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And Justice for All (Film Notes)


...And Justice For All

original movie poster

Directed by Norman Jewison

Norman Jewison
Produced by
Patrick J. Palmer

Valerie Curtin
Written by
Barry Levinson

Al Pacino
John Forsythe
Starring Christine Lahti
Jack Warden
Lee Strasberg
Music by Dave Grusin

Cinematography Victor J. Kemper

Editing by John F. Burnett

Distributed by Columbia Pictures

Release date(s) June 29, 1979

Running time 119 minutes

Country United States

Language English

Budget $4 million

Box office $33,300,000[1]

...And Justice For All is a 1979 courtroom drama film, directed by Norman Jewison. The movie
stars Al Pacino, John Forsythe, Jack Warden, Lee Strasberg, Jeffrey Tambor, Christine Lahti,
Craig T. Nelson and Thomas G. Waites. It was also 75-year-old character actor Sam Levene's
final film.[2] The Oscar-nominated screenplay was written by Valerie Curtin and Barry
Levinson.[3]

The film includes a well-known scene in which Pacino's character, Kirkland, shouts, "You're out
of order! You're out of order! The whole trial is out of order! They're out of order!"[4] The closing
courtroom scene was filmed on the first take.[2] The film shows many scenes of downtown
Baltimore, including the courthouse area, a scene running around the Washington
Monument/Mount Vernon Place, and Fort McHenry.[5]

...And Justice For All received two Academy Award nominations, for Best Actor in a Leading
role (Pacino) and for Best Original Screenplay (Curtin and Levinson).[6] Pacino also received a
Golden Globe nomination for his performance.[6] The film represents the second time Pacino was
nominated for these awards in a movie in which he acted alongside his famed acting teacher, Lee
Strasberg, the other being The Godfather Part II.[7][8]
The title is the last four words of the Pledge of Allegiance.[9]

Plot
Arthur Kirkland (Al Pacino) is a hotheaded but idealistic young defense attorney in Baltimore.
As the film opens, he is in jail on a charge of contempt of court for having thrown a punch at
judge Henry T. Fleming (John Forsythe) while arguing the case of an innocent defendant, Jeff
McCullaugh (Thomas G. Waites).

McCullaugh was stopped for a minor traffic offense, but then mistaken for a killer of the same
name and convicted. He has already endured one and half years in jail, as Kirkland continues his
efforts to have the case reviewed against Fleming's resistance. Though there is strong new
evidence that the convicted man was innocent, Judge Fleming refused Kirkland's appeal due to a
minor technicality and leaves McCullaugh in prison.

Kirkland takes another case, that of meek, gentle transgender Ralph Agee (Robert Christian),
who is guilty of a small crime and becomes a victim of the legal system. Kirkland also pays
regular nursing home visits to his beloved Grandfather Sam (Lee Strasberg), who is becoming
senile. It is revealed that Arthur was abandoned by his parents at a young age and it was Sam
who raised him and put him through law school. Arthur also begins a romance with a legal ethics
committee member, Gail Packer (Christine Lahti).

One day, Kirkland is shocked to find himself requested to defend Judge Fleming, who to
everyone's surprise has been accused of rape. The two loathe each other, but Fleming feels
everyone will believe he is innocent if the person publicly known to hate him also argues his
innocence. Fleming uses blackmail, telling Kirkland an old client-confidentiality violation will
be reviewed by the ethics committee and Arthur likely will be disbarred if he refuses to represent
Fleming. Gail confirms this off the record.

An eccentric judge named Rayford (Jack Warden), who has a friendly relationship with
Kirkland, takes him for a hair-raising ride in his personal Bell 47 helicopter over the harbor and
Fort McHenry, laughing as he tests how far they can possibly go without running out of fuel,
while Arthur, his terrified passenger, begs him to land the helicopter immediately. Rayford, a
veteran of the Korean War, is possibly suicidal, and keeps a rifle in his chambers at the
courthouse, a 1911 pistol in his shoulder holster at all times and eats his lunch out on the ledge
outside his window, four stories up.

