Jeb Ward is an attorney who specializes in whistle blower, David vs. Goliath, type cases. He finds a client who is suing an auto company over a safety problem that has had a severe effect ... See full summary »
Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio,
A 16 year old girl takes up with a charming young man who quickly shows his colors when he beats a friend simply for walking with her and then goes totally ballistic after she tries to break up with him.
An eager and idealistic young attorney defends an Alcatraz prisoner accused of murdering a fellow inmate. The extenuating circumstances: his client had just spent over three years in solitary confinement.
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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sam Cahall states that the new law allowing him to opt for lethal injection applied only to inmates convicted after 1984. Actually it was just the opposite: Those convicted after 1984 could only have lethal injection. Before 1984 convicts could choose between lethal injection and the gas chamber. See more »
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.
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Idealistic attorney Chris O'Donnell (as Adam Hall) goes down to Mississippi, to take on the "death row clemency case of his onetime Klansman grandfather" Gene Hackman (as Sam Cayhall). "With just 28 days before the execution, Adam sets out to retrace the events leading to the crime for which Sam was convicted. As the impending death sentence looms closer, Adam works quickly to uncover the family's history for any hidden clues. In a white-knuckle series of twists and turns, Adam discovers deceptions and dark secrets that ultimately lead him to the startling truth," according to the DVD sleeve's synopsis.
"White-knuckled"? Indeed not. "The Chamber" (as in gas chamber) starts off very well; and, Mr. Hackman's portrayal of the yellow-teethed racist is worth a look. Faye Dunaway (as Lee Cayhall Bowman) has a showy supporting role. All in all, the film's personnel portends a much better story than the one which appears on screen. Building up a romance between blue-eyed Mr. O'Donnell and brown-skinned Lela Rochon (as Nora Stark) seems like such an obvious way to improve the story (whether or not it was done in the John Grisham novel), you've got to wonder how on Earth they missed the obvious.
***** The Chamber (10/11/96) James Foley ~ Chris O'Donnell, Gene Hackman, Faye Dunaway
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