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Absence of Malice

Absence of Malice Promotional Movie Poster
Directed by Sydney Pollack
Produced by Sydney Pollack
Ronald L. Schwary
Written by Kurt Luedtke
David Rayfiel uncredited
Starring Paul Newman
Sally Field
Bob Balaban
Melinda Dillon
Luther Adler
Barry Primus
Mark Davis
Music by Dave Grusin
Cinematography Owen Roizman
Editing by Sheldon Kahn
Distributed by Columbia Pictures
Release date(s) 18 November 1981
Running time 116 Min
Language English
Gross revenue $40,716,963

Absence of Malice is a 1981 film which tells the story of Michael Gallagher (Paul Newman), the son of a deceased Mafia boss who discovers that he has become a front-page story in the local Miami newspaper, indicating that he is being investigated for a murder of a local longshoreman Union official he may or may not have been involved in. Sally Field as Megan is the reporter who writes the story after being prodded by a former lover who is working on the investigation for the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

The worlds of Gallagher and Megan start to come closer and closer, and although she is a modern woman and as he says, he is "from the stone age", her ethics and standards [[[journalism ethics and standards|the ethics of journalism]]] are tested, including how close a reporter should get to his or her source.

The movie also stars Bob Balaban as an ambitious and unscrupulous Assistant United States Attorney, Melinda Dillon as a troubled friend (with an even more troubled past) of Gallagher's, and Wilford Brimley as a senior U.S. Department of Justice official.

The movie was written by Kurt Luedtke and David Rayfiel (uncredited) and directed by Sydney Pollack.

It was nominated for 3 Academy Awards for Best Actor in a Leading Role (Newman), Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Dillon) and Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen.

External links


Absence of Malice
File:Absence of Malice
Absence of Malice Promotional Movie Poster
Directed by Sydney Pollack
Produced by Sydney Pollack
Ronald L. Schwary
Written by Kurt Luedtke
David Rayfiel uncredited
Starring Paul Newman
Sally Field
Bob Balaban
Melinda Dillon
Luther Adler
Barry Primus
Don Hood
Music by Dave Grusin
Cinematography Owen Roizman
Editing by Sheldon Kahn
Distributed by Columbia Pictures
Release date(s) 18 November 1981
Running time 116 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Gross revenue $40,716,963

Absence of Malice is a 1981 drama film starrying Paul Newman and Sally Field, directed by Sydney Pollack.

Contents

Plot

Miami liquor wholesaler Michael Gallagher (Newman) is the son of a deceased criminal who awakes one day to find himself a front-page story in the local newspaper, indicating that he is being investigated in the murder of a local longshoreman union official Joey Diaz.

The story was written by Miami Standard newspaper reporter Megan Carter (Field), who reads it from a file, left intentionally, on the desktop of federal prosecutor Elliot Rosen (Bob Balaban). As it turns out, Rosen is trying to squeeze Gallagher for information.

Gallagher comes to the newspaper's office trying to discover the basis for the story, but Carter does not reveal her source.

Gallagher's business is shut down by union officials who are now suspicious of him, having been implicated in Diaz's murder. Local crime boss Malderone, Gallagher's uncle, has him followed, just in case he talks to the government.

Teresa Peron (Melinda Dillon), a lifelong friend of Gallagher, tells Carter that Gallagher couldn't have killed Diaz because he was taking her out of town for an abortion on that weekend. A devout Catholic, she doesn't want Carter to reveal this publicly but Carter prints the story anyway. When the paper comes out the next morning, Peron unsuccessfully attempts to steal the newspapers exposing her abortion, so she commits suicide.

The paper's editor McAdam tells Carter that innocent people often get hurt by the facts, but Carter remains upset. She visits Gallagher to apologize, but an enraged Gallagher assaults her. Nevertheless, she attempts to make it up to him by revealing Rosen's role in the investigation.

Gallagher hatches a plan for revenge. He arranges a secret meeting with District Attorney Quinn, offering to use his organized-crime contacts to give Quinn exclusive information on Diaz's murder, in exchange for the D.A. calling off the investigation and issuing a public statement clearing him. Gallagher, thankful for Megan Carter's help, also begins a love affair with her.

Rosen is mystified by Quinn's exoneration of Gallagher, so he places phone taps on both and begins a surveillance of their movements. He and federal agent Bob Waddell, obtain evidence that Gallagher has been making monetary donations to Quinn's political committee. They also find out about Gallagher and Carter's relationship.

Waddell, as a friend, warns Carter about the investigation to keep her out of trouble but she breaks the story that the office of the district attorney (D.A.) is investigating Gallagher's attempt to bribe the D.A.

The story makes the front page again and causes a huge uproar. The US Assistant Attorney General Wells (Wilford Brimley) ultimately calls all of the principals together. He discovers that Rosen started an illegal investigation into Gallagher's activities and fires him, and suggests that Quinn resign (Galllagher has sent a significant anonymous contribution to one of Quinn's political action committee backers, which casts some suspicion about Quinn's motives, which is not illegal or verifiable, but apparently ruins Quinn's career). Wells apparently is well-aware that Gallagher set Quinn up, but cannot prove it, so he does not investigate. The newspaper prints a story revealing the entire truth about the incidents, and it is unclear whether or not Carter's relationship with Gallagher will continue, but the final scene shows them having a friendly conversation on the wharf where Gallagher's boat is docked.

Cast

Production

The movie was written by Kurt Luedtke, a former newspaper editor, and David Rayfiel (uncredited).

It was nominated for three Academy Awards for Best Actor in a Leading Role (Newman), Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Dillon) and Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen. At the 32nd Berlin International Film Festival the film won an Honourable Mention.[1]

References

External links








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