Wednesday 2 December 2009

Guilty as Sin

Guilty as Sin is a 1993 movie directed by Sidney Lumet, whose CV includes such notable ‘legal world’ films as 12 Angry Men and The Verdict. Guilty as Sin is not in the same league, but even so, I thought it was pretty effective entertainment.

The stars are both very good-looking – Rebecca De Mornay and Don Johnson. De Mornay plays a hot-shot criminal defence lawyer, while Johnson is a manipulative womaniser accused of throwing his rich wife out of a window. De Mornay unwisely succumbs to his pleading that she represent him, and spends the rest of the film regretting it.

I’m not a trial lawyer, and in particular I’m not familiar with the American legal system, but with this movie, as with many others, there were aspects of the story that stretched my credulity. Would a judge really have forced De Mornay to continue representing Johnson when she wanted to back out – and wouldn’t her bosses have fielded some other advocate when Johnson suggested that the two of them were having an affair?

But once disbelief was suspended, I enjoyed the twists and turns of the plot, even if the finale was rather abrupt. It’s certainly never a hardship to watch a film starring Rebecca De Mornay, and although this wasn’t one of Lumet’s masterpieces, it demonstrated his ability to tell an entertaining story.


Anonymous said...

Martin - Thanks for this review. You're right; a film can be entertaining even when one has to suspend disbelief. Lumet certainly knows how to entertain as well as keep the viewer guessing.

Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

Hmm. No, I can't imagine a judge doing that. But at least the movie was interesting enough for you to suspend your disbelief.

Gosh, I haven't seen Don Johnson or Rebecca de Mornay in anything for ages...maybe since the early 90s.

Mystery Writing is Murder