Saturday, June 11, 2011

The Life of David Gale (2003)

David Gale was the head of the philosophy department at Austin University and the author of several well-regarded books; he was also an active and visible member of Deathwatch, an anti-capital punishment activist group. One of Gale's best friends was Constance Harraway, a fellow Deathwatch activist with whom he became especially close, particularly since Gale's wife, Sharon, who had taken a lover in Spain, was usually absent. One night, Gale was seduced by an attractive student from his class, who had too much to drink; later, the remorseful student accused Gale of rape. While Gale was eventually cleared of the charges, the negative publicity cost him his career as an educator, and with no job and no wife, Gale turned to drink. When Harraway was found raped and murdered a few years later, Gale was charged with the crime, and convicted despite the best efforts of his well-meaning but ineffectual lawyer. Now Gale awaits execution, and less than a week before his date with the fatal injection, Gale agrees to tell his story to Bitsey Bloom, a nervy journalist from a major newsmagazine, who arrives with her assistant. As Bloom discusses the facts of the Harraway murder with Gale, it occurs to her that the details simply don't add up, and soon a mysterious stranger slips evidence to her that suggests Gale has been framed -- leaving Bloom and Stemmons only a few days to solve the mystery and save Gale from the executioner.

Director: Alan Parker
Writer: Charles Randolph
Stars: Kevin Spacey, Kate Winslet and Laura Linney
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