Primal Fear

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Paramount Catalog

A high-profile slaying becomes the case of an ambitious attorney's career in this legal thriller based on the novel by William Diehl. Richard Gere stars as Martin Vail a famed defense lawyer who volunteers his services to Aaron Sampler (Edward Norton) a Kentucky teenager charged with the murder of a Chicago archbishop. Covered with blood Aaron was captured after a foot chase broadcast live on TV making a gleeful Vail certain that he could raise his profile by defending the obviously guilty suspect. Assigned to prosecute is Assistant District Attorney Janet Venable (Laura Linney) who is Vail's ex-girlfriend. Vail's case becomes more complicated than he expected when a psychologist Dr. Molly Arrington (Frances McDormand) concludes that Sampler suffers from multiple personality disorder. Vail also uncovers evidence that the archbishop was involved in a corrupt land scheme and may have molested young parishioners. Now the cynical opportunistic attorney is faced with a daunting prospect a client who may actually deserve his best defense. It's shocking twist ending made Primal Fear (1996) a big box office hit and earned Norton in his screen debut an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor.

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Director: Gregory Hoblit
Producer: Gary Lucchesi
Actor: Richard Gere
Actor: Laura Linney
Actor: Frances McDormand
Actor: John Mahoney
Actor: Edward Norton
Actor: Alfre Woodard
Actor: Clarence Williams III
Actor: Joseph R. Ryan
Actor: Peter Schreiner
Actor: Andre Braugher
Actor: Terry O'Quinn
Actor: Stanley Anderson
Actor: Maura Tierney
Actor: Steven Bauer
Actor: Joe Spano
Actor: Reg Rogers
Actor: Tony Plana
Actor: Jon Seda
Actor: Kenneth Tigar
Actor: Brian Reddy
Actor: Christopher Carroll
Actor: Wendy Cutler
Actor: Ron O J Parson
Actor: Robert Jordan
Actor: Randall Slavin
Actor: Mike Bacarella
Actor: Turk Muller
Actor: Joe Kosala
Actor: Mary Ann Childers
Actor: Azalea Davila
Actor: Tony Fitzpatrick
Actor: Joseph Luis Caballero
Actor: Joseph R Ryan

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Primal Fear | Richard Gere