You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Absence of Malice

Absence of Malice is the flipside of All The President's Men, a splendidly disturbing look at the power of sloppy reporting to inflict harm on the innocent.

Cast:
Paul Newman Sally Field Bob Balaban Melinda Dillon Luther Adler Barry Primus

Absence of Malice is the flipside of All The President’s Men, a splendidly disturbing look at the power of sloppy reporting to inflict harm on the innocent.

Tackling a long-standing public issue that has no resolution, producer-director Sydney Pollack neatly keeps all the points in focus while sustaining traditional entertainment values. This is, quite simply, a whale of a good story with something important to say. For that, much of the credit undoubtedly should go to writer Kurt Luedtke, a veteran newsman himself.

More typical of her trade than a Woodward or Bernstein, Sally Field is a workaday reporter on a Miami paper, trying to stay on top of a breaking story about the mysterious disappearance of a local longshore labor leader.

Paul Newman is the son of a mobster whose late father kept him straight and out of the rackets, running a legitimate business. But he still has unsavory family ties, particularly uncle Luther Adler, and Bob Balaban the head of a federal task force investigating the case, believes a little pressure on Newman might force his help in solving the disappearance.

Though Newman has no connection with a crime, Balaban suckers Field into printing a story identifying him – with editor Josef Sommer’s zealous encouragement – as a prime suspect.

Not surprisingly, the story produces tragedy, finally shaking Field’s faith in her calling. It also outrages Newman and his grievous, angry confrontation with Field may be the best single scene the actor has ever performed.

1981: Nominations: Best Actor (Paul Newman), Supp. Actress (Melinda Dillon), Original Screenplay

Absence of Malice

Production: Columbia. Director Sydney Pollack; Producer Sydney Pollack; Writer Kurt Luedtke; Camera Owen Roizman Editor Sheldon Kahn; Music Dave Grusin Art Terence Marsh

Crew: (B&W & Color) Widescreen. Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1981. Running time: 116 MIN.

With: Paul Newman Sally Field Bob Balaban Melinda Dillon Luther Adler Barry Primus

More Film

  • Laura Dern Emmy Award Win

    New York Women in Film & Television to Honor Laura Dern, Judith Light, Others at Muse Awards

    Absence of Malice is the flipside of All The President’s Men, a splendidly disturbing look at the power of sloppy reporting to inflict harm on the innocent. Tackling a long-standing public issue that has no resolution, producer-director Sydney Pollack neatly keeps all the points in focus while sustaining traditional entertainment values. This is, quite simply, […]

  • Murder on the Orient Express

    Fox Developing 'Murder on the Orient Express' Sequel 'Death on the Nile'

    Absence of Malice is the flipside of All The President’s Men, a splendidly disturbing look at the power of sloppy reporting to inflict harm on the innocent. Tackling a long-standing public issue that has no resolution, producer-director Sydney Pollack neatly keeps all the points in focus while sustaining traditional entertainment values. This is, quite simply, […]

  • 10 Screenwriters to Watch

    Variety Announces 10 Screenwriters to Watch of 2017

    Absence of Malice is the flipside of All The President’s Men, a splendidly disturbing look at the power of sloppy reporting to inflict harm on the innocent. Tackling a long-standing public issue that has no resolution, producer-director Sydney Pollack neatly keeps all the points in focus while sustaining traditional entertainment values. This is, quite simply, […]

  • Relativity School

    Relativity School Changes Name to Studio School Los Angeles

    Absence of Malice is the flipside of All The President’s Men, a splendidly disturbing look at the power of sloppy reporting to inflict harm on the innocent. Tackling a long-standing public issue that has no resolution, producer-director Sydney Pollack neatly keeps all the points in focus while sustaining traditional entertainment values. This is, quite simply, […]

  • Dynamo, Spiral Co-produce ‘Falco,’ Re-versioning German

    Dynamo and Spiral Co-Producing 'Falco,' Re-versioning Germany’s ‘The Last Cop’

    Absence of Malice is the flipside of All The President’s Men, a splendidly disturbing look at the power of sloppy reporting to inflict harm on the innocent. Tackling a long-standing public issue that has no resolution, producer-director Sydney Pollack neatly keeps all the points in focus while sustaining traditional entertainment values. This is, quite simply, […]

  • Lizzy Caplan

    Lizzy Caplan to Join Channing Tatum in 'Gambit' (EXCLUSIVE)

    Absence of Malice is the flipside of All The President’s Men, a splendidly disturbing look at the power of sloppy reporting to inflict harm on the innocent. Tackling a long-standing public issue that has no resolution, producer-director Sydney Pollack neatly keeps all the points in focus while sustaining traditional entertainment values. This is, quite simply, […]

  • Quentin Tarantino

    California Production Tax Credits to Go to Quentin Tarantino's New Movie

    Absence of Malice is the flipside of All The President’s Men, a splendidly disturbing look at the power of sloppy reporting to inflict harm on the innocent. Tackling a long-standing public issue that has no resolution, producer-director Sydney Pollack neatly keeps all the points in focus while sustaining traditional entertainment values. This is, quite simply, […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content