It is almost heartbreaking to see Al Pacino hawking Rupert Murdoch products on TV.
Its much better to remember a time when along with Robert De Niro they were the greatest actors on the planet.
This 1979 film finds Pacino at the top of his game as Arthur Kirkland an attorney called upon to defend a judge who he personally hates on a rape charge.
Norman Jewison was on a roll in the 70s as with many directors who had broken free of the studio system and were allowed to make more interesting films.
Jewison takes the black comedy elements of Valerie Curtins and furture director Barry Levinsons script and gives us a jet black comedy on the flaws in the American justice system where Kirklands clients are treated like dirt and Judge Fleming who is clearly guilty of his rimes will probably walk away free.
The supporting cast are all fine most notably Jack Warden as a manic Judge who enjoys firing his gun in court and trying to land his helicopter with hardly any fuel and John Forsythe as Judge Fleming a man so repellent he is convinced he is untouchable.
But of course the real star here is Pacino and he is on his best form here as Kirkland a man who believes in the system even when its failing his clients,this of course leads to a classic Shouty Al Pacino scene in the final courtroom trial of Judge Fleming .
The film is also very funny in places with Jeffrery Tambor stealing every scne he is in as Kirklands manic lawyer friend Jay.
Why this film isnt held in higher regard is beyond me as it contains one of Pacinos best roles.