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...And Justice For All is a 1979 satirical courtroom drama film, directed by Norman Jewison. The movie stars Al Pacino, Jack Warden, Lee Strasberg, Jeffrey Tambor, Christine Lahti, Craig T. Nelson and Thomas G. Waites. It was also 75-year-old character actor Sam Levene's final film. The movie was written by Valerie Curtin and Barry Levinson.

This film includes a well-known scene in which Pacino's character, Kirkland, shouts, "You're out of order! You're out of order! The whole trial is out of order! They're out of order!" The closing courtroom scene was filmed on the first take. The film shows many scenes of downtown Baltimore, including the courthouse area, a scene running around the Washington Monument/Mount Vernon Place, and Fort McHenry.

...And Justice For All received two Academy Award nominations, for the Best Actor in a Leading role (Pacino) and for Best Original Screenplay (Curtin and Levinson). Pacino also received a Golden Globe nomination for his performance. This film represented the second time Pacino was nominated for these awards in a movie in which he acted alongside his famed acting teacher, Lee Strasberg, the other being The Godfather Part II.

The title is the last four words of the Pledge of Allegiance.





Arthur Kirkland (Al Pacino) is an angry, idealistic young defense attorney in Baltimore. As the film opens, he is in jail on a charge of contempt of court for having thrown a punch at judge Henry T. Fleming (John Forsythe) while arguing the case of an innocent defendant, Jeff McCullaugh (Thomas G. Waites).

McCullaugh was stopped for a minor traffic offense, but then mistaken for a killer of the same name and convicted. He has already endured one and half years in jail, as Kirkland continues his efforts to have the case reviewed against Fleming's resistance. Though there is strong new evidence that the convicted man was innocent, Judge Fleming refused Kirkland's appeal due to a minor technicality and leaves McCullaugh in prison.

Kirkland takes another case, that of meek, gentle transgender Ralph (Robert Christian), who is guilty of a small crime. Kirkland also pays regular nursing home visits to his devoted grandpa Sam (Lee Strasberg), who is becoming senile, while beginning a romance with a legal ethics committee member, Gail Packer (Christine Lahti).

One day, Kirkland is shocked to find himself requested to defend Judge Fleming, who to everyone's surprise has been accused of rape. The two loathe each other, but Fleming feels everyone will believe he is innocent if the person publicly known to hate him also argues his innocence. He uses blackmail, telling Kirkland an old client confidentiality violation will be reviewed by the ethics committee and Arthur likely will be disbarred if he refuses to represent Fleming. Gail confirms this.

An eccentric judge named Rayford (Jack Warden), who has a friendly relationship with Kirkland, takes him for a hair-raising ride in his personal helicopter over the harbor and Fort McHenry, laughing as he tests how far they can possibly go without running out of fuel. Rayford is quite possibly suicidal, keeping a rifle in the courthouse.

Kirkland's friend and partner, Jay Porter (Jeffrey Tambor), is also unstable. He feels guilt from gaining acquittals for defendants who were truly guilty of violent crimes and goes berserk when one commits another murder. After a breakdown at the courthouse, Jay is taken to a hospital accompanied by Kirkland. Before leaving in the ambulance, a distracted Arthur calls on another lawyer friend, Warren (Larry Bryggman), to handle Ralph's court hearing in his absence. But after Warren forgets to appear on time, Ralph is sentenced to jail and commits suicide.

Kirkland is livid. Warren argues that Ralph's trial was nothing but "nickels and dimes" (not a major source of income) before Kirkland sternly reminds him "they're people." His other client, McCullaugh, abused by fellow prisoners, snaps one day and takes two hostages. Arthur pleads with him to surrender, promising to get him out, but the police shoot and kill McCullough when he inadvertently exposes himself to a sharpshooter.

A clearly disturbed Kirkland takes on Judge Fleming's case, which Judge Rayford and a jury will hear in court. Arthur acquires evidence from another client, Carl, incriminating photographs that show Fleming in BDSM acts with a prostitute. Gail warns him not to betray a client. He shows the pictures to Fleming, who then freely admits that he is guilty of the rape.

Disgusted with his situation, Kirkland goes to trial. In his opening statement, Arthur begins by mocking the case of the prosecuting attorney (Craig T. Nelson) while speaking of the flaws of the American legal system. He appears to be making a strong case to exonerate Fleming. But unexpectedly, he blurts to the court that Fleming not only did rape the victim but wouldn't mind doing it again. He tells the jury, "My client, The Honorable Henry T. Fleming, should go right to fucking jail! The son of a bitch is guilty!"

The courtroom erupts and the presiding judge is enraged. He calls Kirkland "out of order," to which Arthur replies, "You're out of order!" Arthur is dragged away, continuing to shout his rage all the way out the door, winning Gail's admiration in the process.

In the end, Kirkland sits on the court's steps, where his partner Jay tips a wig like a hat and greets him with a friendly "Hi, Arthur" as if nothing had happened. The madness inside the court will clearly continue.

* Al Pacino as Arthur Kirkland
* John Forsythe as Judge Henry T. Fleming
* Christine Lahti as Gail Packer
* Jack Warden as Judge Francis Rayford
* Lee Strasberg as Sam Kirkland
* Jeffrey Tambor as Jay Porter
* Sam Levene as Arnie
* Robert Christian as Ralph Agee
* Thomas G. Waites as Jeff McCullaugh
* Larry Bryggman as Warren Fresnell
* Dominic Chianese as Carl Travers
* Craig T. Nelson as Frank Bowers
* Victor Arnold as Leo Fasci
* Vincent Beck as Officer Leary
* Bonita Cartwright as Woman in car
* Michael Gorrin as Elderly Man
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