The Verdict

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The Verdict is a 1982 film about a down-on-his-luck alcoholic lawyer who sees the chance to salvage his career and self-respect by taking a medical malpractice case to trial rather than settling.

Directed by Sydney Lumet. Written by David Mamet, based on the novel by Barry Reed.


Frank Galvin[edit]

  • [to Judge Hoyle] You couldn't hack it as a lawyer. You were a bag man for the boys downtown and you still are, I know about you.
  • So Pat says, he says, "They got this new bar... and you go inside and for half a buck you get a beer, a free lunch and they take you in the back room - they get you laid... Mike says, "Now wait a minute, wait a minute, wait a minute. Do you mean to say there's a new bar and you go inside and for a half a buck they give you a beer, a free lunch and they take you in the back room and they get you laid?" Pat says, "That's right." "Have you ever been in the bar?" And he says, "No, but me sister has."
  • You know, so much of the time we're just lost. We say, "Please, God, tell us what is right; tell us what is true." And there is no justice: the rich win, the poor are powerless. We become tired of hearing people lie. And after a time, we become dead... a little dead. We think of ourselves as victims... and we become victims. We become... we become weak. We doubt ourselves, we doubt our beliefs. We doubt our institutions. And we doubt the law. But today you are the law. You ARE the law. Not some book... not the lawyers... not the, a marble statue... or the trappings of the court. See those are just symbols of our desire to be just. They are... they are, in fact, a prayer: a fervent and a frightened prayer. In my religion, they say, "Act as if ye had faith... and faith will be given to you." IF... if we are to have faith in justice, we need only to believe in ourselves. And ACT with justice. See, I believe there is justice in our hearts.

Ed Concannon[edit]

  • [to Laura] I know how you feel. You don't believe me, but I do know. I'm going to tell you something that I learned when I was your age. I'd prepared a case and old man White said to me, "How did you do?" And, uh, I said, "Did my best." And he said, "You're not paid to do your best. You're paid to win." And that's what pays for this office... pays for the pro bono work that we do for the poor... pays for the type of law that you want to practice... pays for my whiskey... pays for your clothes... pays for the leisure we have to sit back and discuss philosophy as we're doing tonight. We're paid to win the case. You finished your marriage. You wanted to come back and practice the law. You wanted to come back to the world. Welcome back.

Judge Hoyle[edit]

  • [to Frank] This case should never have come to trial. But you know better. You're mister independent. You want to be independent? Be independent now. I have no sympathy for you.

Others[edit]

  • Maureen Rooney: You know you guys are all the same. You don't care who gets hurt. You're a bunch of whores. You'd do anything for a dollar. You got no loyalty... No nothing... You're a bunch of whores.
  • Kevin Doneghy: You guys... you guys are all the same! The doctors at the hospital, you... it's always what I'm going to do for you. And then you screw up, and it's, "Ah, we did the best that we could, I'm dreadfully sorry." And people like us live with your mistakes the rest of our lives.
  • Kaitlin Costello: [testifying why she kept a copy of the admittance form] After the operation, when that poor girl she went into a coma, Dr. Towler called me in. He told me that he'd had five difficult deliveries in a row and he was tired... and he never looked at the admittance form. And he told me to change the form. He told me to change the '1' to a '9'... or else... or else he said, he said he'd fire me. He said I'd never work again. Who were these men? Who were these men? I wanted to be a nurse!

Dialogue[edit]

Mickey Morrissey: [trying to convince Frank not to take the case to trial] Do you know who the attorney for the Archdiocese is? Ed Concannon!
Frank Galvin: He's a good man...
Mickey Morrissey: He's a good man? Heh, heh, he's the Prince of fucking Darkness! He'll have people testifying they saw her waterskiing in Marblehead last summer. Now look, Frank, don't fuck with this case!

Ed Concannon: Why wasn't she getting oxygen?
Dr. Towler: Well, many reasons, really...
Ed Concannon: Tell me one.
Dr. Towler: She'd aspirated vomitus into her mask.
Ed Concannon: She threw up in her mask. Now cut the bullshit, please. Just say it: She threw up in her mask.

Frank Galvin: [after the church has offered a check for $210,000 to settle the case] How did you settle on the amount?
Bishop Brophy: We thought it was just.
Frank Galvin: You thought it was just?
Bishop Brophy: Yes.
Frank Galvin: Because it struck me, um, how neatly 'three' went into this figure: 210,000. That means I would keep seventy.
Bishop Brophy: That was our insurance company's recommendation.
Frank Galvin: Yes, that would be.
Bishop Brophy: Nothing we can do can make that woman well.
Frank Galvin: And no one will know the truth.
Bishop Brophy: What is the truth?
Frank Galvin: That that poor girl put her trust into the... into the hands of two men who took her life. She's in a coma. Her life is gone. She has no home, no family. She's tied to a machine. She has no friends. And the people who should care for her - her doctors... and you and me - have been bought off to look the other way. We've been paid to look the other way. I came here to take your money. I brought snapshots to show you so I could get your money. I can't do it; I can't take it. 'Cause if I take the money I'm lost. I'll just be a... rich ambulance chaser. I can't do it. I can't take it.

Frank Galvin: I changed my life today, what did you do?
Laura Fischer: I changed my room at the hotel.
Frank Galvin: Why did you do that?
Laura Fischer: TV didn't work.

Cast[edit]

External links[edit]

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