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4.6 out of 5 stars22
4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 12 September 2013
Great dialogue and brilliant acting by Barbara Streisand as a high class prostitute Claudia Draper , on trial for 'manslaughter' after she slew a client in self-defence, and her lawyer, Aaron LeVinsky played by Richard Dreyfus. Great roles by Eli Wallach as an arrogant psychiatrist Dr. Herbert A. Morrison and Maureen Stapleton as Claudia's mother Maureen Stapleton.
Claudia is disruptive and aggressive throughout proceedings, ultimately she refuses to accept a plea of insanity and wants to be given a full trial to prove her innocence.
Thing get more gripping when Aaron works out from Claudia's courtroom doodling that she was sexually abused by her stepfather as a child, which led to a life of dysfunction and self-destruction.

Streisand is on top form with some really witty repartee, but ultimately explores themes such as the legal system, psychiatry, the effects of sexual abuse and mental breakdown.
One of the better American courtroom dramas/psychological thrillers with a slight touch of subtle comedy.
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VINE VOICEon 24 September 2000
The story takes place in a court room. Claudia Draper (Barbara Streisand) is a professional woman of the night is accused of murdering her client Allen Green (Leslie Nielsen.) She is given the opportunity to claim mental incompetence "Nuts"; however she chooses not to do so. Towards the end of the movie do I hear an Ayn Rand type courtroom speech about competence?

I have never seen the play so I can not comment on how the film varies. The movie however holds your attention. Barbra Streisand is not the only actor in this movie to let their personality overwhelm the character. Richard Dreyfuss, "Moon Over Parador" (1988) lets his personality and mannerisms through pretty well as he plays the defendants lawyer.
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on 5 May 2011
Yet another brilliant performance from Barbra Streisand. This time, she's Tom Topor's paranoid, high-priced call-girl Claudia Draper trying to prove she isn't 'nuts'. After killing a customer in self-defence, Claudia's over-bearing parents try to prove that she is insane in order to avoid scandal and keep her out of prison. Claudia knows she is fit to stand trial for her crime and would rather risk possible jail-time rather than an indeterminate sentence to a mental-health institution; but with her fiery temper and seemingly mad outbursts, the powers that be are more inclined to believe her high-society mother and step-father.

One of Barbra's best perfomances, with some great laughs and excellent dramatic scenes, this movie makes you really think about the way mental health is treated as a legal and social get-out-of-jail-free card. The excellent performance by supporting actor Richard Dreyfuss is a memorable one, but the stand-out performance for me was Leslie Neilsen as Claudia's victim Allen Green, proving that he could play a straight part very well. Although I must admit, I kept waiting for him to ask people to stop calling him Shirley. This film was his last non-comedic performance, which, in my humble opinion, is rather a shame.

This is a brilliantly made film, with an excellent script, that allows the players to really show their breadth of ability which was unfaily bashed by the critics at the time.
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on 5 September 2011
Fantastic film of the era, Barbera plays a gripping role, difficult to understand why this is rated at 18? Possibly due to the era it is from, this should not put people off viewing.
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on 27 September 2013
I've always admired Streisand, not only for her singing, but also for her acting..
Her timing is immaculate..

I remember seeing this way back when it came out at the cinema..

Those expecting the sort of fayre she's better known for might be disappointed, but I certainly wasn't and buying this again, all these years later it was just as good second time around.

She is amazing in a very different sort of role..
Dreyfuss is always good to watch and even Leslie Nielsen, who many of us will also remember for his comic roles and although he only gets a small cameo is very watchable.

I found the whole thing fascinating and totally believable and deals with a range of "difficult," subjects in a thought provoking manner.
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on 3 September 2013
I remember when this film was released and the critics absolutely panned it, as they usually do when it's a Streisand vehicle. I have seen it both at the cinema and on TV and apart from some swearing (which was edited out for TV showing) I do not understand why on earth it is rated 18!

Streisand is a high-class escort who kills a client and ends up fighting to prove she is not 'nuts' and is sane enough to stand trial. It is a surprisingly gripping drama with a top notch cast (Karl Malden, Eli Wallach, James Whitmore, Maureen Stapleton) with Richard Dreyfuss as her attorney.

One of my favourite films and definitely one that was seriously under-rated. Just shows the critics know zip all about what makes a good film.....
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on 22 August 2014
This film is a wonderful assemble piece of acting, with special mention of Maureen Stapleton, who should have got an oscar for her performance. The story itself is very moving, with ofcourse some light relief with the quick fire performances of both Streisand and Dreyfuss, two of my all time favourites and they dont disappoint. Leslie Neilson is particularly effective as the villian of the piece. Top marks to Karl Malden who never disappoints.

Highly recommended
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on 30 August 2010
...not to love this movie, with Streisand in fine form (and not a note sung), brilliantly accompanied by Karl Malden, Maureen Stapleton and (especially) Richard Dreyfuss. The ending is a bit of a copout, but grit your teeth and enjoy all the rest.
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on 9 August 2013
Don't get this expecting to hear Barbra singing because she doesn't, What you do get is a tour de force acting performance. Despite the title it's not a comedy or a family film but it is a great story with great acting. Highly recommended.
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on 14 June 2016
Fantastic portrayal of a strong woman - Barbra Streisand's finest performance and Richard Dreyfuss' character is that ideal compliment to her character's chaos but logical mind. A must see!
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