Taglines: The way he practices law should be a crime.
Fresh out of law school, Robin “Stormy” Weathers (Judd Nelson) cannot stand the tedium of case filing and research. Desperately wanting to “practice law” and go to trial, one morning he intentionally withholds the fact that a trial is scheduled to begin that very afternoon to compel his superiors to let him try the case because he is the only one familiar with the facts of the case.
During his meeting with the client (the president of a bank who intentionally struck another banker), the banker declares the “simple assault case” to be a no-winner (explaining that he hits people all the time), but wants the one-day trial to somehow be stretched to three days to run up the other banker’s court fees.
Weathers prolongs the case by creating a 1st Amendment constitutional challenge as to the admissibility of the word “asshole”. Escalating the case into a media frenzy, the senior partners of the law firm are embarrassed by Weathers’ behavior and unconventional methods and try to fire him.
The client retaliates on Weathers’ behalf threatening to take the bank’s business elsewhere. Weathers appears to be crafty and intuitive, but in reality, had conspired with the other attorney (a friend of his) to stage a brilliant legal engagement to make themselves look good. Weathers wins the trial and in doing so attracts a plethora of new clients to the firm which skyrockets him to be a junior partner.
In an act of unfair retaliation, Weathers is assigned to be lead defense counsel in a first-degree murder case involving university professor Douglas Benoit (John Hurt) who is almost certainly guilty of bludgeoning a prostitute to death with the claw of a hammer.
Benoit wanted Weathers because he saw him in the previous case. Weathers takes the case and his loud and odd courtroom behavior soon amazes the judge, the spectators and sometimes embarrasses his girlfriend Jo Ann (Elizabeth Perkins). Determined to impress his employers by winning a verdict of not guilty, no matter what, his courtroom antics soon visibly gain even the jury’s favor and raise the likelihood of acquittal.
From the Hip, is a 1987 courtroom dramedy film directed by Bob Clark from a screenplay by Clark and David E. Kelley. The film stars Judd Nelson, Elizabeth Perkins, John Hurt, Ray Walston, Darren McGavin, Dan Monahan, David Alan Grier, Nancy Marchand, Allan Arbus, Edward Winter and Priscilla Pointer.
From the Hip (1987)
Directed by: Bob Clark
Starring: Judd Nelson, Elizabeth Perkins, John Hurt, Ray Walston, Darren McGavin, Dan Monahan, David Alan Grier, Nancy Marchand, Allan Arbus, Edward Winter, Priscilla Pointer
Screenplay by: Bob Clark, David E. Kelley
Production Design by: Michael Stringer
Cinematography by: Dante Spinotti
Film Editing by: Stan Cole
Costume Design by: Clifford Capone
Set Decoration by: Edward ‘Tantar’ LeViseur
Art Direction by: Dennis Bradford
Music by: Paul Zaza
Distributed by: De Laurentiis Entertainment Group
Release Date: February 6, 1987