A Civil Action


1h 58m 1998

Brief Synopsis

Jan Schlichtmann, a lawyer with a desire to achieve financial and material success without losing his belief in the justice system, agrees to take on two powerful corporations (Beatrice Foods and W.R. Grace) when members of eight families in the Boston industrial suburb of Woburn are stricken with leukemia due to toxic poisoning in their tap water. Instead of being a quick-win case, it becomes a financial black hole into which Schlictmann pours $2.5 million as he fights for years against the bottomless coffers of the corporate world. Though he eventually negotiates an $8,000,000 settlement from W.R. Grace, he falls into a personal state of financial ruin in the process.

Film Details

Also Known As
Civil Action
MPAA Rating
PG-13
Genre
Adaptation
Drama
Medical
Thriller
Release Date
1998
Distribution Company
Walt Disney Studios Distribution
Location
Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Northbridge, Massachusetts, USA; Los Angeles, California, USA

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 58m

Synopsis

Jan Schlichtmann, a lawyer with a desire to achieve financial and material success without losing his belief in the justice system, agrees to take on two powerful corporations (Beatrice Foods and W.R. Grace) when members of eight families in the Boston industrial suburb of Woburn are stricken with leukemia due to toxic poisoning in their tap water. Instead of being a quick-win case, it becomes a financial black hole into which Schlictmann pours $2.5 million as he fights for years against the bottomless coffers of the corporate world. Though he eventually negotiates an $8,000,000 settlement from W.R. Grace, he falls into a personal state of financial ruin in the process.

Crew

Richard Abate

Transportation Captain

Noah Ackerman

Assistant

Dr. Todd Adelman

Medic

Alejandro Aguilar

Production

Karine Albano

Lighting Technician

David W Alstadter

Foley Mixer

Michael Amundson

Assistant Director

Christopher Assells

Sound Effects Editor

Bill Babington

Assistant Editor

Scott Baker

Lighting Technician

Thomas M Baker

Lighting Technician

James Barrett

Other

Steve Bartek

Music Conductor

Steve Bartek

Original Music

Stacy M. Basil

Animal Trainer

Kathy Bates

Other

Richard A Benedetto

Best Boy

Carlos Bermudez

Lighting Technician

Taylor Bernard

Stand-In

Erik Bernstein

Best Boy

John Bettencourt

Other

Katherine E Beyda

Production Supervisor

Katherine E Beyda

Unit Production Manager

Jennifer Blair

Art Department Coordinator

Ralph Blane

Song

David Bomba

Art Director

Bono

Song

Gary Bourgeois

Rerecording

Joseph Bouvier

Set Production Assistant

Bryan Bowen

Sound Effects Editor

Bob Bowman

Assistant Sound Editor

Joey Box

Stunts

T.r. Boyce

Production Assistant

Eric Boyle

Grip

Julian Bratolyubov

Music

Joseph Braus

Other

Tom Brewer

Consultant

Arnold Brown

Grip

Jonathan Brown

Steadicam Operator

Jonathan Brown

Camera Operator

Clyde E Bryan

Assistant Camera Operator

Michelle Buhler

Makeup

Melinda Bullion

Animal Trainer

Lola Caldwell

Other

Sergeant Richard Calnan

Other

Tori Capezza

Post-Production Assistant

Lon Caracappa

Best Boy

Daniel Allen Carlin

Music Conductor

Brent Carlton

Consultant

Caroline Carrigan

Casting Associate

Paul Celluci

Special Thanks To

Jordi Chapdelaine

Office Assistant

Doc D Charbonneau

Stunts

S Todd Christensen

Assistant Location Manager

Gary Christie

Best Boy

Edmund P Chrostowski

Grip

Larry E Clark

Other

Adam Clayton

Song

Guy Clayton

Special Effects Coordinator

John A. Cohen

Assistant

Curtis Collins

Location Manager

Ry Cooder

Song

Jennifer Corey

Assistant Production Coordinator

Dan Courchaine

Other

Margaret Cox

Other

Ronald Wayne Cox

Props

Billy Craft

Lighting Technician

Marianne Crescenzi

Assistant Production Coordinator

Robert Cuddy

Lighting Technician

Jimmy Cullen

Costumes

Shay Cunliffe

Costume Designer

Lee Cunningham

Assistant Set Decorator

Hallie D'amore

Makeup

Merrilee A Dale

Accounting Assistant

Katherine Davis

Song

Robin Dawson

Special Thanks To

R. Michael De Chellis

Rigging Gaffer

Michael Diieso

Other

Perry Dodgeson

Sound

Kenneth J. Doyle Jr.

