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...and justice for all. (1979)

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.

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

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Robert Christian ...
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Jeff McCullaugh (as Thomas Waites)
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Leo Fauci
Vincent Beck ...
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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 <[email protected]>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

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

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

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Release Date:

19 October 1979 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

...And Justice for All  »

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Runtime:

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Color:

(Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The co-screenwriters did their research for the film in real life courtrooms in two American cities: Baltimore, Maryland and Los Angeles, California. See more »

Goofs

When Arthur and Gail are walking along the river discussing the pictures, the upper front/center changes between shots from front to lumpy, then back, ....etc.. See more »

Quotes

Arthur Kirkland: The one thing that bothered me, the one thing that stayed in my mind and I couldn't get rid of it, that haunted me, was 'why?' Why would she lie? What was her motive for lyin'? If my client is innocent, she's lying. Why? Was it blackmail? No. Was it jealousy? No. Yesterday, I found out why. She doesn't have a motive. You know why? Because she's not lying. And ladies and gentlemen of the jury, the prosecution is not gonna get that man today. No! Because I'm gonna get him! My client, the ...
[...]
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Connections

Referenced in Remote Control (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
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User Reviews

 
`Catch-22' inside a courtroom
24 November 2003 | by (Lisbon, Portugal) – See all my reviews

I liked And Justice for All. I found it very entertaining and absorbing. In its satiric way, the movie is full of rich characters and plausible situations even if sometimes you can spot the cliché around the corner. Sometimes satire works as a magnifying glass to expose and better criticize something. And I believe that's what happens in this movie with all those bizarre scenes and deranged characters.

Even though Jewison focuses problems such as corruption, criticizes the danger of powerful people in the wrong places and brings up moral dilemmas about the practice of law, I believe And Justice for All is more of a satire than a serious alert to a possible decadence of the judicial system. The odd elements in the plot are one too many to see the movie strictly from its dramatic point of view: a cross-dresser client, an evidence-eating defendant, a suicidal judge, a hysterical lawyer.

In a certain way, the message of this movie reminded me the one of Mike Nichols anti-war comedy Catch-22: in order to cope with a crazy situation you have to become a little crazy. In a war scenario people fight for values like justice and order, but they also fight for power and interests; the same thing happens inside a courtroom. Some lawyers see Law as a business, some see it as a way to promote their personal careers and some see it as the opportunity given to those who have nothing else to lose.

The performances are just great, specially the ones of Jack Warden and Jeffrey Tambor. Al Pacino unquestionably steals the movie with another over-the-top performance as the lawyer willing to risk everything and delivers another memorable speech during his `opening statement'.


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