6.3/10
5,845
44 user 21 critic

The Star Chamber (1983)

Disgusted with criminals escaping the judicial system via technicalities, an idealistic young judge investigates an alternative method for punishing the guilty.

Director:

Peter Hyams

Writers:

Roderick Taylor (screenplay), Peter Hyams (screenplay) | 1 more credit »

Watch Now

From $9.99 on Prime Video

ON DISC

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Running (1979)
Drama | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

American marathon runner Michael Andropolis sets his heart on representing his country at the Olympic games. Meanwhile his marriage has fallen apart and his children have no respect for him... See full summary »

Director: Steven Hilliard Stern
Stars: Michael Douglas, Susan Anspach, Lawrence Dane
Coma (1978)
Drama | Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

When a young female doctor notices an unnatural amount of comas occurring in her hospital she uncovers a horrible conspiracy.

Director: Michael Crichton
Stars: Michael Douglas, Rip Torn, Geneviève Bujold
Narrow Margin (1990)
Action | Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A Los Angeles Deputy District Attorney is sent to protect a woman who accidentally witnessed a Mafia murder.

Director: Peter Hyams
Stars: Gene Hackman, Anne Archer, James Sikking
The Presidio (1988)
Action | Crime | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

A San Francisco civilian police detective is forced to work on a series of murders with his former enemy commanding officer while dating his daughter.

Director: Peter Hyams
Stars: Sean Connery, Mark Harmon, Meg Ryan
Action | Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Two street-wise Chicago cops have to shake off some rust after returning from a Key West vacation to pursue a drug dealer who nearly killed them in the past.

Director: Peter Hyams
Stars: Gregory Hines, Billy Crystal, Steven Bauer
Drama | Romance | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

An American woman of Irish, Jewish-German parentage goes undercover in Nazi Germany.

Director: David Seltzer
Stars: Michael Douglas, Melanie Griffith, Liam Neeson
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Michael Douglas ... Steven Hardin
Hal Holbrook ... Benjamin Caulfield
Yaphet Kotto ... Detective Harry Lowes
Sharon Gless ... Emily Hardin
James Sikking ... Dr. Harold Lewin (as James B. Sikking)
Joe Regalbuto ... Arthur Cooms
Don Calfa ... Lawrence Monk
John DiSanti ... Detective James Wickman
Otis Day ... Stanley Flowers (as DeWayne Jessie)
Jack Kehoe ... Hingle
Larry Hankin ... Detective Kenneth Wiggan
Dick Anthony Williams ... Detective Paul Mackay
Margie Impert Margie Impert ... Louise Rachmil
Dana Gladstone ... Martin Hyatt
David Proval ... Officer Nelson
Edit

Storyline

Disgusted with criminals escaping the judicial system via technicalities, an idealistic young judge investigates an alternative method for punishing the guilty. Written by <bentley@access.digex.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

THEY HAVE COMMITED EVERY CRIME IN THE BOOK. Yet the law cannot touch them. They are free to walk the streets. UNTIL TONIGHT'S MEETING OF... [THE STAR CHAMBER] [UK Theatrical] See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

5 August 1983 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Ein Richter sieht rot See more »

Filming Locations:

Long Beach, California, USA See more »

Edit

Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$1,980,105, 7 August 1983, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$5,555,305
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints)| Dolby (35 mm prints)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.20 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The number of magistrates, judges and justices that sat on "The Star Chamber" was nine, the same number as the American Supreme Court. See more »

Goofs

After deciding to correct the mistake the Star Chamber has made, Judge Hardin is seen in his dark office. The lights are off except for the desk lamp he is using. The office door is open showing the adjacent courtroom where Judge Caulfield appears, calling Hardin. When Hardin exits his office, entering the courtroom, his office is brightly lit. See more »

Quotes

Judge Benjamin Caulfield: It's always been a game, only now the bad guys have a stronger team, got a better draft.
Superior Court Judge Steven R. Hardin: You know I took a lot of notes in your class and I can never remember you saying anything quite like that.
Judge Benjamin Caulfield: You should have taken fewer notes and listened more.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Actress Fritzi Burr's performance as Judge Alice McCardle was accidentally left of the movie's credits. The 10th August 1983 edition of show-business trade paper 'Daily Variety' reports that Peter Hyams, producer Frank Yablans and the 20th Century Fox Film Corporation ran an advertisement apologizing for this mistake and oversight and praising Burr for her acting contribution to the movie. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Caroline in the City: Caroline and the Ultimatum (1999) See more »

Soundtracks

New Church
Performed by The Lords of the New Church
Written by Brian James (uncredited) and Stiv Bators (uncredited)
courtesy of IRS Records
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Top class legal drama/suspense
30 April 2006 | by mattrochmanSee all my reviews

The Star Chamber will remain one of my favourite films of all time.

For years, we have been debating whether the legal system is just and worth defending, despite the fact that it occasionally sets free criminals on technicalities. This film certainly explores this issue sufficiently and gives an insight into the judges who are forced to set them free on vague technicalities; and how their conscience is severely effected when the rights of the worst criminals imaginable comes before the dispensation of justice.

Through the Star Chamber, a group of frustrated judges that have their own way of seeing that justice is served on criminals who escape the weight of the law. But what seems like a reasonable and just solution to the flaws in the legal system turns out to be a nightmare for their newly elected member (Michael Douglas) as this powerful legal drama builds to a rather suspenseful and engaging conclusion. Excellent movie with magnificent performances, but (thankfully) without the over-dramatic Hollywood hogwash. Performances by the cast are as solid as they come.

I hear that they are remaking the film. I'd be surprised if it even came close to this one.


12 of 14 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 44 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page



Recently Viewed