Sidney Lumet, as a director, has chosen projects which shake the tree of moral dilemmas, that looms large overhead and wait for the fruit to fall on our head, giving us something to shout (Eureka!) about.
Here, is a broken man, Paul Newman. Once a shining star, now lays broken. Not by his own doing, but brought down by the crooked system. Now fate allows him a second chance. He is slow to recognize, afraid to try, but once he gets on top of this horse, there is no bringing him down.
Those who ride up to him and try to force him down, end up in the dirt themselves. "Act like ye hath fate, and fate shall be granted to you". Amen!
This movie is my ultimate favorite. It has all the big themes, played to perfection by the masters.