A lawyer is forced to defend a guilty judge, while defending other innocent clients, and trying to find punishment for the guilty and provide justice for the innocent.


Norman Jewison
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Al Pacino ... Arthur Kirkland
Jack Warden ... Judge Francis Rayford
John Forsythe ... Judge Henry T. Fleming
Lee Strasberg ... Grandpa Sam
Jeffrey Tambor ... Jay Porter
Christine Lahti ... Gail Packer
Sam Levene ... Arnie
Robert Christian Robert Christian ... Ralph Agee
Thomas G. Waites ... Jeff McCullaugh (as Thomas Waites)
Larry Bryggman ... Warren Fresnell
Craig T. Nelson ... Frank Bowers
Dominic Chianese ... Carl Travers
Victor Arnold ... Leo Fauci
Vincent Beck ... Officer Leary
Michael Gorrin ... Elderly Man


When a judge is charged with rape, Arthur Kirkland is forced to defend him. Kirkland has had problems with the judge in the past, including one incident when the judge wrongly sentenced his client Jeff McCullaugh because of a technicality. Kirkland faces a moral and legal dilemma. Written by Melissa Portell <mportell@s-cwis.unomaha.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A girl has been raped by a judge. All the evidence to free the judge is fake. The judge doesn't care, but his defense does. Now the defense has been issued an ultimatum: get the judge acquitted, or be disbarred. What can you do when the law is abused by those trained to uphold it? See more »


Crime | Drama | Thriller


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


First of five produced cinema movie screenplay collaborations of screenwriters Valerie Curtin and Barry Levinson. The films are: Toys (1992), Best Friends (1982), Inside Moves (1980), And Justice for All (1979), and Unfaithfully Yours (1984). See more »


When Gail and Arthur are eating Chinese takeout, Gail opens the same container twice. See more »


Warren Fresnell: You know I don't like those penny-ante cases. I was doing you a favor!
Arthur Kirkland: Favor? What kind of favor?
Warren Fresnell: It's all nickel and dime, Arthur! It's all nickel and dime!
Arthur Kirkland: Don't you care? Warren, don't you even care?
Warren Fresnell: If you cared so much, why weren't you in the courtroom? Goddamn right I do care! But, not about them.
Arthur Kirkland: They're people, Warren. They're all - they're people. They're just people.
See more »


Featured in Hunter Reviews: Titanic II (2013) See more »


Something Funny Goin' On
Music by Dave Grusin
Lyrics by Alan Bergman & Marilyn Bergman
Sung by Zachary Sanders (as Zack Sanders) and the N.Y. Jailhouse Ensemble
See more »

User Reviews

Most Complete Courtroom Drama I've Seen
21 December 2002 | by Gav-19See all my reviews

This movie is compelling. It is not just a supremely entertaining courtroom drama, but more so a brilliantly detailed character study. Al Pacino, predictably, is just class, and the other characters give him some very competent support. The interweaving of secondary cases with the main one is seamless, and keeps the pace moving at a pleasing level. The ending, which is so often talked about, is terrific, if a little sudden, and not totally satisfying. The script is faultless. My only criticism is that the disco soundtrack is incongruous with the serious issues at hand and at times pretty comical. But I guess the time period is perfectly evoked through it, not that the issues are exclusively relevant to the late 70s/early 80s though. 9/10.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 152 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.






Release Date:

19 October 1979 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

...And Justice for All See more »


Box Office


$6,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Columbia Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Color (Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

Recently Viewed