×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Presumed Innocent

Honed to a riveting intensity by director Alan Pakula and featuring the tightest script imaginable, Presumed Innocent is a demanding, disturbing javelin of a courtroom murder mystery.

With:
Harrison Ford Brian Dennehy Raul Julia Bonnie Bedelia Paul Winfield Greta Scacchi

Honed to a riveting intensity by director Alan Pakula and featuring the tightest script imaginable, Presumed Innocent is a demanding, disturbing javelin of a courtroom murder mystery.

Hewing closely to Scott Turow’s bestselling 1987 novel, the harrowing tale unfolds with nary a wasted step, as deputy prosecutor and family man Rusty Sabich (Harrison Ford) arrives at work to learn his beautiful colleague Carolyn Polhemus (Greta Scacchi) has been brutally murdered. Forced to lead the investigation by his longtime boss Raymond Horgan (Brian Dennehy), who’s in a deep sweat over his re-election campaign, Sabich can scarcely admit he’d had an affair with the dead attorney. But his pained, steely cool wife (Bonnie Bedelia) knows, and she’s none too sympathetic or forgiving about it.

Sabich is then confronted by rat-like ex-colleague Tommy Molto (Joe Grifasi), who’s part of an opposing campaign for the chief prosecutor’s office. Molto swears Sabich was at Carolyn’s apartment the night of the murder. Before long Sabich is embroiled in a grand jury investigation that spurs his politically frightened boss to turn on him. With a sly, magnetic Raul Julia brought in as Sabich’s crafty defense lawyer, one never knows, until pic’s astonishing denouement, whether Sabich did the deed or not.

Popular on Variety

Ford, in a very mature, subtle, lowkey performance, pulls off the difficult feat of making it impossible to be sure. Bedelia is wondrously controlled, and Scacchi, sans any hint of a European accent, is convincing and seductive.

Presumed Innocent

Production: Mirage/Warner. Director Alan J. Pakula; Producer Sydney Pollack, Mark Rosenberg; Screenplay Frank Pierson, Alan J. Pakula; Camera Gordon Willis; Editor Evan Lottman; Music John Williams; Art Director George Jenkins

Crew: (Color) Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1990. Running time: 127 MIN.

With: Harrison Ford Brian Dennehy Raul Julia Bonnie Bedelia Paul Winfield Greta Scacchi

More Film

  • Give Me Liberty

    'Give Me Liberty' Grabs Best Film Award in Macao

    Kirill Mikhanovsky’s “Give Me Liberty” and Gu Xiaogang’s “Dwelling in the Fuchun Mountains won the best picture prizes in the international and Chinese cinema sections on Tuesday at the International Film Festival and Awards Macau (IFFAM). “This film shouldn’t have existed because there were so many obstacles. Everything was a miracle. Us being here is [...]

  • Constance Wu and Jennifer Lopez star

    'Hustlers,' 'Jojo Rabbit' and 'Queen & Slim' Receive Costume Design Nominations

    The Costume Designers Guild announced their nominations for the 22nd CDGA Awards on Tuesday. Among the nominees are Arianne Phillips for “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” Mayes C. Rubeo for “Jojo Rabbit” and Mitchell Travers for “Hustlers.” “The Irishman” is notably absent from the field. The Costume Designers Guild celebrates excellence in film, television [...]

  • JKR_DAY030_102518_0688465.dng

    'Joker,' 'Frozen 2' Receive Cinema Audio Society Nominations

    “Joker,” “Frozen 2,” “The Lion King,” “Ford v Ferrari” and “Toy Story 4” have scored nominations for sound mixing from the Cinema Audio Society. The 56th edition of the awards will be presented on Jan. 25 at the InterContinental Los Angeles Downtown. Nominations were announced on Tuesday. “Each year I am gobsmacked by the impressive [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content