Richard Jewell – Budget of $45 million – 2 hours and 9 minutes
In 1986, Richard Jewell worked as a supply room clerk. Attorney Watson Bryant noticed Richard had a keen sense for details. Watson gave Richard the nickname Radar. While Watson was preparing for a case, Richard came to him and told Watson it was his last day. He got a job in law enforcement. Watson offered Richard a quid pro quo. Watson gives him $100 with a promise he wouldn’t become an a$$hole. Richard promises to give him back the money with interest one day. Ten years later, Watson is in his office and overhears an interview on TV. It’s Richard. He is being hailed a hero. He discovered a bomb in Centennial Park on July 27 and got many people to safety before it detonated. After the blast, 2 people died and many more were injured. During the interview, Richard was quick to praise the work of the doctors, nurses, firefighters, and everyone else who helped. Watson is proud. Watson’s phone rings and it’s Richard. He has been offered a book deal and wants Watson to look over the contract. Watson tells Richard to agree to nothing and don’t put pen to paper. He must read it first before Richard signs. This advice is an angel in disguise. FBI Agent Tom Shaw has a profile of a lone, white male with a history of police admiration who wants to be seen as a hero. With information from his last employer, Tom Shaw builds his cases against Richard. Tom believes Richard planted the bomb, pretended to find it, ran to the phones, called in the bomb threat, and went back to the bomb. During a meeting with scotch, reporter Kathy Scruggs seduces Tom to get information about the investigation. He tells Kathy they are looking at Richard as the one and only suspect. She runs with the story. Being tried by public opinion, Richard has a few people on his side. His lawyer Watson, his mother Bobi, and Watson’s secretary Nadya. It will be months before Richard can clear his name with the public and years before he is cleared in the eyes of the FBI. If only they had taken a little walk before they accused Richard.
Based on “American Nightmare: The Ballad of Richard Jewell” by Marie Brenner and The Suspect by Kent Alexander and Keven Salwen, it’s so hard to see a system Richard loves and respects so much turn on him (FTC Affiliate Disclaimer). Richard has reasons and justification for all their misgivings. No matter who they effect. The FBI took his mother Tupperware, her vacuum, and her undergarments to create their case. Richard tried to explain the FBI actions to his family and friends. He believes they are the good guys like him. So you will get upset as Richard volunteers information to the FBI after Watson tells him to keep his mouth shut. As Richard fights back, you will feel pride bloom in your chest. The FBI’s mistakes are sadly laughable as it is disgusting. In a day when sensationalism and clicks determine innocence and guilt, how long until another Richard Jewell is tried by the media?
I give it 5 out of 5 stars
Where I’m from, when the government says a person is guilty, you know they’re innocent – Nadya
You have a loud lawyer, congratulations – Tom
Something’s gonna kill us all eventually – Kathy
He didn’t do it – Watson