Mixing the talents of three all time greats in a movie should produce solid results; failures do occur, but here we see the peak of success. Sidney Lumet directs Paul Newman and James Mason in a powerhouse film which, though generally downbeat, never loses your attention and indeed grips in its storyline and through these performances. Newman plays a laywer who's seen the good times, (way back), but is now in a shambling and hopeless state. His friend, played by the ever reliable Jack Warden, though near the end of his tether at Newman's pathetic drunken state, gives him a possible lifeline in a malpractice case. To Warden's relief he takes it, but more important takes it seriously, and despite an ever spiralling course of events which seem certain to bring about his final, total demise, Newman finally triumphs. The finale is absorbing and superb! Alas, and not terribly surprisingly based on the farce which is so often the Oscar Ceremony, the film, Newman, and Mason all failed to win the oscars they so richly deserved. A crime that Newman should lose for this, then be given one of those pathetic Honorary Awards (remember when they gave one to the previously un-Oscared Kirk Douglas for his performance having a stroke? No doubt they thought it would be their last chance before he died, pleasingly Mr. Douglas has proved them wrong), and then a genuine one for Newman the next year in "The Color Of Money" because the first was seen through for what it was: a too late apology. As for Mr. Mason, this sadly would be his third and final failure at garnering an Oscar, (as he did pass away two years later), beaten by Louis Gosset Jr. for a non-stop-yelling performance which totally lacked the sublety which made Mason's so much MORE menacing. Enough griping, watch this film and you'll see why these two actors are probably the finest their respective countries have ever produced. Deep, harrowing at times, but nonetheless a real treat!