MovieChat Forums > LipstickĀ (1976) Discussion > Why was she acquitted?

Why was she acquitted?


How come Chrissie got off scott-free at the end of the movie? No matter how justified she was in killing Mr. Stuart, surely she would have been convicted of manslaughter, at least?

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Perhaps you are right but then again he did rape her sister which sort of made her actions justified. In today's court she would have probably been charged although I doubt anyone would have forced her to do any jail time.

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Well, we don't really know if she did get off scott-free. Unless you are looking at a version with a different ending than mine the last thing you hear in the movie is Chrissie's lawyer (who has apparently switched sides to defender her) giving her closing argument to the jury about why she should be aquitted. The movie ends and we are left to our own devices to ponder what the verdict should be..., but we are never told it.

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Well, we don't really know if she did get off scott-free. Unless you are looking at a version with a different ending than mine the last thing you hear in the movie is Chrissie's lawyer (who has apparently switched sides to defender her) giving her closing argument to the jury about why she should be aquitted. The movie ends and we are left to our own devices to ponder what the verdict should be..., but we are never told it.


The DVD copy I saw has the jury foreman saying that they find not guilty.


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How come Chrissie got off scott-free at the end of the movie? No matter how justified she was in killing Mr. Stuart, surely she would have been convicted of manslaughter, at least?


Because, contrary to most judges' instructions ("If the prosecution proves that she did it, you MUST find her guilty!") a jury can return any verdict that they think is fair. It's called Jury Nullification, and not a single judge or prosecutor wants you to know that juries have that power.

It's a protection against bad laws. For example, if a city passes a law saying it's illegal for women to wear pants, and then a woman is photographed wearing pants. Even though she clearly broke the law, the jury can refuse to convict her because the law itself is unfair.


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In the context of Lipstick, the acquittal goes beyond law's boundaries. The feminist theme running through the narrative (as arguable happens in various films defined as rape revenge) showed the importance of issues regarding women at the time, such as legal justice for rape, needed to be addressed.

"I'd rather be hated for who I am, than loved for who I am not".

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It would have made more sense if she was found not guilty by reason of temporary insanity instead of being acquitted outright.

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