->'''Alan Dershowitz:''' You are a very strange man.
->'''Claus Von Bulow:''' You have ''no'' idea.
''Reversal Of Fortune'' is a 1990 drama BasedOnATrueStory, directed by Barbet Schroeder. It's about Claus von Bulow (Creator/JeremyIrons), a British aristocrat of Danish-German extraction living in Rhode Island at the time, who was tried and convicted of attempting to kill his wife Sunny (Creator/GlennClose) by injecting her with insulin, which put her into a coma. Von Bulow, who maintained his innocence throughout, hired law professor/lawyer Alan Dershowitz (Ron Silver), who successfully appealed the verdict.
The film was very well reviewed when it came out, and Irons won an AcademyAward for his performance (the film itself received two other nominations for Best Director and Adapted Screenplay).
!!This film contains examples of:
* AffablyEvil: "Evil" is obviously up for debate but Claus is undoubtedly charming and pleasant throughout.
* TheAlcoholic: Sunny.
* AllMenArePerverts: Von Bulow sees a lot of other women, which is discussed by members of Dershowitz's legal team:
-->'''Sarah:''' He (Von Bulow) had a gorgeous mistress and he went with an ugly whore?
-->'''Raj:''' You know, there are some things even mistresses won't do.
-->'''Alan Dershowitz:''' Like what?
-->'''Raj:''' I am not telling.
* ArmyOfLawyers: In Dershowitz's case, an army of current and former law students, a couple of colleagues, and a former prosecutor. Justified in that overturning the conviction means attacking the evidence in detail and figuring out a precedent to do so, and he can't do it alone.
* BigApplesauce: Since Von Bulow lived in New York City during the appeal, a good portion of the movie takes place there.
* CrusadingLawyer: The other case Dershowitz is dealing with in the movie is of two African-Americans on death row for a crime he believes them innocent of, and he's working that case pro bono.
* DrivenToSuicide: Claus may or may not have been trying to do this to Sunny, depending on whether you think, for instance, that he deliberately left all of his love letters to Alexandra lying around for her to read. He denies this, of course.
-->'''Sunny:''' How could you leave me there alone with all those beautiful letters?
* EurekaMoment: Dershowitz gets one of these during a pick-up basketball game, when he realizes what Sunny's maid said about the insulin she found wasn't what he thought it meant at first.
* GallowsHumor: Claus Von Bulow is fond of telling jokes about his alleged crime ("What do you give a wife that has everything? A shot of insulin." "How do you call a fear of insulin? Claus-trophobia."). Also, at the end of the movie, Claus goes into a drugstore to buy something, and when the cashier notices his face on the front page of a newspaper, Claus adds he'd also like a shot of insulin, before admitting he was just kidding about the last part.
** According to Dershowitz, this was TruthInTelevision.
* GoodLawyersGoodClients: Averted with Von Bulow; Dershowitz doesn't care about Von Bulow's guilt or innocence (though he does care about the constitutional principle involved; see TheReasonYouSuckSpeech below), and he knows clients always lie to their lawyers, so he doesn't want to hear Von Bulow's claims of innocence. Not only that, but Dershowitz becomes freaked out when it looks like he'll have to present his case as if Von Bulow was innocent. Finally, Dershowitz and the others on his team believe at the end while Von Bulow might have been legally innocent of the crime - certainly, they see enough reasonable doubt - he was at the very least morally guilty.
** Played straight with the two African-American kids he's defending; however, Dershowitz does explain most clients are guilty, and lawyers pray for a client who's actually innocent.
** Subverted with the dream he tells his son Elon about:
-->'''Alan:''' Reminds me of my Hitler dream. You know, Hitler calls up, he's alive... needs a lawyer. I say, "Sure, come on over." Then I have to decide: do I take the case, or do I kill him?
-->'''Elon:''' You? No question.
-->'''Alan:''' I would take the case.
-->'''Elon''', '''Alan''': (''in unison'') *Then* kill him.
* HollywoodLaw: An appeals court does not consider new evidence-only trial courts do not. In reality, Dershowitz filed a motion for a new trial he planned to make in trial court with the Rhode Island Supreme Court in the event they reversed Von Bulow's conviction (which included the new evidence). This was a sneaky way of getting it to their attention without his improperly bringing this up, as he believed they wouldn't reverse without knowing of Von Bulow's possible actual innocence. Officially they reversed entirely on technical grounds, though Dershowitz believes this helped in their ruling.
* ParentalFavoritism: Claus' youngest daughter is his favorite, and the only one of his children (or step-children) who believes his innocence.
* PosthumousNarration: Well, narration while in a coma, but it amounts to the same thing.
** In real life, Sunny never woke up from her coma, and died in 2008 after being in a coma for 28 years.
* TheReasonYouSuckSpeech: When Dershowitz is telling his former students about working on Von Bulow's case, one of them, Minnie (Felicity Huffman) becomes outraged. She's offended Dershowitz would even consider the case because Von Bulow's so obviously guilty. This is how Dershowitz responds:
-->'''Alan Dershowitz:''' Look, you're my student, you, you have a choice. You don't have to do anything you don't want to do; that is your choice. The reason I take cases and here unlike most other lawyers, who are not professors and therefore have to make a living: I take cases because I get pissed off, and I am pissed off here. The family hired a private prosecutor: unacceptable! They conducted a private search! Now if we let them get away with that, rich people won't go to the cops any more. You know what they're going to do? They're going to get their own lawyers to collect evidence, and then they are going to choose which evidence they feel like passing on to the DA. And the next victim isn't going to be rich, like Von Bülow, but it's going to be some poor schnook in Detroit who can't afford, or who can't find, a decent lawyer. I think it's a little more complicated than your simple moral superiority, hmm?
* SycophanticServant: Claus believes Maria, Sunny's maid, is this.