A Civil Action


(out of 5)

True story of a small law firm that takes on a giant corporation when it is suspected that a tannery has been allowing contaminants into the drinking water of a small town.  and an excellent  are among the good guys who are constantly forced to come up with new ways to fund their case but are blocked at every turn by the various ways the evil conglomerate finds to avoid having to take responsibility for their actions (which have allegedly resulted in many deaths). Steven Zaillian directs assuredly and uses Conrad L. Hall’s wonderful photography well, but some audiences will be frustrated by the fact that this case was lost due not to an evil conspiracy among rich companies but by the idiocy on display from Travolta’s character: lawyer Jan Schlichtmann here acts with such loony self-confidence and goes against so many procedural norms that are basic training for any lawyer, that you just can’t root for his team no matter how much you want to. It is absorbing drama though, and ‘s colourful performance (in a role too peripheral to the story) livens up the joint quite a bit.

, Paramount Pictures, Wildwood Enterprises, Scott Rudin Productions

USA, 1998

Directed by

Screenplay by Steven Zaillian, based on the book by 

Cinematography by 

Produced by , ,

Music by

Production Design by

Costume Design by

Film Editing by

Academy Awards:  1998

Golden Globe Awards:  1998



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 )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google 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