Reversal of Fortune
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|Reversal of Fortune|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Barbet Schroeder|
|Produced by||Edward R. Pressman
|Screenplay by||Nicholas Kazan|
|Based on||Reversal of Fortune: Inside the von Bülow Case
by Alan M. Dershowitz
|Music by||Mark Isham|
|Edited by||Lee Percy|
|Distributed by||Warner Bros.
Reversal of Fortune is a 1990 film adapted from the 1985 book Reversal of Fortune: Inside the von Bülow Case, written by law professor Alan Dershowitz. It recounts the true story of the unexplained coma of socialite Sunny von Bülow, the subsequent attempted murder trial, and the eventual acquittal of her husband, Claus von Bülow, who had Dershowitz acting as his defense. The film stars Jeremy Irons as Claus, Glenn Close as Sunny, and Ron Silver as Dershowitz.
The story is narrated by Sunny von Bülow who is in a coma after falling into diabetic shock after a Christmas party. Her husband, the dissolute European aristocrat Claus von Bülow is charged with attempting to murder her by giving the hypoglycemic Sunny an overdose of insulin. Claus' strained relationship with his wife and his cold and haughty personal demeanor lead most people to conclude that he is guilty. In need of an innovative defense, Claus turns to law professor Alan Dershowitz. Dershowitz is initially convinced of Claus' guilt, but takes the case because von Bülow agrees to fund Dershowitz' defense of two poor black teenagers accused of capital murder. Employing his law students as workers, Dershowitz proceeds to defend Claus, wrestling with his client's unnerving personal style and questions of von Bülow's guilt or innocence.
- Glenn Close as Sunny von Bülow
- Jeremy Irons as Claus von Bülow
- Ron Silver as Alan Dershowitz
- Uta Hagen as Maria
- Annabella Sciorra as Sarah
- Fisher Stevens as David Marriott
- Jack Gilpin as Peter MacIntosh
- Christine Baranski as Andrea Reynolds
- Stephen Mailer as Elon Dershowitz
- Felicity Huffman as Minnie
- Johann Carlo as Nancy
- Keith Reddin as Dobbs
- Mitchell Whitfield as Curly
- Tom Wright as Jack
- Michael Lord as Ed
- Lisa Gay Hamilton as Mary
- Julie Hagerty as Alexandra Isles
Awards and honors
Irons was awarded the Academy Award for Best Actor, Schroeder was nominated for Best Director, and Kazan was nominated for the Best Adapted Screenplay award. Irons was also awarded the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Drama.
American Film Institute recognition:
The film was shot in numerous estates in Rhode Island and New Jersey, and the Knole house in Old Westbury.
- State v. von Bulow, 475 A.2d 995 (R.I. 1984).
- AFI's 100 Years...100 Heroes and Villains Nominees
- "Reversal of Fortune Movie Reviews, Pictures". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved January 18, 2011.
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- Reversal of Fortune at the Internet Movie Database
- Reversal of Fortune at Rotten Tomatoes
- Reversal of Fortune at Metacritic
- Reversal of Fortune at Box Office Mojo