Kirkland's friend and partner, Jay Porter (Jeffrey Tambor), is also unstable. He feels guilt from
gaining acquittals for defendants who were truly guilty of violent crimes and goes berserk when
one commits another murder. After a breakdown at the courthouse, Jay is taken to a hospital
accompanied by Kirkland. Before leaving in the ambulance, a distracted Arthur calls on another
lawyer friend, Warren Fresnell (Larry Bryggman), to handle Ralph's court hearing in his absence.
Arthur gives Warren a corrected version of Ralph's probation report, and stresses the fact that
Warren must show the corrections to the judge so that Ralph will get probation rather than being
sent to jail. Unfortunately, Warren forgets to appear on time, fails to show the judge the
corrected report, and Ralph is sentenced to jail where he commits suicide through hanging off-
screen.

Kirkland is livid, and attacks Warren's car with his briefcase in retaliation and to get his
attention. Warren argues that Ralph's trial was nothing but "nickels and dimes" and beneath him,
before Kirkland sternly reminds him "they're people" and then informing of Ralph's suicide
(causing Warren to feel remorse later). His other client, McCullaugh, abused by fellow prisoners
(including multiple rape), snaps one day and takes two hostages. Arthur pleads with him to
surrender, promising to get him out, but the police shoot and kill McCullaugh after he stands up,
providing a shot for a police sharpshooter, as Arthur looks on in horror.

A clearly disturbed Kirkland takes on Judge Fleming's case, which Judge Rayford and a jury will
hear in court. Arthur acquires evidence from another client, Carl, incriminating photographs that
show Fleming in BDSM acts with a prostitute. Gail warns him not to betray a client. He shows
the pictures to Fleming, who then freely admits that he is guilty of the rape.

Disgusted with his situation, Kirkland goes to trial. Fleming makes a sleazy remark to Kirkland
about wanting to rape the victim again, which finally pushes Kirkland to the breaking point. In
his opening statement, Arthur begins by mocking the case of the prosecuting attorney (Craig T.
Nelson) while speaking of the ultimate objective of the American legal system. He appears to be
making a strong case to exonerate Fleming. But unexpectedly, he bursts out and says that
prosecution is not going to get Fleming, because he is going to get him. Kirkland tells the jury,
"My client, The Honorable Henry T. Fleming, should go right to fucking jail; the son of a bitch is
guilty!!!"

The courtroom erupts and the presiding judge Rayford, the prosecution, and the others in the
court room are enraged and flabbergasted at the turn of events, including Gail. The judge calls
Kirkland "out of order," bangs his gavel to bring the court to order. Arthur replies, "You're out of
order! You're out of order! The whole trial's out of order!" Arthur is dragged away, continuing to
shout his rage all the way out the door and to criticize Fleming for his and the legal system's
abuse of law and order that cost the lives of his two clients and let true criminals like Fleming go
free to commit more crimes. As the courtroom spectators cheer for Arthur, Fleming sits down in
defeat, and a fed-up Rayford walks out of his stand.

In the end, Kirkland sits on the court's steps, all by himself, weary from his breakdown but
satisfied, knowing his antics probably cost him his practice and career in law, but will
presumably finally put Fleming in jail. His partner Jay, just released from the mental hospital,
climbs up the long steps, tipping his toupee like a hat and greets him with a friendly "Hi, Arthur"
and walks away and inside the court building.

Cast
 Al Pacino as Arthur Kirkland
 John Forsythe as Judge Henry T. Fleming
 Christine Lahti as Gail Packer
 Jack Warden as Judge Francis Rayford
 Lee Strasberg as Sam Kirkland
 Jeffrey Tambor as Jay Porter
 Sam Levene as Arnie
 Robert Christian as Ralph Agee
 Thomas G. Waites as Jeff McCullaugh
 Larry Bryggman as Warren Fresnell
 Dominic Chianese as Carl Travers
 Craig T. Nelson as Frank Bowers
 Victor Arnold as Leo Fasci
 Vincent Beck as Officer Leary
 Bonita Cartwright as Woman in car
 Michael Gorrin as Elderly Man
 Darrell Zwerling as William Zinoff

Response
...And Justice for All opened to critical acclaim and box office success. Produced on a modest
budget of $4 million, it grossed over $33.3 million in North America,[1] making it the 22nd
highest grossing film of 1979. The film received mostly positive reviews from critics, earning a
95% "Fresh" rating on the review aggregate website Rotten Tomatoes.[10]

