Scruffy and idealistic Baltimore lawyer Arthur Kirkland (Al Pacino) fights corruption and favouritism in the American judicial system during a controversial rape case.
Tangling with the tyrannical Judge Fleming (John Forsythe), Pacino generates much power in a fascinating and compelling movie, featuring unforgettable performances and Norman Jewison’s well-paced direction.
First seen in prison where he’s serving time for contempt, Pacino’s attorney is a crusader, fighting corruption within his profession with a zeal that real-life lawyers can only dream of.
Other plot elements include a judge contemplating suicide, a lawyer going insane because he helped a killer avoid prosecution, and a transvestite living in terror at the prospect of prison.
Watch out for a nice cameo by Lee Strasberg, the legendary Method acting teacher who starred as Pacino’s Jewish mobster rival in The Godfather, Part II.
Judge Henry Fleming