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Laramie Movie Scope:
Class Action

A top-notch courtroom drama

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by Robert Roten, Film Critic
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March 26, 1991 -- ``Class Action'' is much better than the average courtroom drama, in fact, it is one of the best films of the year.

I must confess I'm a sucker for courtroom dramas, but this film is about three notches above most such movies. There's hardly a false move all the way though this film. Little of it seems contrived and the two lead performances by screen veteran Gene Hackman and newcomer Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio are Oscar-quality.

Hackman plays a passionate, 60s style attorney and Mastrantonio plays his yuppie corporate killer legal counsel daughter. The two hook up in a courtroom battle over a model of car which exhibits nasty tendency to explode.

The tensions cause old bitter feelings to boil to the surface and the two have several intense arguments concerning Hackman's infidelity to his wife, who later dies in the movie, further intensifying the emotional battle between the father and daughter.

Hackman and Mastrantonio are marvelous on screen together. There is great chemistry between them. Every emotion rings true. The dialogue is sharp, incisive and witty. The direction and editing are sure and the movie is filmed in rich, glowing colors.

There are some fine villain lawyers which Hackman must strive against in the trial and some interesting legal maneuvering prior to the trial. There is also an interesting plot twist at the end. The plot twist is neat, but perhaps a little too cute.

The film is really about the power of family ties and the underlying love between father and daughter which finally comes to the surface. On that level alone this is a beautiful and heartwarming film to see.

On a scale of one to 10 this film rates an eight.

Click here for links to places to buy this movie in video and/or DVD format, the soundtrack, books, even used videos, games and lots of other stuff. I suggest you shop at least two of these places before buying anything. Prices seem to vary continuously. For more information on this film, click on this link to The Internet Movie Database. Type in the name of the movie in the search box and press enter. You will be able to find background information on the film, the actors, and links to much more information.

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Robert Roten can be reached via e-mail at my last name at lariat dot org. [Mailer button: image of letter and envelope]

(If you e-mail me with a question about this or any other movie or review, please mention the name of the movie you are asking the question about, otherwise I may have no way of knowing which film you are referring to)