Guilty as Sin (1993)

R | 107 mins | Drama, Mystery | 4 June 1993

Director:

Sidney Lumet

Writer:

Larry Cohen

Producer:

Martin Ransohoff

Cinematographer:

Andrzej Bartkowiak

Editor:

Evan Lottman

Production Designer:

Philip Rosenberg

Production Company:

Hollywood Pictures Company
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HISTORY

       According to a news brief in the 24 Aug 1992 issue of People magazine, Alec Baldwin was originally attached to play “David Greenhill,” but left the project upon learning that Buena Vista Distribution Co., Inc. would serve as distributor. The decision was reportedly credited to Baldwin’s standing disagreement with The Walt Disney Company over the “attitude and production costs” of the Hollywood Pictures film, The Marrying Man (1991, see entry), which was considered a “flop” at the box-office.
       A 13 Oct 1992 HR production chart stated that principal photography began 7 Oct 1992 in Toronto, Canada, under the working title Beyond Innocence. According to the 13 Sep 1993 Var, the film marked the twelfth collaboration between director Sidney Lumet and production designer Philip Rosenberg. Production notes in AMPAS library files state that Toronto locations included the four-story lobby of BCE Place, which stood in for “Phil Garson’s” office, and the Mississauga Civic Centre. Interior courtroom sets were constructed on a soundstage. The 1 Jun 1993 LAT estimated a final production cost of $12 million.
       A 31 May 1993 New York item reported that Disney hosted an advance press screening of a cut containing only thirty-five minutes of footage. Although the actors claimed the final version had already been shown several times, the attending journalists were told the film was still incomplete, prompting speculation that it required further last-minute editing.
       Guilty as Sin opened to mixed reviews in 1,200 theaters on 4 Jun 1993.
      End credits include thanks from producers to: “The Ontario Film Development Corporation; Toronto Film Liaison Office; IBM Canada, ... More Less

       According to a news brief in the 24 Aug 1992 issue of People magazine, Alec Baldwin was originally attached to play “David Greenhill,” but left the project upon learning that Buena Vista Distribution Co., Inc. would serve as distributor. The decision was reportedly credited to Baldwin’s standing disagreement with The Walt Disney Company over the “attitude and production costs” of the Hollywood Pictures film, The Marrying Man (1991, see entry), which was considered a “flop” at the box-office.
       A 13 Oct 1992 HR production chart stated that principal photography began 7 Oct 1992 in Toronto, Canada, under the working title Beyond Innocence. According to the 13 Sep 1993 Var, the film marked the twelfth collaboration between director Sidney Lumet and production designer Philip Rosenberg. Production notes in AMPAS library files state that Toronto locations included the four-story lobby of BCE Place, which stood in for “Phil Garson’s” office, and the Mississauga Civic Centre. Interior courtroom sets were constructed on a soundstage. The 1 Jun 1993 LAT estimated a final production cost of $12 million.
       A 31 May 1993 New York item reported that Disney hosted an advance press screening of a cut containing only thirty-five minutes of footage. Although the actors claimed the final version had already been shown several times, the attending journalists were told the film was still incomplete, prompting speculation that it required further last-minute editing.
       Guilty as Sin opened to mixed reviews in 1,200 theaters on 4 Jun 1993.
      End credits include thanks from producers to: “The Ontario Film Development Corporation; Toronto Film Liaison Office; IBM Canada, Ltd.; The Corporation of the City of Mississauga; Furs by Green Brothers of Canada.”
More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
9 Sep 1992.
---
Hollywood Reporter
13 Oct 1992.
---
Hollywood Reporter
4 Jun 1993
p. 6, 44.
Los Angeles Times
4 Jun 1993
Calendar, p. 1, 3.
Los Angeles Times
1 Jun 1993.
---
New York
31 May 1993.
---
New York Times
4 Jun 1993
Section C, p. 8.
People
24 Aug 1992.
---
Variety
14 Jun 1993
p. 55.
Variety
13 Sep 1993.
---
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXTS
Hollywood Pictures Presents
A Martin Ransohoff Production
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Prod mgr
1st asst dir
2d asst dir
3d asst dir
PRODUCERS
Assoc prod
Assoc prod
Exec prod
Exec prod
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Cam op
1st asst cam
2d asst cam
Stills photog
Gaffer
Best boy elec
Rigging gaffer
Key grip
Dolly grip
Best boy grip
Rigging grip
ART DIRECTORS
Prod des
Asst art dir
FILM EDITORS
Film ed
1st asst ed (N.Y.)
1st asst ed (Toronto)
2d asst ed
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Leadman
Set dresser
Const coord
Prop master
Const foreman
Scenic artist
COSTUMES
Cost des
Asst cost des
Asst cost des
MUSIC
Mus ed
Mus eng
SOUND
Prod sd mixer
Boom op
Supv sd ed
Asst sd ed
ADR ed
Asst ADR ed
Dial ed
Foley ed
Foley ed
Foley ed
Re-rec mixer
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff coord
Main title des by
Opticals by
MAKEUP
Key hairstylist
Key makeup artist
Ms. De Mornay's hairstylist
Ms. De Mornay's makeup artist
Mr. Johnson's hairstylist
Mr. Johnson's makeup artist
PRODUCTION MISC
Casting
Prod supv
Canadian casting by
Scr supv
Prod accountant
Asst accountant
Prod secy
Asst to prod
Loc mgr
Unit pub
Casting asst
Extras casting
Craft services
Transportation coord
STAND INS
Stunt coord
Stunt player
Stunt player
Stunt player
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
Beyond Innocence
Release Date:
4 June 1993
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles and New York openings: 4 June 1993
Production Date:
began 7 October 1992
Copyright Claimant:
Hollywood Pictures Company
Copyright Date:
10 June 1993
Copyright Number:
PA612886
Physical Properties:
Sound
Dolby Stereo ® in Selected Theatres
Color
Lenses
Lenses and Panaflex® camera by Panavision®
Prints
Prints by Technicolor®; Produced and distributed on Eastman Film
Duration(in mins):
107
MPAA Rating:
R
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
32372
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

