Absence Of Malice (1981)


Bil’s rating (out of 5):   BBBBB

USA, 1981.  Columbia Pictures Corporation, Mirage Enterprises.  Screenplay by .  Cinematography by .  Produced by Sydney Pollack.  Music by .  Production Design by .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by .  

Excellent drama about the world of journalism. Sally Field gives her best performance after Norma Rae as a green reporter who goes after the son of a long-dead mob boss (a superb Paul Newman) in the hopes that his story will shed light on a recent murder case. Newman hasn’t entered his father’s business, and is completely clear of any suspicion of criminal activity, but that doesn’t stop the press from leaking false stories of his involvement just to sell a paper. The personal power play between these two characters makes for one of the most fascinating films on the subject that has ever been made, and one of Sydney Pollack’s most violently emotional films. The perfect script was written by Kurt Luedtke, who would go on to do the superb adaptation for Out Of Africa four years later.

Academy Award Nominations:  Best Actor (Paul Newman); Best Supporting Actress (Melinda Dillon); Best Original Screenplay

Berlin Film Festival:  In Competition

Golden Globe Award Nominations:  Best Actress-Drama (Sally Field); Best Screenplay


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s