I watched The Verdict with my mom this past weekend. I think this bring my Paul Newman film count to four (Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, The Hustler, and Cool-hand Luke being the other three).
It was a pretty good movie. There were some unrealistic aspects of the movie (i.e. the judge being so blatantly biased during the trial and a lawyer who specifically goes against his clients wishes by not taking an out-of-court deal, etc). Nevertheless Paul Newman had a really good performance as Frank Galvin, an alcoholic lawyer who has been on a losing and has lost faith in himself. While trying to make an easy buck as an ambulance-chaser (i.e. a lawyer who chases malpractice suits), he rediscovers himself and goes against the odds to do the right thing.
Paul Newman had a gift for portraying vulnerable, confused, and out-of-luck characters. His portrayal of Frank was really great. I first rejected Frank, deemed his disgusting, but then was eventually won over into his corner and really wanted him to win. Just like with other movies with Paul Newman, the ending was bittersweet. Frank rediscovers himself and regains his self-confidence, but in the process has to endure another intimate betrayal. Another betrayal on the many that came beforehand. Despite this, the coffee cup instead of the cup of alcohol next to him in the closing scene was pretty hopeful.
Overall, I liked the movie. I liked the hero. The movie’s over thirty years old, but the characters are timeless.