Other

Tracey A Doyle

Set Decorator

Donna M Duffy

Medic

Richard Dwan

Dialogue Editor

John Egan

Set Production Assistant

Danny Elfman

Music Producer

Danny Elfman

Music

Mike Elmendorf

Stand-In

John Emory

Grip

Jennifer Engel

Props Assistant

Timothy Grant Engle

Assistant Director

Monique Escamilla

Assistant

Peter Evangelatos

Craft Service

Guy Faria

Special Effects Foreman

Lisa Jean Felski

Accounting Assistant

Robert Fernandez

Other

Mark Fitzgerald

Assistant Location Manager

Kenneth D Fitzgibbon

Medic

Paul Flinchbaugh

Sound

Bob Francis

Consultant

Roberta Frankel

Costumes

Kyra Friedman

Assistant Set Decorator

Christopher G Garcia

Camera Assistant

Michael Gastaldo

Assistant Property Master

Hector Gika

Sound Effects Editor

Raymond Ginther

Other

Edward Goemans

Assistant

Carmine Goglia

Other

Henry J Golas

Associate Producer

Marshall Goldberg

Special Thanks To

Brian Goldby

Post-Production Accountant

Jane Goldsmith

Script Supervisor

Raymond Gonzales

Other

Paul W Gorgine

Scenic Artist

Al Green

Song

Josh Greenstein

Assistant

Wylie Young Griffin

Art Department Coordinator

David Gropman

Production Designer

Pascal Guillemard

Lighting Technician

Kenneth Haber

Location Manager

Stephen Hagen

Assistant Director

Conrad Hall

Director Of Photography

Conrad W. Hall

Camera Operator

Jay Handlin

Consultant

Jonathan Harr

Book As Source Material

Charles Harrington

Location Manager

Peter N Harris

Office Assistant

Dan Hegeman

Foley Editor

Phil Hetos

Color Timer

Mabon Hodges

Song

Chris Hogan

Dialogue Editor

Tim Hogan

Best Boy

Tod Holcomb

Music

Mark N Hopkins

Assistant

Jody Hummer

Location Manager

Sara Hyoun

Avid Editor

Caroline Irons

Scenic Artist

Craig Jaeger

Foley Editor

William Jakielaszek

Special Effects Assistant

David James

Photography

Whitney James

Makeup Artist

Chris Jargo

Adr Supervisor

Meg Montagnino Jarrett

Accounting Assistant

John R Jensen

Art Director

William C Jones

Foreman

Jeff Joy

Stand-In

Susan V Kalinowski

Hair Stylist

Artie Kane

Music Conductor

Avy Kaufman

Casting

Michael Kaufman

Stand-In

Constance A Kazmer

Adr Editor

Thomas Keenan

Lighting Technician

Randy Kelley

Sound Effects Editor

Ariel Kemp

Audio

Larry Kemp

Sound Editor

Dan Kerr

Audio

Mara Kerum

Caterer

Brian King

Titles

Gary L King

Special Effects Assistant

Gerald A King

Key Rigging Grip

Kenny King

Key Grip

Ronald Kline

Lighting Technician

Namthip Kumpiranonth

Craft Service

Lee Labaigue

Audio

Dean Lakoff

On-Set Dresser

Brandon Lambdin

Production Assistant

Gregory Lessans

Assistant

Julie Lichter

Casting Associate

Trevor Loomis

Camera Assistant

Julie C Lucas

Foley Recordist

Loren Lyons

On-Set Dresser

James Macdonald

Medic

Jeff Maclean

Assistant Location Manager

David Macmillan

Sound Mixer

Randy Manion

Art Assistant

Marc Mann

Other

Barbara Marko

Costumes

Harrison Marsh

Boom Operator

Hugh Martin

Song

Robert Q Mathews

Costumes

David Mcgiffert

Associate Producer

David Mcgiffert

Assistant Director

Cheryl Mchugh

Accountant

Steve Mclean

Assistant

John F Mcphee

Electrician

Dustin Meier

Stunts

Courtenay Milburn

Production Assistant

Robin L Miller

Property Master

Ralph Millero

Production Assistant

James R Mitchell

Electrician

Theresa Repola Mohammed

Negative Cutting

Joe Mooney

Special Thanks To

James Moriana

Foley Artist

Robert J Morton

Assistant

Gretchen Muench

Special Thanks To

Larry Mullen

Song

Shawn Murphy

Sound Mixer

Austin Myers

Costumes

Sean Napolitano

Grip

Tony R. Negrete

Assistant Sound Editor

Cheryl Nick

Makeup Artist

Film Details

Also Known As
Civil Action
MPAA Rating
PG-13
Genre
Adaptation
Drama
Medical
Thriller
Release Date
1998
Distribution Company
Walt Disney Studios Distribution
Location
Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Northbridge, Massachusetts, USA; Los Angeles, California, USA

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 58m

Award Nominations

Best Cinematography

1999

Best Supporting Actor

1999
Robert Duvall

Best Supporting Actor

1999
Robert Duvall

Quotes

Trivia

Miscellaneous Notes

Nominated for the 1998 award for Best Screenplay Based on Material Previously Produced or Published (Steven Zaillian) from the Writers Guild of America.

Nominated for the 1998 award for Best Supporting Actor (Robert Duvall) from the Chicago Film Critics Association.

Released in United States Winter December 25, 1998

Wide Release in United States January 8, 1999

Released in United States on Video July 13, 1999

In August 1997, the Massachusetts State Senate introduced a bill prohibiting media representation of true stories without the permission of all people involved. Eight families mentioned in the screenplay and book, "A Civil Action," brought suit when it was learned they would not be compensated for this project by The Walt Disney Company.

Producer Frederick Zollo purchased the rights to the stories of six of the eight families mentioned in the screenplay and book "A Civil Action."

John Travolta reportedly received $20 million for this project.

John Travolta reportedly received $20 million for this project.

Completed shooting February 25, 1998.

Began shooting October 7, 1997.

Wildwood Enterprises is Robert Redford's production company.

Released in United States Winter December 25, 1998

Wide Release in United States January 8, 1999

Released in United States on Video July 13, 1999