Movie fans, and Paul Newman fans in particular, can debate his most outstanding role. For me, it’s his portrayal of recovering alcoholic Frank Galvin in The Verdict.
I’d watch anything directed by Sidney Lumet, written by David Mamet, and starring Paul Newman. In The Verdict, they created a film that’s compelling as both a legal drama and as a character study.
Galvin, a shell of a lawyer and man, is given a medical malpractice case by a former associate (Jack Warden) so he can settle and have money to sustain himself. But Galvin realizes that if he settles the case, he’s lost – so he takes the case to court.
The film has great supporting performances by Warden, Charlotte Rampling, James Mason, and Milo O’Shea. Newman, Mason, Lumet, and Mamet all received Academy Award nominations, and the movie was nominated for Best Picture. The video is of Galvin’s summation, and you realize he’s not just talking about his case, but about his life. Notice how Lumet has every spectator remain completely still so all the focus is on Newman.