Absence of Malice (1981) Movie Data
Absence of Malice (1981) is Drama Romance Thriller Genres film which released in 1981. Absence of Malice (1981) supported by Bob Balaban, Paul Newman, and Sally Field. This movie has 1h 56min duration and good rating around 6.9 star from 9,673 movie mania. Very good!
Absence of Malice (1981) Short Storyline
When a prosecutor leaks a false story that a liquor warehouse owner is involved in the murder of an union head, the man’s life begins to unravel.
Actor Actress behind Absence of Malice (1981) Movie
Paul Newman,Sally Field,Bob Balaban
Director: Sydney Pollack
Writer: Kurt Luedtke
Absence of Malice (1981) REVIEW
This movie provides a clever insight into the principles the press live by. Reporters sometimes lose their basic humanity because they’re not looking at the human interest, but at covering all the angles. What’s newsworthy is what’s in the public domain as fact, not gossip. It’s definitely something to think about in this age when large sections of the media are intent on muckraking over the affairs of those who are deemed to be ‘high-profile’…The movie asks us, though, to keep in mind that sometimes there’s more going on than meets the eye, and that certain acts function as a means to an end. It can be seen as an extension of that great 70’s movie tradition where acclaimed directors make polished films exposing high-level corruption. “Absence of Malice” is an involving exercise in paranoid mystery, with Newman in fine form as always, and Sally Field providing capable support.
Absence of Malice (1981) PLOT STORY
Mike Gallagher is a Miami liquor wholesaler whose deceased father was a local mobster. The FBI organized crime task force have no evidence that he’s involved with the mob but decide to pressure him into perhaps revealing something – anything – about a murder they’re sure was a mob hit. They let Megan Carter, a naive but well-meaning journalist, know he is being investigated and Gallagher’s name is soon all over the newspaper. Gallagher has an iron-clad alibi for when the murder occurred but won’t reveal it to protect his fragile friend Teresa. When Carter publishes her story, tragedy ensues. Needing to make amends, Carter tells Gallagher the source of the first story about him and he sets out to teach the FBI and the Federal Attorney a lesson.
In Miami, Joey Diaz, president of the local longshoreman’s union, has gone missing and is presumed murdered. Close to a year later, Elliot Rosen, who has been leading a strike force on the matter for the Justice Department, believes liquor wholesaler Michael Gallagher is responsible for Diaz’s disappearance despite having no evidence and Michael on the surface being “clean”. Rosen’s belief stems from Michael having taken over his business on the death of his crooked father, Tommy Gallagher, a known bootlegger who had kept the union off the Miami docks for years. Megan Carter, a reporter for the Miami Standard who is working the Diaz story, has a personal connection to the strike force through FBI agent Bob Waddell, a member of the strike force and Megan’s now ex-boyfriend. Megan learns that the strike force has placed Michael under investigation by reading the file they have on Michael that Rosen “conveniently” leaves on his desk while he leaves his office for a short period leaving Megan there, alone. Rosen wanted the information leaked to the press so that Michael could eventually be squeezed for information; Megan naively obliges what Rosen wants by writing a story as such. The front page story incenses Michael, who was not interviewed before the story went to press. Although the story is accurate in the way the facts are presented, there is still no proof Michael has done anything illegal or wrong in any manner, but the story will still place him in a bad light as possibly being guilty of murder. Megan refuses to divulge the source for the story to Michael, who knows his business will be negatively affected. Michael does have an alibi for the time of Diaz’s disappearance which he does not even bring up, the alibi involving time spent with a long time platonic friend, devout Catholic Teresa Peron. Over time, Michael and Megan slowly start to fall for each other. Despite the story’s negative impact on his life, Michael decides to take control of his life back only after one specific tragic incident. Megan is affected in two ways. First, she now becomes part of the story as Michael’s girlfriend. And second, she may not be able to separate her role as Michael’s girlfriend from that of reporter, she perhaps having to prioritize between the two.
Michael Colin Gallagher is the son of a long dead Mafia boss who is a simple liquor warehouse owner. Frustrated in his attempt to solve a murder of a union head, a prosecutor leaks a false story that Gallagher is a target of the investigation, hoping that he will tell them something for protection. As his life begins to unravel, others are hurt by the story. Megan Carter, the reporter, is in the clear under the Absence of Malice rule in slander and libel cases. Knowing nothing to trade to the prosecutors, Gallagher must regain control of his life on different ground.
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