Civil Action, A (film) A small-time, self-possessed personal-injury attorney’s greed entangles him in a case that threatens to destroy him. The Woburn, Massachusetts case (Anderson v. W. R. Grace and Beatrice Foods), regarding alledged water contamination—which appears straightforward—instead evolves into a labyrinthine lawsuit of epic proportions where truth, if it can be found at all, resides not in the courtroom, but buried deep in a network of deceit and corruption. A Touchstone picture. Directed by Steven Zaillian. Released on December 25, 1998 in New York and Los Angeles, and nationwide on January 8, 1999. Stars John Travolta (Jan Schlichtmann), Robert Duvall (Jerome Facher), James Gandolfini (Al Love), Dan Hedaya (John Riley), Zeljko Ivanek (Bill Crowley), John Lithgow (Judge Walter J. Skinner), William H. Macy (James Gordon), Kathleen Quinlan (Anne Anderson), Tony Shalhoub (Kevin Conway). 115 min. Paramount split the costs on this production and handled overseas distribution. Based on the best-selling book by Jonathan Harr. Exteriors were filmed in Boston and New England, but the federal courtroom set was built on a sound stage at Universal Studios. Many of the real-life people who were depicted in the film visited the sets during production, and some even appeared in cameo roles. Released on video in 1999.