...And Justice for All (film)

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...And Justice for All is a 1979 film about an ethical Baltimore defense lawyer disgusted with rampant legal corruption who is asked to defend a judge he despises in a rape trial. But if he doesn't do it, the judge will have him disbarred.

Directed by Norman Jewison. Written by Valerie Curtin and Barry Levinson.
This man needs the best lawyer in town. But the problem is... he is the best lawyer in town.

Arthur Kirkland[edit]

  • At this point, I would just like to say that what this committee is doing in theory is highly commendable. However, in practice, it sucks... and I'm not going to answer any more questions.
  • [about Judge Rayford] This is a man bent on killing himself! It's no secret; a guard found him in his chambers once trying to hang himself! This is a man who's making value decisions on people's lives!
  • Sorry, Your Honor. Let's get back to justice. What is justice? What is the intention of justice? The intention of justice is to see that the guilty people are proven guilty and that the innocent are freed. Simple, isn't it? Only it's not that simple. However, it is the defense counsel's duty to protect the rights of the individual, as it is the prosecution's duty to uphold and defend the laws of the State. Justice for all. Only we have a problem here. And you know what it is? Both sides wanna win. We wanna win. We wanna win regardless of the truth. And we wanna win regardless of justice, regardless of who's guilty or innocent. Winning is everything!

Judge Rayford[edit]

  • Sixteen years of marriage and my wife still won't eat Chinese food. It's crazy, especially since we met in a Chinese restaurant.
  • [After he fires a gun in his courtroom, to stop an argument] Gentlemen, need I remind you we are in a court of law? [long pause] Now, let's proceed in an orderly fashion.

Judge Fleming[edit]

  • Prison should be a frightening place. Let those criminals create their own hellhole....I tell you, Arthur, the idea of punishment to fit the crime doesn't work. We need unjust punishment. Hang somebody for armed robbery. Try it! We've got nothin' to lose. Do you understand what I'm sayin' to you, for God's sake? You don't, do you? Oh! You fellas with your fancy ideas of rehabilitation. I tell you that the concept of rehabilitation is a farce. Do you honestly think that, that bringing Johnny Cash into prisons to sing railroad songs is gonna rehabilitate anyone? Most people are sick and tired of mugging and crime in the streets...[Arthur leaves] Arthur? Arthur?


  • Jeff McCullaugh: If everybody agrees I'm innocent, how come I'm going BACK to jail?
  • Carl Travers: I haven't left the scene of the accident, I'm in it!


Carl Travers: I was your first, you know that, Arthur? I was your first client, you broke cherry on me.
Arthur: Now is not the time to go down memory lane, Carl.

Elderly Man: [about Arthur's grandfather] He keeps telling us you're going to make a great lawyer.
Arthur: I wish he could remember that I AM a lawyer.
Elderly Man: Sometimes he does, sometimes he doesn't, what's it matter? He's still proud of you.

Arthur: You keep talking like that and you're not going to get me into bed, dear.
Gail: [pause] Yes I will. I've had tougher cases.
Arthur: Oh yeah? So that's why you went out with me, huh?

Arthur: [Arthur is visiting his client Jeff McCullaugh in jail, and sees that he has been assaulted] Jeff, what happened?
Jeff McCullaugh: Some... somebody beat me up...
Arthur: Why?
Jeff McCullaugh: I dunno, I didn't ask.

Judge Rayford: [Yelling over the noise of the helicopter he is piloting] Did you ever skydive? ... Skydive? Did you ever skydive?
Arthur: No, why?
Judge Rayford: You ought to try it. You might learn something. You know, I was skydiving once and my main chute didn't open. I pulled my reserve which didn't open either. There I was, plunging to the Earth. Just as I hit the tree tops, I discovered the meaning of life.
Arthur: Which is?
Judge Rayford: It sucks, Arthur! It really sucks!

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"...
[more laughter]
Officer Leary: ...stuff like that, Your Honor.
Dapper Defendant: There's a very good reason for all of that, Your Honor.
Judge Rayford: Oh? What is that?
Dapper Defendant: I'm a diabetic.
[loud laughter from the gallery]
Judge Rayford: I fail to see the connection. I've never heard of diabetes causing foul language!
Dapper Defendant: That's because you're a douchebag.
[entire courtroom erupts into laughter, including Officer Leary before he catches himself and forces a poker face]

Warren: [In Arthur's place Arnie let slip corrections required in Ralph Agee's case, resulting in his arrest when he was supposed to get probation] If he's not in jail this week, he'll be in jail next week! Appeal it!

Elderly Man: Whoa! Where's your teeth?
Arthur: What'd you do with your teeth, Grandpa?
Sam Kirkland: Did I have teeth the last time you visited me?
Elderly Man: Of course you had teeth, you had teeth this morning!

Arthur: [trying to get out of an invitation by the Judge to fly with him] Why don't you take your wife?
Judge Rayford: Ha! The last thing we did together was get married!

Arthur: [in the judge's helicopter] Where are we going?
Judge Rayford: You wanna go someplace in particular?
Arthur: No. Down, I would prefer to go down...

Arthur: 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 Honorable Henry T. Fleming, should go right to FUCKIN' JAIL! The son of a bitch is GUILTY! That man is guilty! That man, there, that man is a SLIME! He is a slime! If he's allowed to go free, then something really wrong is goin' on here!
Judge Rayford: Mr. Kirkland, you are out of order!
Arthur: You're OUT OF ORDER! YOU'RE OUT OF ORDER! The whole trial is out of order! They're out of order! That man, that sick, crazy, depraved man, raped and beat that woman there, and he'd like to do it again, he told me so! It's just a show! It's a show! It's "Let's Make A Deal"! "Let's Make A Deal"! Hey Frank, you wanna make a deal? I got an insane judge who likes to beat the shit out of women! Whaddya wanna gimme Frank, three weeks probation?
Frank Bowers: DAMN IT!
Arthur: [to Judge Fleming] You son of a bitch! You're supposed to STAND for somethin'! You're supposed to protect people, but instead you fuck and murder them!
[dragged out of court by bailiffs]
Arthur: You killed McCullough! You killed him! Hold it! Hold it! I just completed my opening statement!


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