While investigating the death of a local union leader, an ambitious young reporter (Sally Field as Megan) becomes involved in a dangerous triangle of love, deceit, and national espionage. After all story leads fall through, shady government agent Rosen cajoles Megan into befriending financier, Gallagher (Paul Newman), a man with filial ties to the Mafia. Becoming Gallagher's confidant, Megan conducts a secret investigation of his life and is soon convinced that Gallagher is involved with the murder. Megan then publishes an article containing a staggering amount of incriminating evidence against him.
Written by American journalist Kurt Luedtke, ABSENCE OF MALICE takes an honest look at the world of journalism. Its dialogue and characters are of the upmost realism. Newman delivers a riveting performance as the innocent "patsy," fingered by the government. Director Pollack and writer Kurt Luedtke team up again four years after this film to script the epic OUT OF AFRICA.
Theatrical release: November 1981. Filmed on location in Dade County, Florida. "A leak? You call what's going on here a leak? Last time we had leak like this, Noah built himself a boat."--Wells (Wilford Brimley)
"...A whale of a good story with something important to say..." - 11/18/1981 Variety
"...Unusual and rewarding....One of [Newman's] better characters in years..." - 11/19/1981 New York Times, p.C21