have made the slick transition from naive idealism to calculated evil that he achieved in The Godfather, or in Dog Day Afternoon. But here no trace of subtlety can be found. And although the over-the-top performance fits right in at the final scene, and indeed makes for a very memorable and often quoted couple of minutes, it makes every other scene - especially the ones Pacino's character shares with his grandfather or his dull, unconvincing love interest - fall flat. Partially it's a good thing, because it paved the way for his performance in Scarface - which is one of the best, most glorious examples of complete, shameless overacting ever. But here it just doesn't work. It's not Pacino's fault, though, or Jewison's; It's just a poorly conceived story, and with something like that, all the talent in the world couldn't help.


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