Absence of Malice

Synopsis: 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.
Director(s): Sydney Pollack
Production: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 3 wins & 5 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
116 min

You don't wanna have anything to do

with Mike Gallagher, not ever.

Especially not now.

Why not now? You gonna bust him?

He's already been busted.

For what?

For assaulting a federal officer.

Are you getting off

on gangsters now?

What is the matter with you?

Let's talk about something else.

Hey, can I buy you dinner?

Not tonight, I'm busy.

I just wanted to make sure

you didn't send Donna to Siberia.

That's all, huh?

Come on.

You'd let me know if you wanted me

to quit asking, wouldn't you?

I don't wanna be a jerk.

You're not a jerk.

Mac, I think the strike force

is onto something.

Must be an accident.


Guy by the name

of Michael Gallagher.

Son of a bootlegger,

Tommy Gallagher.

What have they got?

I don't know.

It must have to do with Diaz.

That's all they're working on.

What else have you got?

Supposedly, he sells liquor.

He's got a warehouse

on the channel.

Makes sense.


I ain't got it yet.

Work Quinn. He wants us to love him.

I'm not sure he knows.

He's DA, but Rosen runs

the strike force.

How about Rosen?


Christ, if he said word one,

it would be the first time.


Yes, sir?

Grace, there's a reporter

on her way here to see me now.

When we come in the office,

give me a minute and then buzz me.

Hey, Elliott?


Michael Gallagher.


The guy who hit Diaz.

You solved

the crime of the century.

Where'd you hear that?

If I revealed my sources,

you wouldn't talk to me.

That would be terrible.

The public has a right to know.

Where does it say that?

There's a sign on my desk.

Yeah. Well, it'll be

a dull conversation,

but come on in.

You want some coffee?

No, thank you.


What can you tell me

about the investigation?

I can neither confirm nor deny

any investigation in this office.

Rate this script:(0.00 / 0 votes)

Kurt Luedtke

Kurt Luedtke (born September 28, 1939) is an American screenwriter. He is best known for writing Out of Africa (1985), for which he won the Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay, as well as Absence of Malice (1981) (for which he was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay) and Random Hearts (1999). All three films were directed by Sydney Pollack. Before becoming a screenwriter, Luedtke was a newspaper reporter, eventually rising to the rank of executive editor of the Detroit Free Press. more…

All Kurt Luedtke scripts | Kurt Luedtke Scripts

FAVORITE (1 fan)

Submitted on August 05, 2018

Discuss this script with the community:



    Translate and read this script in other languages:

    Select another language:

    • - Select -
    • 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
    • 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
    • Español (Spanish)
    • Esperanto (Esperanto)
    • 日本語 (Japanese)
    • Português (Portuguese)
    • Deutsch (German)
    • العربية (Arabic)
    • Français (French)
    • Русский (Russian)
    • ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
    • 한국어 (Korean)
    • עברית (Hebrew)
    • Gaeilge (Irish)
    • Українська (Ukrainian)
    • اردو (Urdu)
    • Magyar (Hungarian)
    • मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
    • Indonesia (Indonesian)
    • Italiano (Italian)
    • தமிழ் (Tamil)
    • Türkçe (Turkish)
    • తెలుగు (Telugu)
    • ภาษาไทย (Thai)
    • Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
    • Čeština (Czech)
    • Polski (Polish)
    • Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
    • Românește (Romanian)
    • Nederlands (Dutch)
    • Ελληνικά (Greek)
    • Latinum (Latin)
    • Svenska (Swedish)
    • Dansk (Danish)
    • Suomi (Finnish)
    • فارسی (Persian)
    • ייִדיש (Yiddish)
    • հայերեն (Armenian)
    • Norsk (Norwegian)
    • English (English)


    Use the citation below to add this screenplay to your bibliography:


    "Absence of Malice" Scripts.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2020. Web. 30 Oct. 2020. <https://www.scripts.com/script/absence_of_malice_2167>.

    We need you!

    Help us build the largest writers community and scripts collection on the web!

    Watch the movie trailer

    Absence of Malice

    The Marketplace:

    Sell your Script !

    Get listed in the most prominent screenplays collection on the web!

    The Studio:

    ScreenWriting Tool

    Write your screenplay and focus on the story with many helpful features.

    Thanks for your vote! We truly appreciate your support.