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The Client (1994)

PG-13 | | Crime, Drama, Mystery | 20 July 1994 (USA)
A young boy who witnessed the suicide of a mafia lawyer hires an attorney to protect him when the District Attorney tries to use him to take down a mob family.

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(novel), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 3 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Storyline

Mark Sway is an 11 year old boy who lives with his mother and brother in a trailer. One day he and his brother are hanging out when a car pulls over beside them. The driver then sticks a hose in his exhaust and puts the other end into the car. Mark pulls it out. But the man sees him and grabs him and takes inside the car. The man talks to Mark then later shoots himself. The shock sends Mark's brother into a catatonic state. The police question him and slips out some stuff that makes them think he's saying more than he knows. Roy Foltrigg, a prosecutor with political ambitions tells Mark he wants to talk to him tomorrow. Mark feeling that he needs a lawyer, sees Reggie Love. Mark tells her about the man who killed himself. Reggie tells him he's a mob lawyer. And one of his clients is a member of a mob family who is suspected of killing a Senator who was trying to take down his family. But because the Senator's body is missing, they can't prosecute him. Reggie thinks Foltrigg thinks the... Written by rcs0411@yahoo.com

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

lawyer | mafia | senator | brother | boy | See All (229) »

Taglines:

A District Attorney Out For A Conviction. A New Lawyer Out Of Her League. A Young Boy Who Knew Too Much.

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Mystery

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for a child in jeopardy and brief language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

20 July 1994 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El cliente  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Budget:

$45,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$92,115,211 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This was Brad Renfro's film debut. See more »

Goofs

(at around 1h 40 mins) Navigation lights on the speed boat get reversed. Barry the Blade and his henchmen depart from a dock in a boat that has the green starboard light on the port (left-hand) side. We see the boat again and the green starboard light is now correctly on the right-hand side. When the boat arrives at the boathouse, the green light is now on the right and the red light is on the left. See more »

Quotes

Roy: Lying lips are an abomination to the Lord, so sayeth the Psalms!
Judge Harry Roosevelt: That's Proverbs 12:22.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Black Hawk Down (2001) See more »

Soundtracks

Bourbon Street Parade
Written by Paul Barbarin
Performed by Jimmy Maxwell and his Orchestra
Courtesy of Her Records
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User Reviews

Above Average Legal Tale.
20 October 2004 | by (Deming, New Mexico, USA) – See all my reviews

Wow, what a cast! And they all deliver the goods too. Susan Sarandon is an exceptional actress. Watch the scene in "Dead Man Walking" when she visits the family of one of the victims. She doesn't just sit quietly. She actively "listens" to them. And Tommy Lee Jones uncovers the comic side of his dashing political lawyer. Even the eleven-year-old kid gives a spot on performance, anything but cute, which is a relief. The smaller roles are equally well done although there is less to be done well. J. T. Walsh is always good. Mary-Louise Parker never makes a wrong move as the stressed-out mother. Ossie Davis is a monumental presence as the judge. Bill Macy is given only a few lines.

The script isn't bad either, especially in the first half of the film, in which the characters are being established. There are, alas, three clichés.

The bad guys LOOK like move bad guys usually look. They dress in black, have long greasy hair, are engraved with threatening jailhouse tattoos of barbed wire and things, and they never seem to enjoy themselves.

There are also two stereotypical scenes which really should have been avoided. In the first, the boy, Renfro, is trying to sneak out of a hospital. He pokes his face through a door into the reception room, where he sees his mother and two cops walking around. In the shadows he also spots the man he knows is trying to murder him. So what does he do? Does he run to his Mom and the police for protection? Certainly not. He does what aay potential murder victim would do. He dashes away from safety, down several flights of an empty stairway, followed closely by the squinter with a knife. The scene that follows is lifted straight out of "Coma," with the killer being locked in a refrigerator.

The other stereotyped situation is towards the end, when (just by the most improbable of coincidences) Sarandon and Renfro reach an empty boat house at the same time as three of the heavies. The two innocents try to avoid being discovered. There is a lot of tiptoeing around on creaky boards, a foot chase through some bushes, one of those scenes in which one person holds a gun on a second, and the second smiles and says, "You don't have the guts to pull the trigger," and walks up closer to the muzzle.

I've pointed out these weaknesses not because this is a bad movie. It's really pretty good. But the cast is so outstanding that any weakness in the story is the more highly illuminated.

See it, if only to see the range of facial expressions into which Jones is able to fashion his face.


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