Nuts (1987) - Rotten Tomatoes

Nuts (1987)

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Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

High-priced hooker Claudia Draper (Barbra Streisand) has been arrested for the murder of one of her clients. The attorney engaged by Claudia's parents hopes to cop an insanity plea so that she can avoid a trial and manslaughter conviction. But she refuses this, citing a proviso in New York law that may result in her spending the rest of her life in an institution. Against all odds, struggling lawyer Aaron Levinsky (Richard Dreyfuss) tries to prove that Claudia is not crazy and is capable of standing trial. He certainly has his work cut out for him; from what we've seen in the film thus far, the violently impulsive Claudia is not only "nuts," but certifiably so. Though she has plenty of opportunity in Nuts to give out with her usual bravura Streisandisms, Streisand (who also produced the film and wrote the songs) is surprisingly restrained through most of the proceedings. And then there's that extended-monologue climax. Nuts was adapted by Tom Topor, Darryl Ponicsan, and Alvin Sargent from Topor's stage play.

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Cast

Barbra Streisand
as Claudia Draper
Richard Dreyfuss
as Aaron Levinsky
Karl Malden
as Arthur Kirk
Eli Wallach
as Dr. Herbert A. Morrison
Robert Webber
as Francis MacMillan
James Whitmore
as Judge Stanley Murdoch
Leslie Nielsen
as Allen Green
William Prince
as Clarence Middleton
Paul Benjamin
as Harry Harrison
Dakin Matthews
as 1st Judge
Warren Manzi
as Saul Krieglitz
Elizabeth Hoffman
as Dr. Johnson
Castulo Guerra
as Dr. Arantes
Haley Taylor-Block
as 11 year-old Claudia
Tyra Ferrell
as Cell Woman #2
Nicole Burdette
as Cell Woman #3
Valentina Quinn
as Cell Woman #3
Carlos Cervantes
as Cell Man #1
Ron Cummins
as Arraignment Court Clerk
Conni Marie Brazelton
as Court Officer #2
Bruce Barbour
as Guard #3
Tony Rolon
as Defendant Gonzales
Tina Lifford
as Lawyer #2
Edward Blackoff
as Bar Patron #2
Billy Kane
as Attendant #2
Darryl Ponicsan
as Bar Patron #3
Lavelle Roby
as Correction Officer #1
Shirley Jo Finney
as Correction Officer #2
Sharon Barr
as Dayroom Woman #1
Leontine Guilliard
as Dayroom Woman #6
Suzanne Kent
as Card Playing Patient
Sarina C. Grant
as Cell Woman #1
Sydney Urshan
as Cell Man
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Critic Reviews for Nuts

All Critics (21) | Top Critics (6)

Streisand produced, developed the script, and composed most of the music for this showpiece, and her efforts, as usual, pay off, above all in her angry and lively performance.

January 11, 2008 | Full Review…
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

Streisand's a star, which means your complicity is on call at all times. In the shade, Dreyfuss is terrific, banking down his natural cockiness.

January 26, 2006 | Full Review…
Time Out
Top Critic

The film is almost entirely adrift.

May 20, 2003 | Rating: 2/5
New York Times
Top Critic

It's Hollywood manipulation at its best.

January 1, 2000 | Full Review…
Washington Post
Top Critic

It wants to be a movie with a message, but in the end it's just a melodrama.

January 1, 2000 | Full Review…
Washington Post
Top Critic

Nuts is essentially just a futile exercise in courtroom cliches, surrounding a good performance that doesn't fit.

January 1, 2000 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Nuts

½

It was slightly unbelievable for me since if I'd such a client to defend who is not willing to co-operate the least, I don't think I'd touch that case. Or else give up easily. Then again, I ain't no lawyer!!! They show her crossing the limits so many times that it becomes hard to digest it that she ain't a nut. Leaving aside this minor problem, the movie works fine as a courtroom drama.

familiar stranger
familiar stranger

Super Reviewer

Really powerful and intelligent film based on Tom Topor's Broadway play as this is a highly charged drama that raises some uneasy questions. This is a film that deserves more attention then it originally received, it is honest, though-provoking, and features a brilliant performance from Barbra Streisand as real-life defender Claudia Draper. Richard Dreyfuss also turns in his usual skilled performance as a lawyer who becomes more passionate about the case the longer he is involved with it. His eventual concern for Claudia is touching. And Karl Malden, Maureen Stapleton, James Whitmore, and Leslie Nielsen all play excellent supporting roles.

Dean McKenna
Dean McKenna

Super Reviewer

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