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The Chamber (1996)

 -  Drama | Thriller  -  11 October 1996 (USA)
5.9
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Ratings: 5.9/10 from 9,522 users   Metascore: 45/100
Reviews: 42 user | 37 critic | 18 from Metacritic.com

A young man fresh out of law school tries to win a reprieve for his racist grandfather who is on death row.

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(novel), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
E. Garner Goodman
...
Rollie Wedge / Donnie Cayhall (as Raymond Barry)
...
Sgt. Clyde Packer
...
Nora Stark
...
Gov. David McAllister
...
Judge Flynn F. Slattery
...
Atty. Gen. Roxburgh
...
Wyn Lettner
Greg Goossen ...
J.B. Gullitt (as Gregory Goossen)
Seth Isler ...
Marvin B. Kramer
...
Ruth Kramer
Sid Johnson ...
Josh Kramer
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Storyline

Having survived the hatred and bigotry that was his Klansman grandfather's only legacy, young attorney Adam Hall seeks at the last minute to appeal the old man's death sentence for the murder of two small Jewish boys 30 years before. Only four weeks before Sam Cayhall is to be executed, Adam meets his grandfather for the first time in the Mississippi prison which has held him since the crime. The meeting is predictably tense when the educated, young Mr. "Hall" confronts his venom-spewing elder, Mr. "Cayhall," about the murders. The next day, headlines run proclaiming Adam the grandson who has come to the state to save his grandfather, the infamous Ku Klux Klan bomber. While the old man's life lies in the balance, Adam's motivation in fighting this battle becomes clear as the story unfolds. Not only does he fight for his grandfather, but perhaps for himself as well. He has come to heal the wounds of his own father's suicide, to mitigate the secret shame he has always felt for the ... Written by Mark Fleetwood <mfleetwo@mail.coin.missouri.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Time is running out.

Genres:

Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violent images and some language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

11 October 1996 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Die Kammer  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$50,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

ITL 226,355,000 (Italy) (30 May 1997)

Gross:

ITL 419,247,000 (Italy) (6 June 1997)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

|

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Universal paid $7 million for the rights to John Grisham's novel. See more »

Goofs

When Lee (Faye Dunaway) shows Adam (Chris O'Donnell) the photo allegedly of her father at a lynching in Mississippi as a boy, it is actually the iconic photograph of the lynching of Thomas Shipp and Abram Smith in Indiana. The young Sam Cayhill has been edited into the original photograph. See more »

Quotes

Sam Cayhall: Save me. Your don't look like you can save a turkey from Thanksgiving.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Conspiracy Theory (1997) See more »

Soundtracks

Fine Mi Lassa
Composed by Vincenzo Bellini
Arranged by Trevor Jones
Courtesy of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc.
See more »

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User Reviews

 
slightly better than most people said
30 August 2006 | by (Portland, Oregon, USA) – See all my reviews

First, I should admit that I've never read any of John Grisham's novels. I've seen many of the film adaptations (which usually seem to be worthy, if absolutely nothing else). It seems like most critics - and much of the public - considered "The Chamber" the worst adaptation of a Grisham novel ever. When I saw the movie, I didn't find it terrible, though not a great movie either. Maybe it was just that many people - myself not included - counted "A Time to Kill" as one of the best adaptations, and dismissed this one.

Anyway, Gene Hackman makes a pretty ugly Klansman (well duh, he gets into any character), and I'd say that he overshadows Chris O'Donnell (who just looks a little out of place in this sort of movie). I can't tell whether or not Faye Dunaway is just there for show. But overall, what I like about this movie is that it doesn't lionize Hackman's character, but it shows why he became a Klansman - sort of like what "Dead Man Walking" does with Sean Penn's character. Obviously, "The Chamber" isn't in the same league as that one. But still, I think that most people need to reassess this movie. Also starring Robert Prosky, Raymond J. Barry, Bo Jackson and Lela Rochon.


10 of 16 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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