FILM 1394: THE VERDICT
TRIVIA: Robert Redford was originally involved with this film. After writer David Mamet delivered his draft, Redford was uncomfortable with the main character and hired another writer to do another draft, and so on until Redford decided he didn't want to do the film. He was uncomfortable because he did not want to play an alcoholic. Sidney Lumet was offered the project. He read all the drafts and identified the original Mamet version as the one to make. At that point, Paul Newman agreed to star.
Among the people in the courtroom during the dramatic closing speech is a young Bruce Willis.
Though entitled "The Verdict", the original final draft of David Mamet's screenplay had no verdict in it. Producer Richard D. Zanuck commented that the title would require a question mark on advertising materials making it "The Verdict?". It was director Sidney Lumet who convinced Mamet to add in a verdict so the film could have a third act denouement.
Final American feature film for a major Hollywood movie studio starring British actor James Mason.