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The Pelican Brief (1993)

6.5
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Ratings: 6.5/10 from 49,906 users   Metascore: 50/100
Reviews: 78 user | 39 critic | 15 from Metacritic.com

A law student uncovers a conspiracy, putting herself and others in danger.

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(book), (screenplay)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
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Thomas Callahan
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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
...
Smith Keen
...
Marty Velmano
...
Stump
...
Edwin Sneller
...
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

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

17 December 1993 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El informe Pelícano  »

Box Office

Budget:

$45,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

£2,003,591 (UK) (4 March 1994)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Not only were the Georgetown Law library scenes filmed on location in the main reading room and one of the study rooms on the third floor of the school's library, 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, are all shot in the main building of the Law Center (McDonough Hall). You can see actual Georgetown Law security officers as extras in the background of the McDonough scenes. See more »

Goofs

After reading Darby's brief in her hotel room, Gray asks her to tell him her "real name" (she's aliased "Alice"). Her full name was on the title page of the brief he'd just read. 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...
See more »

Connections

References The Firm (1993) See more »

Soundtracks

One Way Street
Written by Mike Darby and Irene Sage
Performed by Irene and The Mikes
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
The best of the Grisham movies
11 August 2004 | by (Glendale, AZ) – See all my reviews



Forget the plot holes. Forget the implausibility of the story. This is Grisham, the modern-day master of legal and political conspiracy and intrigue.

This movie centers on one thing: the chemistry between the on-screen duo of Julia Roberts and Denzel Washington. And they do not disappoint. Both give absolutely stellar performances, Washington as the reporter who desperately wants his story to see the light of day but is not afraid to let his compassion show through, and Roberts as a terrified law student engulfed in a situation where she is way over her head, trying simultaneously to survive and avenge the death of her lover. There is not one scene, not one bit of dialogue, verbal or non-verbal, that doesn't make be believe everything they say, and that is a testament to the acting abilities of Roberts and Washington, two of Hollywood's best.

For pretty much the entire second half of the movie, Denzel and Julia's characters work together to find proof of the conspiracy that resulted in the assassination of two Supreme Court judges, while at the same time dodging unscrupulous lawyers, heavies and an international hitman.

In their final scene together, when Darby is taking the FBI director's private plane out of the country, the bond that has grown between her and Gray is extremely noticeable. They deplane, and Gray shows Darby the headline exposing the conspiracy. Darby smiles, shakes Gray's hand, and proceeds to walk to the car that will take her to her new location.... but no, a handshake is just not enough, not after what they'd been through... so she goes back and gives Gray a huge hug, which he returns. The mutual respect is there for all to see. No words are spoken throughout the entire scene, they are not necessary.

Having read many of Grisham's books and seen all of the movies adapted from those books, I wondered how "The Pelican Brief" would stack up against all the others in the long run. In my opinion, it is still the best of the bunch.

My score: a solid 10.


38 of 59 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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