Absence of Malice

The D.A., feds and the police set her up to write the story that explodes his world. Now he’s going to write the book on getting even.

Miami reporter Megan Carter (Sally Field) writes a story on an apparent police investigation of Michael Gallagher (Paul Newman), the son of a deceased gangster, who might have had something to do with the disappearance of a union boss; the information turns out to be a trap. On paper this may look like a thriller, but it’s actually a complicated, journalistically intriguing drama on ethics and politics. When media and the government manipulate each other, there are easily individual victims. Interesting, and well acted, but not entirely satisfactory and Field’s character has some credibility issues.

1981-U.S. 116 min. Color. Produced and directed by Sydney Pollack. Screenplay: Kurt Luedtke. Cast: Paul Newman (Michael Gallagher), Sally Field (Megan Carter), Bob Balaban (Elliot Rosen), Melinda Dillon, Luther Adler, Barry Primus… Wilford Brimley.

Quote: “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.” (Brimley as the Assistant U.S. Attorney General)

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