Reversal of Fortune (1990)


reversal_of_fortune“Look, you’re my student, you, you have a choice. You don’t have to do anything you don’t want to do; that is your choice. The reason *I* take cases – and here I’m unlike most other lawyers, who are not professors and therefore have to make a living – I take cases because I get pissed off. And I am pissed off here. The family hired a private prosecutor: unacceptable! They conducted a private search! Now if we let them get away with that, rich people won’t go to the cops any more. You know what they’re going to do? They’re going to get their own lawyers to collect evidence – and then they are going to choose which evidence they feel like passing on to the DA. And the next victim isn’t going to be rich, like von Bülow – but it’s going to be some poor schnook in Detroit who can’t afford, or who can’t find, a decent lawyer. ” – Alan Dershowitz

Number of Times Seen – 3 or 4 times (cable in the 90’s, video, 31 Jan 2002 and 6 Apr 2014)

Brief Synopsis – Based on the true story of the trial of Klaus von Bulow who was accused of trying to kill his wife and his defense by famed lawyer Alan Dershowitz

My Take on it – When watching a legal drama, one would normally expect much of the action to take place in the courtroom, but this movie keeps most of the legal battles and arguments behind closed doors.

Dershowitz is a brilliant lawyer and he is portrayed here by Ron Silver who shows he has the fire in him to play such a legal giant.  he talks fast like Dershowitz and is always able to verbally combat anyone no matter which side they take.

As good as Silver is tho, this movie is totally dominated by Jeremy Irons who plays the main character of von Bulow in such a cold and distant way that is done deliberately to keep us guessing the whole time as to his innocence or guilt.  His wry humor adds to the mystery and Irons deservely won a best actor Oscar for his cold portrayal of this famous man.

Glen Close has a small but important part as the Irons wife and narrator who is telling us the story from a coma.

Look for young Annabella Sciorra and Felicity Huffman as young lawyers who help with the case.

As good as this movie is, I think it had the potential to be better had it had a few more scenes in the courtroom.

Bottom Line – Good legal drama that loses a bit because very little takes place in the courtroom itself.  Great acting by Irons and Silver. Recommended!

Rating – Globe Worthy

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6 thoughts on “Reversal of Fortune (1990)

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