Rolling Stone - 08/09/1990
"...A smart, passionate, steadily engrossing thriller..."
Sight and Sound - 09/01/1990
"...[Winfield] has an imposing presence..."
USA Today - 07/27/1990
"...Brilliant casting?.Harrison Ford, aging nicely, registers just the right mix of outrage and weary bewilderment..."
New York Times - 07/27/1990
"...Pakula has directed an intense, enveloping, gratifyingly thorough screen adaptation..."
Entertainment Weekly - 11/04/1994
"...[Julia] steals his scenes....[A] tightly wound thriller?"
Los Angeles Times - 07/27/1990
"...Intelligent, complex and enthralling, PRESUMED INNOCENT is one of those rare films where all the players seem to be in a state of grace..."
PRESUMED INNOCENT is a disturbing murder mystery told in the style director Alan J. Pakula (ALL THE PRESIDENT'S MEN) enjoys best. Harrison Ford (RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK, CLEAR AND PRESENT DANGER) plays prosecuting attorney Rusty Sabich, who is deeply shaken by the sudden rape and murder of a colleague and former love interest. Sabich is assigned to the case, which becomes clouded by both personal and political interests that are in conflict. An adaptation of Scott Turow's best-selling novel, the film presents an intense look at the human flaws of ambition, greed and lust.
PRESUMED INNOCENT, like most of director Alan J. Pakula's films is also a complex character study. Based on a best-selling novel by Scott Turrow, the courtroom murder mystery tells the story of prosecutor Rusty Sabich (Harrison Ford) who is accused of murdering his former mistress, the beautiful and ambitious Carolyn Polhemus (Greta Scacchi). All the physical evidence points to him, and Sabich's "golden child" character is in deep trouble. His marriage, too, is in jeopardy as new twists of events leave his wife Barbara doubting Ford's innocence, and Sabich's boss Raymond Horgan, who is running for reelection, simply wants the killer caught before his campaign suffers. Ford's performance (somewhat against type based on previous roles) is excellent as the beleaguered attorney who seeks an end to his nightmare, calling acerbic defense lawyer and rival (Raul Julia) to his rescue. Cinematographer Gordon Willis (THE GODFATHER) and Pakula, who collaborated previously on KLUTE, have created a film of shadow and darkness in which great performances keep the audience riveted right up to the unnerving ending.
Best-selling novelist Scott Turow, on whose book the film is based, was also an attorney.
The film puts Harrison Ford in the part of a potentially not-so-nice guy, which is in contrast to other roles in which he's cast as ethical, dependable, or heroic. This is also true of WHAT LIES BENEATH (2000) in which he plays a husband with a secret.