5.2/10
1,463
14 user 22 critic

Physical Evidence (1989)

A police officer suspended and now accused of murder is forced to join forces with his court-appointed attorney to assemble the pieces of a deadly puzzle to find the missing link before time runs out.

Director:

Michael Crichton

Writers:

Steve Ransohoff (story), Bill Phillips (story) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Burt Reynolds ... Joe Paris
Theresa Russell ... Jenny Hudson
Ned Beatty ... James Nicks
Kay Lenz ... Deborah Quinn
Ted McGinley ... Kyle
Tom O'Brien ... Matt Farley
Kenneth Welsh ... Harry Norton
Ray Baker ... Strickler
Ken James Ken James ... Hank Carruth
Michael P. Moran Michael P. Moran ... Tony Reugger
Angelo Rizacos Angelo Rizacos ... Tony Sklar
Lamar Jackson Lamar Jackson ... Delmar Fraser
Paul Hubbard ... Burt Knight
Larry Reynolds ... Trial Judge
Peter MacNeill ... Brannigan
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Storyline

Extortionist Jake Farley is found strangled, and the clues lead directly to former detective Joe Paris, who insists on his innocence but can't provide an alibi. Public defendant Jenny Hudson gets the case, but has problems unravelling the case, complicated by the fact that virtually everyone hated Farley, and Paris has a few enemies as well. She rejects the prosecution's offers to plea bargain, but meanwhile the witnesses she finds are discredited or silenced, and an unidentified patrol car shadows Paris and Hudson wherever they go. Written by Ed Sutton <esutton@mindspring.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A suspect. His lawyer. Between the evidence and the passion lies innocence or guilt. See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

27 January 1989 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Az igazság törvénye See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$17,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$1,777,358, 29 January 1989

Gross USA:

$3,560,932

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$3,560,932
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

While "Physical Evidence" has the flavor of movies from another era, the movie evokes the spirit of 1940s film noir fare and those big-city dramas that featured tough and mysterious characters never at a loss for words or action in the face of bewildering odds, the picture is set in Boston, USA during the late 1980s. See more »

Goofs

(at around 1h 27 mins) It is night when the cop brings food to the cruiser. But, seconds later it is clearly daytime. See more »

Quotes

Jenny Hudson: [to Joe] Be nice, Mr. Paris. Your ass is in my hands.
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Flawed But Entertaining "B" Movie
19 August 2017 | by Michael_ElliottSee all my reviews

Physical Evidence (1989)

*** (out of 4)

Joe Paris (Burt Reynolds) is a disgraced detective who is picked up on a murder charge. Clear evidence is in his room that he committed the murder but he was so drunk that he can't remember a thing. Public defender Jenny Hudson (Theresa Russell) fights to get the case thinking she can save the man but before long her life is in danger as there's much more going on than she originally thought.

If you're looking for a hard-hitting courtroom drama then I'd highly recommend INHERIT THE WIND. If you're looking for an "A" quality Reynolds film then I'd recommend DELIVERANCE. If you're looking for any of those things or any sort of art then you're not going to find it here but at the same time as long as you don't take the film too seriously you could get some mild entertainment out of this. There's no question that by this time Reynolds wasn't a "A" list star anymore and this is the perfect example of a "B" movie.

I call this a "B" movie because the material isn't very strong. I mean, everything pretty much falls into place without too much logic and the ending seems more like something from Scooby-Doo more than anything else. The entire murder rap has countless bad guys brought into it and any of them could have been guilty so this too works against any sort of logic. I'd even argue that by the film presenting Reynolds as being innocent, it takes away possible drama because it would have played out better if the viewer didn't know if he was guilty or not.

With that said, I still found myself enjoying PHYSICAL EVIDENCE thanks in large part to the cast. I wouldn't say Reynolds gives a great performance here but he's at least entertaining and this fits well with the "aftermath" of some of the rough cops he played earlier in his career. He's certainly believable in the role and I thought it was a good fit for him. Russell is good in her role as the woman trying to get him off, although the screenplay doesn't do much with her character and the forced attempted love story is trash. Ned Beatty is always good and he adds some nice entertainment value as does Kay Lenz, Kenneth Welsh and Tom O'Brien. Married With Children... fans will enjoy seeing Ted McGinley here, although his character is yet another weak one.

As you can tell, there's a lot of negative things about this picture but it still kept me entertained throughout. I think it's best that you turn your brain off and just watch this on a boring day whenever you just want some light entertainment. This certainly isn't a masterpiece or a very good picture but if you're a fan of Reynolds then you should enjoy it.


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