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A Civil Action DVD 1998 Prejudice / Directed by Steven Zaillian / Starring: John Travolta, Robert Duvall, James Gandolfini

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Product Description

A Civil Action DVD 1998 Prejudice / Directed by Steven Zaillian / Starring: John Travolta, Robert Duvall, James Gandolfini

UPC 3333973127670  /  ES107263



AUDIO: English 5.1, French 5.1, Italian 5.1, Spanish 5.1

SUBTITLES: English, French, Greek, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, Hebrew



English Summary:

A Civil Action is a 1998 American legal drama film written and directed by Steven Zaillian, based on the 1995 book of the same name by Jonathan Harr. Starring John Travolta and Robert Duvall, it tells the true story of a court case about environmental pollution that took place in Woburn, Massachusetts in the 1980s. The film and court case revolve around the issue of trichloroethylene, an industrial solvent, and its contamination of a local aquifer. A lawsuit was filed over industrial operations that appeared to have caused fatal cases of leukemia and cancer, as well as a wide variety of other health problems, among the citizens of the city. The case involved is Anne Anderson, et al., v. Cryovac, Inc., et al.. The first reported decision in the case is at 96 F.R.D. 431 (denial of defendants' motion to dismiss). Duvall was nominated for an Oscar for his performance.

Environmental toxicants in the city of Woburn, Massachusetts contaminate the area's water supply and become linked to a number of deaths of local children. Cocky Boston attorney Jan Schlichtmann (John Travolta) and his small firm of personal injury lawyers are asked by Woburn resident Anne Anderson (Kathleen Quinlan) to take legal action against those responsible. After originally rejecting a seemingly unprofitable case, Jan finds a major environmental issue involving groundwater contamination that has great legal potential and realizes the local tanneries could be responsible for several deadly cases of leukemia. Jan decides to go forward against two giant corporations which own the tanneries – Beatrice Foods and W. R. Grace and Company – thinking that the case could possibly earn him millions and boost his firm's reputation.


French Summary:

Jan Schlichtmann est un grand avocat qui est à la tête de son propre cabinet. Il est célibataire, financièrement à l'aise et sa carrière professionnelle est fructueuse.

Un jour, dans les années 1980, l'avocat participe à une émission de radio où il est apostrophé par Anne Anderson au sujet d'une plainte qu'il a négligée : à Boston, plusieurs familles qui viennent de perdre leurs enfants de la leucémie, décident de poursuivre en justice un conglomérat géant de la restauration, en l'accusant de l'empoisonnement de leurs enfants. Schlichtmann vient à la rescousse de ces familles, pensant qu'il s'agit d'une affaire simple à plaider, lui permettant de remporter beaucoup d'argent et d'améliorer une fois de plus sa notoriété. Schlichtmann et sa société décident de représenter ces familles. Cependant, il s'avère que cette affaire pourrait le ruiner : son orgueil, son ambition et finalement sa carrière. Alors que le procès prend de l'ampleur, Jan réalise qu'il vient d'accepter la plus grande affaire de sa vie, et qu'il est prêt à courir le risque.



Cast / Distribution:

  • John Travolta as Jan Schlichtmann
  • Tony Shalhoub as Kevin Conway
  • William H. Macy as James Gordon
  • Željko Ivanek as Bill Crowley
  • Kathleen Quinlan as Anne Anderson
  • Mary Mara as Kathy Boyer
  • Robert Duvall as Jerry Facher
  • Bruce Norris as William Cheeseman
  • Peter Jacobson as Neil Jacobs
  • Sydney Pollack as Al Eustis
  • Daniel von Bargen as Mr. Granger
  • John Lithgow as Judge Walter J. Skinner
  • Dan Hedaya as John Riley
  • James Gandolfini as Al Love
  • Denise Dowse as Judge Constance Mullen
  • Stephen Fry as Dr. George Pinder
  • Robert Cicchini as PI Lawyers


Kathy Bates appears in an uncredited cameo in the final scene as the judge overseeing Jan's bankruptcy hearing.



Directed by Steven Zaillian
Produced by
  • Scott Rudin
  • Robert Redford
  • Rachel Pfeffer
Written by Steven Zaillian
Based on A Civil Action
by Jonathan Harr
  • John Travolta
  • Robert Duvall
  • James Gandolfini
  • Dan Hedaya
  • John Lithgow
  • William H. Macy
  • Kathleen Quinlan
  • Tony Shalhoub
Music by Danny Elfman
Cinematography Conrad L. Hall
Edited by Wayne Wahrman
  • Touchstone Pictures
  • Paramount Pictures
  • Wildwood Enterprises, Inc
Distributed by Buena Vista Pictures
(North America)
United International Pictures
Release date
  • December 25, 1998
Running time
111 minutes
Country United States
Language English


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