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TRUTH: “People can surprise you. Sometimes they have a great capacity to hear the truth.”

Movie quote from: The Verdict (1982) – Dr. Thompson (Joe Seneca)

the verdictIt is easier to avoid the truth than it is to deal with it head on. Frank Galvin (Paul Newman) personifies this reality in the 1982 film The Verdict. For him, it is easier to drown himself in an ocean of alcohol than it is to admit to another person that he's in over his head. Fortunately, easy is seldom the best way to go and truth has a funny way of making things right, if you’re brave enough to look it straight in the face.

Frank is a down-and-out alcoholic lawyer who is given a malpractice case to settle out of court. Following the advice of his expert witness, he turns down a lowball settlement and forces a court case he can’t possibly win. He pushes the case forward to pursue his own redemption for a life of ambulance chasing and petty solicitations at funerals. This is his shot at doing something right, exposing what he believes is shoddy medical practice by highly respected and influential doctors from an elite Boston hospital.

Frank Galvin chose a noble path, one that many fail to follow. We find it more comfortable to tell someone ‘it will get better’ rather than help them feel their pain. We believe it is more convenient to blame something else than to take responsibility for our circumstance. No matter what we do to deceive ourselves or others, the truth remains the truth. It is the real facts that we need in order to make good decisions in our lives.

In The Verdict, Newman is at his best portraying a shattered man destroyed by the power elite within his profession. In the end, he hangs his redemption and the success of his case on the truth, no matter what the consequences. Truth is tough to tell when the telling is hurtful, pathetic, degrading, or inconvenient. But it is real. When in doubt, say the truth. As this movie illustrates, you may be surprised by the life-changing results.

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