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The Pelican Brief (1993)

6.5
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Ratings: 6.5/10 from 47,924 users   Metascore: 50/100
Reviews: 76 user | 38 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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Title: The Pelican Brief (1993)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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...
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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
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Smith Keen
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Marty Velmano
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Stump
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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:

Two Supreme Court Justices have been assassinated. One lone law student has stumbled upon the truth. An investigative journalist wants her story. Everybody else wants her dead. 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:

The Pelican Brief  »

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

As the camera panes over the dead body of Chief Justice Rosenberg, he is still breathing. 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 Scandal (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

Dancing In The Rain
Written by Rik Slave, Marc St. James and Patrick Catania
Performed by The Phantoms
Courtesy of Dinosaur Records
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
The Good & Bad Of The Pelican Brief
18 March 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Some of things I really appreciated from this political thriller was (1) no sappy romance taking away from the suspense and story; (2) very little profanity; (3) a number of interesting scenes that kept your attention for the full 141 minutes; (4) solid acting by the two leads, Denzel Washington and Julia Roberts; (5) nice visuals and nice sound.

What I didn't appreciate was the usual Hollywood screen versions of the John Grisham novels, which means a fair amount of Liberal agendas, some subtle, some not so subtle. The message anyone against saving wildlife like the penguins has to be either crooked or a violent thug is preposterous. Early on, we hear a TV broadcaster proclaiming that the killings of two Supreme Court justices might have been by some group that also bombed abortion clinics, ACLU offices, etc. Of course - villainous right wingers hurting good-guy left wingers - what else? Isn't that the way it's always portrayed in the movies??

Too bad that bias political propaganda is in here because most of this film is just a very good suspense film and well done at that. Washington and Roberts are both fun to watch and they are up against so many suspicious-looking characters that it's a paranoid viewer's delight. They keep you guessing who you can trust and who you can't, which is fun, and helps make the time on this movie fly past.


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