Primal Fear

Primal Fear

4.4 5
Director: Gregory Hoblit

Cast: Gregory Hoblit, Richard Gere, Laura Linney, John Mahoney

     
 

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A high-profile slaying becomes the case of an ambitious attorney's career in this legal thriller based on the novel by William Diehl. Richard Gere stars as Martin Vail, a famed defense lawyer who volunteers his services to Aaron Stampler (Edward Norton), a Kentucky teenager charged with the murder of a Chicago archbishop. Covered with blood, Aaron was captured after a… See more details below

Overview

A high-profile slaying becomes the case of an ambitious attorney's career in this legal thriller based on the novel by William Diehl. Richard Gere stars as Martin Vail, a famed defense lawyer who volunteers his services to Aaron Stampler (Edward Norton), a Kentucky teenager charged with the murder of a Chicago archbishop. Covered with blood, Aaron was captured after a foot chase broadcast live on TV, making a gleeful Vail certain that he could raise his profile by defending the obviously guilty suspect. Assigned to prosecute is Assistant District Attorney Janet Venable (Laura Linney), who is Vail's ex-girlfriend. Vail's case becomes more complicated than he expected when a psychologist, Dr. Molly Arrington (Frances McDormand) concludes that Stampler suffers from multiple personality disorder. Vail also uncovers evidence that the archbishop was involved in a corrupt land scheme and may have molested young parishioners. Now the cynical, opportunistic attorney is faced with a daunting prospect, a client who may actually deserve his best defense. Its shocking, twist ending made Primal Fear (1996) a big box office hit and earned Norton, in his screen debut, an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor.

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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
Primal Fear is best remembered for the debut performance of Edward Norton, one of the most critically lauded new actors of the 1990s. Norton received overwhelming plaudits for his role as a Southern altar boy accused of murder, and he was duly nominated for a Best Supporting Actor Oscar. Though Norton was praised by the critics, star Richard Gere caused a wider disparity of opinion for his performance. Still, former television director Gregory Hoblit creates considerable suspense, coaxing convincing thrills out of the script's twist ending. Fear was a moderate success in Gere's spotty 1990s film career.

Product Details

Release Date:
05/06/1997
UPC:
0097363283232
Original Release:
1996
Rating:
R
Source:
Paramount

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Richard Gere Martin Vail
Laura Linney Janet Venable
John Mahoney John Shaughnessy
Edward Norton Aaron Stampler
Frances McDormand Dr. Molly Arrington
Alfre Woodard Judge Miriam Shoat
Terry O'Quinn Bud Yancy
Andre Braugher Tommy Goodman
Steven Bauer Joey Pinero
Joe Spano Strenner
Tony Plana Martinez
Stanley Anderson Archbishop Rushman
Maura Tierney Naomi Chance
Jon Seda Alex
Reg Rogers Jack Connerman
Kenneth Tigar Weil
Brian Reddy Woodside
Wendy Cutler Lou
Robert Jordan WGN Anchor
Mike Bacarella Sergeant
Peter Schreiner Bailiff
Joseph R. Ryan Old Man
Tony Fitzpatrick Duty Officer
Clarence Williams Actor
Christopher Carroll M.C

Technical Credits
Gregory Hoblit Director
Deborah Aquila Casting
Bill Arnold Art Director
Ann Biderman Screenwriter
Louisa Bonnie Set Decoration/Design
J. Stephan Buck Asst. Director
Steve Cantamessa Associate Producer
Cindy Carr Set Decoration/Design
Michael Chapman Cinematographer
Betsy Cox Costumes/Costume Designer
Hallie D'Amore Makeup
Patricia Graf Associate Producer
James Newton Howard Score Composer
Erin Kemp Set Decoration/Design
Howard W. Koch Executive Producer
Gary Lucchesi Producer
Robert McMinn Co-producer
Jeannine Oppewall Production Designer
Mark Poll Set Decoration/Design
Bill Roe Camera Operator
David Rosenbloom Editor
Arnold Rudnick Associate Producer
Steve Shagan Screenwriter
Jane Shannon Casting

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