Presumed Innocent

Synopsis: Carolyn Polhemus, an up-and-comer in the Kindle County D.A.'s Office, is found viciously murdered in her home. Immediately her boss, D.A. Raymond Horgan and his chief deputy, Rusty Sabich start an investigation. Horgan, however, is in the middle of a campaign to keep his job, which he ultimately loses to former subordinate Nico Della Guardia. Della Guardia and his new deputy, Tommy Molto, decide to prosecute Sabich for Carolyn's murder when it is revealed that Sabich was a former lover of Polhemus. Horgan also turns against his former subordinate, and Rusty soon realizes he has few friends left - except for Sandy Stern, whom he has often faced on the other side of the courtroom, and who will become his new defense lawyer when he is put on trial for murder. Investigation by Stern and his team leads them to think that Rusty was framed for murder - by Molto, who wanted Sabich's job and was trying to punish him for backing Horgan. Is Rusty Sabich innocent...or is he a murderer?
Genre: Mystery, Thriller
Director(s): Alan J. Pakula
Production: Warner Bros.
  1 win & 2 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
127 min

I am a prosecutor.

I'm a part of the business of accusing...


...and punishing.

I explore the evidence of a crime...

...and determine who is charged...

...who is brought to this room... be tried before his peers.

I present my evidence to thejury...

...and they deliberate upon it.

They must determine

what really happened.

If they cannot...

...we won't know if the accused deserves

to be freed or to be punished.

If they cannot find the truth...

...what is our hope ofjustice?

Where's Nat?

Burying a goldfish.

That he forgot to feed.

Kid's gotta learn responsibility.

He's nine.

When you were nine,

you fed the animals on the block...

...and made dinner,

did everyone's homework...

...and, in your spare time,

you practiced law.

I didn't practice law until I was ten.

Listen to this.

"ln their first face-to-face debate,

Nico Della Guardia...

"...appeared to throw

Raymond Horgan off stride...

"...with an opening swipe

at the prosecuting attorney's...

"...twelve-year tenure as

'an uninterrupted retreat from reality...

"'...and slow-motion surrender to thugs,

punks and hand-wringing liberals."'

The guy's unbelievable.

I'm finally starting to get used to that rug

on Della Guardia's head.

Don't eat standing up. Sit down.

Food goes down easier.

It has the help of gravity.

Oh, God.

Yet another lawyer.

I won't be home till late.

I got a game after school.

Like his father, he doesn't come home

till he has to.

If Raymond loses this election,

I could be home a lot.

Rick, I looked this over last night.

Top count, max.

It's a first offense!

No plea to anything

but the A-1 felony. Period.

On all of them?

All of them.

And no promises on the sentence.

-Good morning.

-Good morning.

This is for you.

Someone put it under the door last night.

I found it when I came in.

Mr. Big Cheese wants to see you now.

I'll be right along.

He said "now," now.

What's wrong?

Carolyn Polhemus was murdered last night.

Her cleaning lady found the body

this morning.

Some creep got into her place

and strangled her.

It looks like she was raped.

He tied her up...

...he beat her with some instrument

and strangled her.

No weapon. No sign of forced entry.

Unless you want me here,

I'm supposed to meet the coroner.

That's all right. Go on, get out of here.

I can hear Della Guardia now.

"lf Raymond Horgan can't protect his own

attorneys, how can he protect citizens?"

Tommy Molto's secretary said

he wasn't coming in today.

Some f***ing Acting Head of Homicide

he turned out to be, the little creep.

I should have fired him when we fired Nico.

If I had balls, I'd do it now.

I want you to handle this case personally.

I will assign it to somebody.

Who will you assign it to? Homicide?

Tommy Molto? For Christ's sake!

Della Guardia would love that.

Molto would tip him off on everything.

They're so close you can see Molto's nose

sticking out of Nico's bellybutton.

Listen to me.

What a waste.

Beautiful, sexy gal. Hell of a lawyer.

That's her ending. That's her au revoir.

The first thing we got to think about... what the public thinks

in the middle of an election.

Take charge of this one for me, okay?

If you care about my health.

You're the only around here I can trust.

Greer's a good investigator, but I'd prefer

someone I'm used to working with.


Whatever you want.

Just catch me a bad guy.

So, I'm here.

What the hell was she doing with a B file?

Bribery of elected officials.

The case number is on her computer.

But the case itself isn't among

the papers in her files.

Why? Did she take it home? What?

Maybe it was taken?

Check the apartment.

What do you got here?

Bunch of pictures of a dead lady.

-No weapon found, yet?


It's a weird one.

She was strangled by the ropes

but by the way he tied her...'s like he put himself

between her legs and pumped... they tightened up like he was trying

to let his weight strangle her.

Like he was trying to f*** her to death.

Look at the next one.

Check the computer for sex offenders

and cross match on Carolyn's name...

...or this business with the ropes.

Find out which of the creeps she put away

is out on parole.

I never did understand why you put her

in charge of rape and all that sicko sh*t.

She wanted it. And she was good.

Yeah, too good, maybe.

I'm not grabbing this, yet.

You worked with this broad.

She wouldn't leave her f***ing door

and windows wide open.

She was drinking with him. She gave him

a glass of beer, like she was entertaining.

-Fingerprints on the glass?


Greer sent it down to the lab.

You mean somebody she let in opened

the windows so it looked like a break-in?

She wasn't going to let some sex maniac

she sent to jail in for a beer.

On the other hand, we're talking Carolyn.


...tell me what Carolyn Polhemus

was doing with a bribery file.

I had no idea Carolyn was interested

in crimes above the waist.

It's on her computer,

but not on mine or the department's.

That makes no sense.

Why don't you ask Raymond?

Ready for something else?

Molto's left.

His secretary came back from lunch

and found his desk cleaned out.



The refuge of the lonely housewife.

Missed the 8:
35. I tried to call,

but you weren't here.

Nat had dinner at Josh's,

and I was at the university.

I tried to get in a little extra time

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Frank Pierson

Frank Romer Pierson (May 12, 1925 – July 22, 2012) was an American screenwriter and film director. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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