6.6/10
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94 user 45 critic

The Pelican Brief (1993)

PG-13 | | Crime, Drama, Mystery | 17 December 1993 (USA)
A law student uncovers a conspiracy, putting herself and others in danger.

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(book), (screenplay)
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1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Gavin Vereek
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Fletcher Coal
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FBI Director Denton Voyles (as James B. Sikking)
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Bob Gminski
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President
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Justice Rosenberg
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Smith Keen
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Marty Velmano
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Stump
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Edwin Sneller
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Matthew Barr
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Storyline

Two Supreme Court Justices have been killed. Now a college professor, who clerked for one of the two men, who's also having an affair with one of his students, is given a brief by her, that states who probably, wanted to see these two men dead. He then gives it to one of his friends, who works for the FBI. When the FBI director reads it, he is fascinated by it. One of the president's men who read it, is afraid that if it ever got out, the president could be smeared. So, he advises the president to tell the director to drop it, which he does. But later the professor and the girl were out and he was drunk and when he refused to give her the keys she stepped out of the car. When he started it, it blew up. She then discovers that her place has been burglarized and what was taken were her computer and her disks. Obviously, her brief has someone agitated. She then turns to her boyfriend's friend at the FBI, he agrees to come meet her but before he does someone shoots him and takes his place... Written by rcs0411@yahoo.com

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

From the author of "The Firm" and "The Client" and the director of "Presumed Innocent" and "All The President's Men." See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for momentary language and some violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

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Language:

Release Date:

17 December 1993 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El informe Pelícano  »

Box Office

Budget:

$45,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$100,768,056 (USA)
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Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

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Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The Georgetown Law library scenes were filmed on location, in the main reading room and one of the study rooms on the third floor. In addition, the scenes at the Registrar's Office and the Career Services Office, and of Denzel Washington and Julia Roberts talking in an open area outside of those offices, were all shot in the main building of the Law Center (McDonough Hall). You can see Georgetown Law security officers as extras, in the background of those scenes. See more »

Goofs

Justice Jensen gets killed in the cinema by the killer Carmel. He does so by using a rope to strangle him. It takes him no more than a second to kill him. It seems highly unlikely that one could strangle a person in just one second. Also the choice of weapon (a thick shiny rope) of the killer seems inappropriate for his goal. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Justice Rosenberg: Any of those signs got my name on 'em?
Gray Grantham: Quite a few.
Justice Rosenberg: What do they say?
Gray Grantham: The usual: Death to Rosenberg, Retire Rosenberg, Cut off the oxygen.
Justice Rosenberg: [laughs] That's my favorite. Of course you, Mr Grantham, did pretty good by me your last time out: Rosenberg equals the government over business, the individual over government, the environment over everything. And the Indians? Oh, give 'em whatever they want.
Gray Grantham: Well with all due respects sir, that wasn't my line, that was a quote.
Justice Rosenberg: From one of your...
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Connections

Referenced in Weird Science: The Wyatt Brief (1995) See more »

Soundtracks

You Drive Me Crazy
Written and Performed by Greg Ginn
Courtesy of Cruz Records
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Scary political thriller works due to good script, fine performances...
10 January 2007 | by (U.S.A.) – See all my reviews

JULIA ROBERTS is a damsel in distress when she writes a brief, theorizing what and who was behind the murder of two Supreme Court justices. DENZEL WASHINGTON is the investigative reporter who sees some merit in her theory and reluctantly decides to offer his help in tracking down the bad guys.

It's based on a terrific John Grisham thriller and given a well crafted script, good performances and taut direction from Alan J. Pakula. I'm not a fan of either Roherts or Washington, so for me to praise this movie shows you how suspenseful and entertaining it is as a thriller.

The overrated Julia Roberts is a huge box-office star who never once appealed to me despite her enormous popularity and Denzel Washington is a competent actor who sometimes does extra fine work--but neither one would win a popularity poll with me.

So, with that personal bias showing, I still give THE PELICAN BRIEF a respectable rating because it does what it sets out to do--it keeps you hooked until the ending after a few unexpected plot twists totally in keeping with this kind of story where the heroine is in peril because she knows too much.

Well worth a view.


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