To glimpse how complicated it can be to make a dramatic film about recent real-life events, check out the many Internet offerings pegged to "A Civil Action."
Disney's official Web site, http://www.civilaction.com, which lists its stars (John Travolta and Robert Duvall) and offers other trivia, is to be expected--most movie studios create such sites to advertise major releases. But for this film, which chronicles the legal battle waged by several Boston-area families against companies they deemed responsible for their children's deaths, that is only the beginning.
A second site, accessible from Disney's page (or at the unwieldy address http://oasis.bellevue.k12.wa.us/cheeseb/photos/ACivilAction.html), is the work of one of the real lawyers, Bill Cheeseman, who visited the set during shooting and offers his photos and comments. ("In real life," he writes about a car featured in one scene, "it was a Porsche 928. [But] the 911 is sexier, so that's what they're using in the movie.")
A third site, http://www.civilactive.com, was created by environmental groups that hope the movie will publicize the problem of toxic pollution. Finally, there is http://www.civil-action.com--sponsored by W.R. Grace & Co., one of the companies the grieving families sued. It offers more information and warns moviegoers: "By the time a story leaves Hollywood, it may be a long way from the reality that inspired it."