During a highly-publicized extortion trial, up-and-coming Chicago, Illinois attorney Jennifer Haines notices an attractive man intently watching her from the courtroom seating gallery. After she wins the case, the man strides into her office and introduces himself as David Greenhill, a “compulsive womanizer” charged with pushing his wealthy wife Rita out their eighteen-story bedroom window. He alleges that Rita framed him for murder as revenge for causing her clinical depression. Put-off by his smarmy attitude, Jennifer refuses to defend him, but the thrill of her latest victory eventually prompts her to reconsider. She explains the decision to her wary associates, believing she is competent enough to prove Greenhill’s innocence even though the media will undoubtedly portray him as a lecherous villain. Jennifer successfully arranges for Greenhill’s release on bail, which is paid for by his mistress, Miriam Langford. Shortly after, Greenhill disturbs Jennifer’s boyfriend, Phil Garson, by turning up unexpectedly at his office. When Jennifer warns Greenhill to stay out of her personal life, he reveals that he broke off his relationship with Miriam Langford after leading her to believe he had developed feelings for Jennifer. Concerned by Greenhill’s increasingly unstable behavior, Jennifer decides to back away from the case by citing the client’s inability to pay his legal fees without Miriam’s support. A judge denies her request for reassignment, and subsequently vows to keep close watch on Jennifer to ensure she provides satisfactory counsel. As time goes on, Greenhill begins to stalk Jennifer and insinuates they are having an affair. During a meeting, Greenhill implies he has had relationships with several wealthy, older women who have all met disastrous fates. Although terrified, Jennifer is bound by attorney-client privilege ... +


