• Post category:Movies
  • Post last modified:January 8, 2021

A Civil Action


A successful Boston law firm takes on a case where several children in a small Massachusetts community have died due to groundwater contamination. Steven Zaillianā€™s second movie as a director was based on actual events in the 1980s. Taking this case is a bold move for John Travoltaā€™s slick attorney who is unexpectedly moved by it to the degree that he ends up betting his whole firm in the process. Heā€™s good in that role, but Robert Duvall is even better, highly amusing as a dangerous opponent one could easily underestimate. The film is well directed and exciting without resorting to cheap Grisham thrills.

1998-U.S. 115 min. Color. Produced byĀ Rachel Pfeffer, Robert Redford, Scott Rudin. Written and directed byĀ Steven Zaillian. Book: Jonathan Harr. Cinematography: Conrad L. Hall. Cast: John Travolta (Jan Schlichtmann), Robert Duvall (Jerry Facher), Tony Shalhoub (Kevin Conway), William H. Macy, Zeljko Ivanek, Bruce Norrisā€¦ John Lithgow, Kathleen Quinlan, Sydney Pollack, Dan Hedaya, James Gandolfini, Stephen Fry. Cameo: Kathy Bates.

Trivia: Will Smith and Marlon Brando were reportedly considered for roles.

Last word: “The film took a toll on me. Was it too much? It was definitely in the ballpark. I couldn’t do two ‘Civil Actions’ back to back. But just like Jan Schlichtmann was asked at the end of the movie, ‘If you had to do it all over again, would you?’ I would. Just not two in a row.” (Travolta, Sun-Sentinel)



What do you think?

0 / 5. Vote count: 0

Got something to say?

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.