- Rated: R
- Run Time: 1 hours, 45 minutes
- Video: Color
- Encoding: Region 0 (Worldwide)
- Released: February 1, 2005
- Originally Released: 1990
- Label: 20th Century Fox
- Packaging: Keep Case
- Aspect Ratio: Widescreen - 1.85
- Dolby Digital 4.0 - English
- Dolby Digital Surround - French
- Mono - Spanish
- Subtitles - English, Spanish - Optional
- Additional Release Material:
- Theatrical Trailer
- Fox Flix Trailers
Performers, Cast and Crew:
Rolling Stone - 03/21/1991
"...Gene Hackman and Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio give passionate, riveting performances..."
Sight and Sound - 07/01/1991
"...A remarkably well-made and well-mannered film...A perfectly formed performance from Larry Fishburne..."
Los Angeles Times - 03/15/1991
"...CLASS ACTION is good, chewy entertainment....Under Michael Apted's warm and meticulous direction, Hackman and Mastrantonio give beautifully matched performances..."
A father and daughter, both attorneys, are on opposite sides in the courtroom. He's on the prosecuting side and she's for the defense. As father and daughter they become divided, and as attorneys, endangered by the truth.
Jedediah Tucker Ward is an esteemed trial attorney who has built his reputation defending the underdog against the huge, impenetrable corporate power structure. His daughter Maggie, also a lawyer, has more conventional aims -- namely becoming a partner in San Francisco's largest corporate law firm.
Jedediah believes that his daughter is selling out by working as a corporate attorney, but Maggie sees her father's defense of the "common man" as an excuse for self-aggrandizement on the job and negligence at home. The festering antagonism between the two comes to a head when they meet in the courtroom for a class action suit against an American auto manufacturer, where Maggie represents the car company and Jedediah represents the people.
Family Interaction |
Law / Lawyers |
- Director Michael Apted rehearsed his actors for three weeks prior to shooting, an unusually long time for a feature film. He believes that this resulted in more natural performances from his actors, especially the dynamic that grew between Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio and Gene Hackman. Hackman said that rehearsing and working like this gave him the opportunity to explore issues that may come up with one of his own two daughters.
- Shot entirely on location in San Francisco and the Bay Area. Hackman's law office in the film is the actual office of J. Tony Serra, the lawyer depicted by James Woods in the film "True Believer." Mastriantonio's law office is a high-rise building at 75 Hawthorne Place. The courtroom scenes were shot in San Francisco's City Hall, and even in the never-before filmed Supervisor's Chambers.
- Michael Apted is also a noted director of documentary films. He created the series of documentaries following the lives of 14 British citizens at seven year intervals. The last film in this series was "35 Up" (1992). He also did the recent documentary on the case of wrongly imprisoned Native American activist Leonard Peltier, "Incident at Oglala" (1992).
- The film was entered in the Moscow International Film Festival before Jack Valenti, president of the Motion Picture Association of America announced a boycott of export to the then Soviet Union to protest their illegal pirating of American films.
- Film had an estimated budget of $17 million.