Presumed Innocent


presumedinnocentWhen a prosecutor (Greta Scacchi) is found raped and murdered in her apartment, a colleague (Harrison Ford) takes charge of the investigation… even though he had an affair with her. Alan J. Pakula’s first thriller since the 1970s is reminiscent of those films, with an unholy combination of paranoia and corruption in its portrayal of the judicial system. We also remain uncertain of whether Ford had anything to do with the murder or not right up until the (very intense) denouement. The dark cinematography and melancholic music score lend the movie a tragic tone. Ford is very effective in the lead and supported by a strong cast, including Bonnie Bedelia and Scacchi as his women.

1990-U.S. 127 min. Color. Produced by Sydney Pollack, Mark Rosenberg. Directed by Alan J. Pakula. Screenplay: Alan J. Pakula, Frank Pierson. Novel: Scott Turow. Cinematography: Gordon Willis. Music: John Williams. Cast: Harrison Ford (Rozat “Rusty” Sabich), Brian Dennehy (Raymond Horgan), Raul Julia (Alejandro “Sandy” Stern), Bonnie Bedelia, Paul Winfield, Greta Scacchi… John Spencer, Jeffrey Wright.

Trivia: Some of the characters returned in the miniseries The Burden of Proof (1992) and the TV movie Innocent (2011).

Last word: “Well, I think one of the blessings that I’ve had in watching, you know, films be made now from four of my books is to realize that it’s a separate thing. It’s a separate work. You know, I really believe that the movie will never be as good as the book, both because the book goes on longer – a movie is basically an abridgment of a book – and because books are internal. But they are incredibly powerful. The visual format is, you know, amazing. And it’s true that after Harrison played Rusty Sabich so well, when I thought about Rusty Sabich I saw Harrison’s face.” (Turow, NPR)

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