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…And justice for all – [1979]

December 18, 2009

Each time when we see our system or our offices or anything so corrupt and rot, anger will creep into us and at sometime we will explode when we can’t take it anymore. …And justice for all is about the lawyer who couldn’t take the corrupted law system and madness which is going around the court rooms.


The film opens with 3 kids’ voice reciting the pledge of allegiance of USA in background: ‘I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the republic for which it stands: one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty …and justice for all’.

Arthur Kirkland who practices as defense lawyer is a straight forward, an angry person, cares for the people and see them as people. He takes the case of McCullaugh who is arrested for a small case and then due to mistaken identity as a killer he was sent to jail. Judge Henry T. Fleming who attends this case doesn’t allows McCullaugh to be free even though Kirkland gives enough evidences to prove that he was innocent just because the evidences are submitted 3 days later. Due to this bitterness grows between Kirkland and Fleming, which leads Kirkland to punch on the face of Fleming at the end of the proceedings.

Kirkland takes another case which has Ralph Agee, who is a transgender arrested for a small crime. On the day of sentencing he goes with his friend/Partner Jay as he becomes mentally unstable and asks Warren to attend Agee’s case. But Warren was not going there within time and Agee was sentenced for 3 years and Agee takes a heart-breaking decision.

In the meanwhile, Judge Fleming was charged with Rape and sexually assaulting a young woman and he wants Kirkland to handle his case as he wants to add credibility(already there is bad experience between them) to his argument. When Kirkland says he can’t take that, they are threatening that he will be disbarred and can’t practice as lawyer further. He takes up this case reluctantly and when he investigates it, he came to know the truth which he can’t take. And this leads to a powerful climax which I have ever seen.


The acting part can’t get better with this. There are very few actors I will pay to watch. And Al-Pacino is surely one among them. His expressive and powerful eyes will convey the things so easily. And here too, as middle aged defense lawyer who fumes at the heartless and corrupted law system, he fits the bill perfectly. The climax scene in which he explodes at the system, is one of the best scenes of world cinema. I am not saying this, but when I searched in youtube it was under that category. I have already watched this one, more than 25 times. You can watch it below:

A small excerpt from that climax argument.

Justice is about finding the truth. The intention of justice is to see guilty people are proven guilty and innocent go-free. It is the defend counselor’s duty to protect the rights of the individual and it is the prosecutor’s duty to uphold and defend the laws of the state… Justice for all. But the problem is, both the parties wanna win regardless of truth, regardless of justice, regardless of who is innocent or guilty… winning is everything.


The film takes satirical stance in this courtroom drama and gives a picture of madness prevails there. Some examples are Kirkland’s friend Jay who enters into court as if nothing has happened, after getting treatment for his mental illness and Judge Rayford who is always tries some suicidal things like flying the helicopter until the fuel gets over, trying to trigger the gun just before entering the courtroom…

Screenplay is too good with all the cases interwoven so well and it was nominated for the best original screenplay.

…And justice for all – A film for all.



12 Comments leave one →
  1. December 18, 2009 10:06 pm

    Am I first here ????? 🙂

    kanagu: Yes… 🙂 🙂

    • December 18, 2009 10:08 pm

      You are suggesting so many movies, Kanagu – only thing I dont have time to watch them all !!!!

      kanagu: Watch them whenever you are free… hope you like them… 🙂

      When do u watch these movies ???? Weekends ???????

      kanagu: yes.. only by weekends 🙂 🙂

      Al Pacino is very gud…let me see, if I can catch up on this. 🙂

      kanagu: Yeah.. he is awesome.. I like him much 🙂 🙂

  2. December 18, 2009 11:17 pm

    I missed being 1st here….hahha…so we are second best so far:)

    kanagu: 🙂 🙂 🙂

    The movie is good and Al pacino is a delight to watch!

    kanagu: Yes, he is 🙂 🙂

  3. December 18, 2009 11:42 pm

    I have not seen this one. Sounds awesome. I like court scenes and stuff.

    kanagu: see it Reema.. let me know whether you liked it 🙂 🙂

  4. December 18, 2009 11:49 pm

    Hmmmm the only time m short of words is when a see a review of an eng movie!!!

    kanagu: LOL!!! 😆

  5. December 19, 2009 1:23 am

    From where do you pick these kinda movies ?? 😀 😀 😀

    kanagu: I used to read reviews from the site and then will select the one I like 🙂 🙂

    and kanagu, since you have a unique way of writing old movie reviews, I would love to see a few reviews on a couple of old Tamil movies ! 🙂

    kanagu: I will write… please let me know which are movies I can write… because I don’t know to choose one…. 😦 😦

  6. December 19, 2009 10:28 am

    Kanagu, you have written such a great review that I will have to see this movie!

    kanagu: Thanks Manju 🙂 🙂

    Have you seen ‘Scent of a Woman’? Al Pacino is fantastic in that movie!

    kanagu: its in my watch list…. yet to see it.. will do soon 🙂 🙂

  7. December 19, 2009 5:13 pm


    i’m back.. and.before comment about ur posts, NICE TEMPLATE DA 🙂

    kanagu: Welcome back Viji.. 🙂 🙂 thank you 🙂 🙂

  8. December 19, 2009 5:13 pm

    haven’t heard the name of this one… 😛
    quite a nice and in dept review… will watch the trailer as of now 🙂

    kanagu: Thank you Rajlakshmi… 🙂 🙂

  9. December 20, 2009 7:30 am

    Nice review!
    Thanks Kanagu…
    Will try and watch 🙂

    kanagu: Hope you enjoy then Pixie 🙂 🙂 Thank you 🙂

  10. December 20, 2009 11:05 am

    I have not seen this one. I must ,after I read your review.

    kanagu: Thank you Sir… hope you will enjoy it… 🙂

  11. October 16, 2013 2:39 pm

    What does the ending scene on Jay returning to court really mean ?
    Wikipedia says its a hallucination of al pacino. But I don’t think so…

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