Absence of Malice (1981)

absence of malice“You had a leak? You call what’s goin’ on around here a leak? Boy, the last time there was a leak like this, Noah built hisself a boat. ” – James Wells

Number of Times Seen – 1 (15 Jun 2016)

Brief Synopsis – After she writes an article accusing a local business of ties to a mafia hit, a young reporter tries to find out the truth for fear that she may have ruined an innocent man’s life.

My Take on it – I have always been a fan of both Paul Newman and Sally Field and was intrigued to see how they would do when put together.

Unfortunately, the two of them are so powerful alone that when they get together, they have little of the much needed chemistry.

That being said, the story here is very good and gives so much food for thought about the ethics of publishing and what is fit to be printed and what isn’t.  Also raises the question of whether certain information should be withheld in order to not potentially besmirch someone.

These are still questions that can still be asked 35 years later and more so because of everything that can be freely published on the Internet.

The plot plays out quite well and it’s fun to watch despite the fact that they add numerous threads to the main story that try to distract us along the way by weaving in and out of our focus.

Besides Newman and Field, the rest of the cast is great, but Wilford Brimley steals the show with his one scene that makes me wish that his part would have been expanded because it is so intriguing to watch.

Bottom Line – Raises great questions about journalistic ethics and what can and should be printed and what should be kept private. Loved the way the story played out and how it stayed interesting despite the numerous threads of different parts of the that weave in and out of our focus.  Brimley steals the show with his scene and I wished that he would have been in it even more.  Newman and Field are both excellent actors, but I just didn’t feel the chemistry between them enough in their shared scenes. Recommended!

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – Sydney Pollack originally wanted Al Pacino star as Michael Gallagher. Pacino was cast, but then dropped out. (From IMDB)

Rating – Globe Worthy


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6 thoughts on “Absence of Malice (1981)

  1. Ok you get bonus points for using the word ‘besmirch’ in a review Rob. That’s such a great word. And I’m a major word nerd (not sure if you’ve ever noticed 😉 )


  2. Pingback: Movies Reviewed Index A-Z |

  3. Pingback: Temporal Top Ten – 1981 |

  4. Pingback: Did They Get it Right? – Best Actor – Oscars 1981 |

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