During a highly-publicized extortion trial, up-and-coming Chicago, Illinois attorney Jennifer Haines notices an attractive man intently watching her from the courtroom seating gallery. After she wins the case, the man strides into her office and introduces himself as David Greenhill, a “compulsive womanizer” charged with pushing his wealthy wife Rita out their eighteen-story bedroom window. He alleges that Rita framed him for murder as revenge for causing her clinical depression. Put-off by his smarmy attitude, Jennifer refuses to defend him, but the thrill of her latest victory eventually prompts her to reconsider. She explains the decision to her wary associates, believing she is competent enough to prove Greenhill’s innocence even though the media will undoubtedly portray him as a lecherous villain. Jennifer successfully arranges for Greenhill’s release on bail, which is paid for by his mistress, Miriam Langford. Shortly after, Greenhill disturbs Jennifer’s boyfriend, Phil Garson, by turning up unexpectedly at his office. When Jennifer warns Greenhill to stay out of her personal life, he reveals that he broke off his relationship with Miriam Langford after leading her to believe he had developed feelings for Jennifer. Concerned by Greenhill’s increasingly unstable behavior, Jennifer decides to back away from the case by citing the client’s inability to pay his legal fees without Miriam’s support. A judge denies her request for reassignment, and subsequently vows to keep close watch on Jennifer to ensure she provides satisfactory counsel. As time goes on, Greenhill begins to stalk Jennifer and insinuates they are having an affair. During a meeting, Greenhill implies he has had relationships with several wealthy, older women who have all met disastrous fates. Although terrified, Jennifer is bound by attorney-client privilege to keep his past criminal activity a secret. She recruits investigator Moe Plimpton, a long-time family friend, to uncover information on Greenhill’s misdeeds. Moe’s findings confirm Greenhill’s story, and Jennifer becomes convinced he is planning to harm her next. In court, Jennifer puts multiple witnesses on the stand to testify that Greenhill, who had been seen in town on the morning of Rita’s murder, would not have been able to return home to carry out the crime without being seen by construction crews working in the building. Determined to sabotage the case, she theorizes that Greenhill re-entered his apartment by disguising himself as a construction worker. One morning before court, Jennifer stops by Greenhill’s apartment while he is away and plants false evidence in his closet, including a dirty painter’s uniform and plaster residue, which she wipes on the bottoms of his shoes. When the prosecution obtains a warrant to search his apartment, the evidence is found and presented to the court. Although Greenhill actually did disguise himself as a painter to commit the murder, he recalls wearing disposable shoe covers, which he promptly discarded. That night, a contact in Boston, Massachusetts, alerts Greenhill to Moe Plimpton’s sleuthing. Assuming Jennifer is responsible, Greenhill seeks revenge by attacking Phil Garson in the parking garage outside his office, leaving him hospitalized. In light of the recent evidence against him, Greenhill introduces Jennifer to Kathleen Bigelow, a neighbor whose apartment he claimed to be redecorating at the time of Rita’s death. Although she knows the story is weak, Jennifer reluctantly puts Kathleen on the stand and struggles to muster a convincing closing statement. After a week of deliberation, the jury reports they are “hopelessly deadlocked,” and the judge declares a mistrial. Once the courtroom clears, Greenhill sits in the witness chair and reveals his motive to Jennifer, explaining that he developed a fixation on her after seeing her in a restaurant more than a year before. Impressed by her prowess as an attorney, he decided to murder Rita so he could hire Jennifer to defend him. Revealing knowledge of her falsified evidence, he blackmails her by threatening to expose her as an accomplice. When a custodian arrives, Jennifer breaks free from Greenhill’s grasp and flees the courtroom. Later, she resolves to take the evidence Moe collected to the district attorney. Moe reminds her that she could be disbarred or even indicted, but Jennifer insists she does not care. Once she leaves, Greenhill appears. He sets fire to Moe’s office and knocks the old man unconscious, leaving him to die in the flames. That night, Jennifer visits Phil’s office and finds Greenhill waiting for her in the upstairs hallway. He reveals Moe’s “accident” and suggests that he could easily kill her next by staging her death to look like suicide. Jennifer lunges at him, but Greenhill grabs her by the neck and hoists her over the lobby balcony. Clinging to his jacket lapels, she pushes herself away from the balcony wall, taking Greenhill with her as she falls several stories. Greenhill’s skull cracks upon impact with the floor, but Jennifer survives. Once paramedics arrive, she is carried away on a gurney and proudly tells Phil, “I beat him. Tough way to win a case.” +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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