The Accused is a 1988 American legal drama film directed by Jonathan Kaplan, written by Tom Topor and starring Jodie Foster, Kelly McGillis, Bernie Coulson, Leo Rossi, Ann Hearn, Carmen Argenziano, Steve Antin and Tom O’Brien. In the film Sarah Tobias, a young waitress, is gang-raped by three men at a local bar. She and deputy district attorney Kathryn Murphy set out to prosecute the rapists as well as the men who helped induce the crime.
Set in Washington state, but filmed mainly in Vancouver, British Columbia, it is loosely based on the 1983 gang rape of Cheryl Araujo in New Bedford, Massachusetts, and the resulting trial which received national coverage. The film explores the themes of classism, misogyny, Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), slut shaming, victim blaming and women’s empowerment.
The Accused premiered at the 39th Berlin International Film Festival, where it competed for the Golden Bear. It was released in limited theatres on October 14, 1988 by Paramount Pictures and was highly controversial upon release, mostly due to its graphic representation of gang rape. The film became a critical and commercial success, grossing over $92 million worldwide against its $13 million budget, and was chosen by the National Board of Review as one of the Top 10 Films of the year. Reviewers praised the film’s audacity, the authenticity of the portrayal of subject matter, and it for being one of the first films to deal with the horrors of rape and its aftermath on a victim’s life. Foster’s performance marked her breakthrough into adult roles, earning numerous accolades including the Academy Award for Best Actress.
(Reference: “The Accused” (film) c/o Wikipedia)