A Civil Action


Release Date 1998-12-25
Age Rating

A Civil Action

A Civil Action is a 1998 American drama film directed by Steven Zaillian, starring John Travolta and Robert Duvall, based on the book of the same name by Jonathan Harr. Both the book and the film are based on a true story of a court case about environmental pollution that took place in Woburn, Massachusetts in the 1980s. The movie and court case revolve around the issue of trichloroethylene, an industrial solvent, and its contamination of a local aquifer. A lawsuit was filed over industrial operations that appeared to have caused fatal cases of leukemia and cancer, as well as a wide variety of other health problems, among the citizens of the town. The case involved is Anne Anderson, et al., v. Cryovac, Inc., et al.. The first reported decision in the case is at 96 F.R.D. 431. Duvall was nominated for an Academy Award for his performance.

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Actors & Characters

John Travolta John Travolta Jan Schlichtmann Jan Schlichtmann
Robert Duvall Robert Duvall Jerome Facher Jerome Facher
Tony Shalhoub Tony Shalhoub Kevin Conway Kevin Conway
William H. Macy William H. Macy James Gordon James Gordon
Željko Ivanek Željko Ivanek Bill Crowley Bill Crowley
Bruce Norris Bruce Norris William Cheeseman William Cheeseman
John Lithgow John Lithgow Judge Walter J. Skinner Judge Walter J. Skinner
Kathleen Quinlan Kathleen Quinlan Anne Anderson Anne Anderson
Peter Jacobson Peter Jacobson Neil Jacobs Neil Jacobs
Mary Mara Mary Mara Kathy Boyer Kathy Boyer


Conrad L. Hall Cinematography
Steven Zaillian Director
Wayne Wahrman Editor
Danny Elfman Music
Robert Redford Producer
Henry J. Golas Producer
David McGiffert Producer
Rachel Pfeffer Producer
Scott Rudin Producer
Steven Zaillian Writer