Absence Of Malice


(out of 5)

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.

Columbia Pictures Corporation, Mirage Enterprises

USA, 1981

Directed by

Screenplay by

Cinematography by

Produced by Sydney Pollack

Music by

Production Design by

Costume Design by

Film Editing by

Academy Award Nominations
Best Actor in a Leading Role (Paul Newman as “Michael Gallagher”)
Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Melinda Dillon as “Teresa”)
Best Writing (Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen) (Kurt Luedtke)

Golden Globe Award Nominations
Best Performance By An Actress in a Motion Picture-Drama (Sally Field)
Best Screenplay (Kurt Luedtke)


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