- Rated: R
- Run Time: 1 hours, 49 minutes
- Video: Color
- Released: March 13, 2001
- Originally Released: 1990
- Label: Warner Home Video
- Encoding: Region 1 (USA & Canada)
- Packaging: Snap Case
- Aspect Ratio: Anamorphic Widescreen - 1.85
- Aspect Ratio: Letterbox - 1.85
- Additional Release Material:
- Audio Commentary: Barbet Schroeder - Director, Nicholas Kazan - Screenwriter
- Trailers: Original Theatrical Trailer
- Text/Photo Galleries:
Performers, Cast and Crew:
Academy Awards 1990 -
Best Actor: Jeremy Irons
Rolling Stone - 11/15/1990
"...Alternately sincere and sinister, droll and decadent, Irons makes an ambiguous figure vividly real and disturbing. It's a tricky, triumphant portrayal..."
USA Today - 10/17/1990
"...An unexpected stitch....Silver is superb, Irons is transcendent..." -- 3 1/2 out of 4 stars
New York Times - 10/17/1990
"...Rewarding....Beginning with [Irons's], all of the principal performances are terrific..."
Los Angeles Times - 10/17/1990
"...Brilliant....Its performances and observations are absolutely on-target..."
REVERSAL OF FORTUNE, based on defense attorney Alan Dershowitz's book, is a hypnotically eerie exploration of a dark, ambiguous event in the life of a wealthy socialite couple. Dershowitz (Ron Silver) is hired by Claus von Bulow (Jeremy Irons) to defend him against charges that he attempted to murder his wife, Sunny (Glenn Close), who lies in a coma. As Dershowitz, aided by his eager law students, scrambles for ways to puncture the veracity of the charges against von Bulow, Sunny narrates flashback scenes that offer a frosted window into both the events leading up to her coma-inducing collapse and the strangely cold and alienating world of the super rich.
Irons's von Bulow, a brilliant Academy Award-winning characterization, provides the creepy, complicated center for a film in which every surface is slippery and every truth has trailing behind it a sinuous shadow of doubt. Silver energizes the film with his portrayal of the tenacious, obsessive defense attorney, and Close adds a vital layer with her biting narration and her work in flashback scenes as a woman sadly drifting in a drug-addled haze through her moneyed world. Director Barbet Schroeder, who garnered Academy Award nominations for both Best Director and (with cowriter Nicholas Kazan) Best Screenplay, orchestrates with a light touch, preserving the buoyancy of a film that is deeply textured yet tight as a riddle.
Part courtroom drama, part black comedy, Barbet Schroeder's REVERSAL OF FORTUNE explores the circumstances leading up to and surrounding the sensational trial and acquittal of Claus von Bulow (Jeremy Irons). Accused of attempting to murder his wife, depressed socialite Sunny von Bulow (Glenn Close), with a near-fatal injection of insulin, von Bulow calls upon the services of scrappy self-made legal whiz Alan Dershowitz (Ron Silver). Despite his inherent mistrust of the insolent aristocrat, Dershowitz brings all his famous chutzpah to bear as he fights to prove von Bulow's innocence.
- Shown at the Toronto Festival of Festivals on September 12, 1990.