References in popular culture


The film's most famous line "You're out of order! You're out of order! The whole trial is out of
order! They're out of order!" has been parodied many times in popular media.[11] For example,
The Simpsons episode "Secrets of a Successful Marriage" references the film. Homer's bedroom
rant to Marge is a parody mishmash of four popular films: ...And Justice for All, A Few Good
Men, Patton and Chinatown. He says: "Look, Marge, you don't know what it's like. I'm the one
out there every day putting his ass on the line. And I'm not out of order! You're out of order.
The whole freaking system is out of order. You want the truth? You want the truth?! You can't
handle the truth! 'Cause when you reach over and put your hand into a pile of goo that was your
best friend's face, you'll know what to do! Forget it, Marge, it's Chinatown!" All of which are
lines from those films.[12][13][14]

The line is also referenced in an episode of the police procedural TV series The Mentalist entitled
"Blood Money" (season 2, episode 19).[15][16]

References
1. ^ a b "Box Office Information for ...And Justice for All". The Numbers. http://www.the-
numbers.com/movies/1979/0AJFA.php. Retrieved January 28, 2012.
2. ^ a b "Trivia for ...And Justice for All". IMDb. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0078718/trivia.
Retrieved January 28, 2012.
3. ^ "Full Cast and Crew for ...And Justice for All". IMDb.
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0078718/fullcredits#cast. Retrieved January 28, 2012.
4. ^ "Best Film Speeches and Monologues 1978-1979". AMC Filmsite.org.
http://www.filmsite.org/bestspeeches30.html. Retrieved January 28, 2012.
5. ^ "Movies Made In Maryland". DelMarWeb.
http://www.delmarweb.com/maryland/movies_made_in_maryland.html. Retrieved January 28,
2012.
6. ^ a b "Award wins and nominations for ...And Justice for All". IMDb.
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0078718/awards. Retrieved January 28, 2012.
7. ^ "Biography for Lee Strasberg". IMDb. http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0833448/bio. Retrieved
January 28, 2012.
8. ^ "Award wins and nominations for The Godfather: Part II". IMDb.
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0071562/awards. Retrieved January 28, 2012.
9. ^ "Historical Documents, The Pledge of Allegiance". Ushistory.org.
http://www.ushistory.org/documents/pledge.htm. Retrieved January 28, 2012.
10. ^ "Movie Reviews for ...And Justice for All". Rotten Tomatoes.
http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/and_justice_for_all/. Retrieved January 28, 2012.
11. ^ "Movie Connections for ...And Justice for All". IMDb.
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0078718/movieconnections. Retrieved January 28, 2012.
12. ^ Richmond, Ray; Antonia Coffman (1997). The Simpsons: A Complete Guide to our Favorite
Family. Harper Collins Publishers. p. 130. ISBN 0-00-638898-1.
13. ^ "The Simpsons: Secrets of a Successful Marriage Movie Connections". IMDb.
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0778452/movieconnections. Retrieved January 28, 2012.
14. ^ "Forget it, Marge, It's Chinatown!" at YouTube. Retrieved January 28, 2012.
15. ^ "The Mentalist: Blood Money Movie Connections". IMDb.
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1605529/movieconnections. Retrieved January 28, 2012.
16. ^ "The Mentalist, You're Out of Order!" at YouTube. Retrieved January 28, 2012.

Films directed by Norman Jewison


 40 Pounds of Trouble (1962) ·
 The Thrill of It All (1963) ·
 Send Me No Flowers (1964) ·
 The Art of Love (1965) ·
 The Cincinnati Kid (1965) ·
1960s
 The Russians Are Coming, the Russians Are Coming (1966) ·
 In the Heat of the Night (1967) ·
 The Thomas Crown Affair (1968) ·
 Gaily, Gaily (1969)

 Fiddler on the Roof (1971) ·


 Jesus Christ Superstar (1973) ·
 Rollerball (1975) ·
1970s
 F.I.S.T. (1978) ·
 ...And Justice for All (1979)

 Best Friends (1982) ·


1980s
 A Soldier's Story (1984) ·
 Agnes of God (1985) ·
 Moonstruck (1987) ·
 In Country (1989)

 Other People's Money (1991) ·


 Only You (1994) ·
1990s  Bogus (1996) ·
 The Hurricane (1999)

 The Statement (2003)


2000s

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