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The Chamber (1996)

R  |   |  Drama, Thriller  |  11 October 1996 (USA)
5.9
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Ratings: 5.9/10 from 9,716 users   Metascore: 45/100
Reviews: 42 user | 36 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:

$5,612,095 (USA) (11 October 1996)

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
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The story of the freakish execution that Sam tells Adam, about a condemned prisoner beating his head against a metal pole inside the gas chamber, is a true story. It happened to Mississippian Jimmy Lee Gray in 1983. See more »

Goofs

In the scene in which Adam visits the Klan gathering on the night before the execution the same extra (an older man in a baseball cap) can be seen in adjacent shots both behind Adam and the gang of thugs on the opposite side of the room. See more »

Quotes

Sam Cayhall: If you spend half as much time trying to be a lawyer instead of trying to be Dick Tracy, I might not be dead in five days.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Conspiracy Theory (1997) See more »

Soundtracks

Sister
Written by John Humphrey, Jesse Davis (as Jeffe Davis), Zac Maloy, Ricky Brooks
Performed by The Nixons
Courtesy of MCA Records
By Arrangement with MCA Special Markets & Products
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User Reviews

 
Interesting political film
26 March 2011 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

Most reviews on this site, neglect to mention how vividly the film captures the racist politics of the American South at this time. The actions of all politicians reveals how difficult it can be to seek justice. They are always looking sideways. Also the crowd outside the execution site shows how easy it is to stir up mob emotion. Again, nicely laid out and captured on film. The film visually translated Grishelm's understanding of Southern culture and politics.

I also thought Chris O'Donnell captured the intensity of someone who is confronting his family's past. The camera work, which holds on his face, assists in helping us to see the quiet determination with which he works. (The camera is a good replacement for the interior monologue of fiction!)I also liked the flash-backs which help him to comprehend just where his father came from and why suicide might have been a response.

This film is timely today in lieu of the polarization of American politics. Scary stuff!


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