A Civil Action/The Insider [2 Discs] [DVD]
- SKU: 16828024
- Release Date: 02/10/2008
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Ratings & Reviews
The Insider tells the true story of a man who decided to tell the world what the seven major tobacco companies knew (and concealed) about the dangers of their product. Jeffrey Wigand (Russell Crowe) was a scientist employed in research for a tobacco firm, Brown and Williamson. Not long after he was fired by Brown and Williamson, Wigand came into contact with Lowell Bergman (Al Pacino), a producer for 60 MINUTES who worked closely with journalist Mike Wallace (played here by Christopher Plummer). Bergman arranged for Wigand to be interviewed by Wallace for a 60 MINUTES expose on the cigarette industry, though Wigand was still bound by a confidentiality agreement not to discuss his employment with the company. Despite Wigand's willingness to talk, CBS pulled his interview from at the last minute after Brown and Williamson threatened a multi-billion dollar lawsuit. The staff of 60 MINUTES and CBS News were soon embroiled in an internal struggle over the killing of the story, and Wigand found himself the subject of lawsuits and a smear campaign, without his full story reaching the public. The Insider was directed by Michael Mann and also features Diane Venora, Philip Baker Hall, Debi Mazar, Colm Feore, and Rip Torn. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi
A Civil Action
Directed by Schindler's List screenwriter Steve Zaillian, this courtroom drama is based on a true story and non-fiction book by Jonathan Harr. The case revolves around an incident in 1979 in East Woburn, MA, where two drinking wells supplying water to the town were found to be contaminated with industrial solvents. When toxic waste was discovered later that year, suspicions arose that the local factories caused the pollution. The residents felt these companies were responsible for the unusually high rate of leukemia deaths amongst the town's children. Anne Anderson (Kathleen Quinlan), a mother who lost her son Jimmy to leukemia, fronts an effort to bring a lawsuit against the major conglomerates Beatrice Foods and W. R. Grace & Co for their pollution crimes -- a heavy-duty problem, because these companies have the money to squash the less powerful citizens. Enter Jan Schlichtmann (John Travolta), a personal injury lawyer whose small law firm is hired to sue these industrial giants for millions of dollars in damages. He's up against Jerome Facher (Robert Duvall) and William Cheeseman (Bruce Norris), high-priced lawyers who represent the big companies. Most of the film takes place in the courtroom during the trial. It also features William H. Macy as Schlichtmann's accountant and John Lithgow as the judge. ~ Arthur Borman, Rovi
Cast & Crew
- Al Pacino - Lowell Bergman
- Russell Crowe - Jeffrey Wigand
- Christopher Plummer - Mike Wallace
- Diane Venora - Liane Wigand
- Philip Baker Hall - Don Hewitt
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