6.0/10
11,119
49 user 38 critic

The Chamber (1996)

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

Director:

Writers:

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

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2 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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...
...
...
Rollie Wedge / Donnie Cayhall (as Raymond Barry)
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Sgt. Clyde Packer
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Gov. David McAllister
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Judge Flynn F. Slattery
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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:

Crime | Drama

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:

 »

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Box Office

Budget:

$50,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$5,612,095, 13 October 1996, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$14,551,359

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$7,989,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

|

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film debut of Bo Jackson, who was a celebrated two-sport baseball and football player. He was cast by the producers because of both his charms and the intimidating stature both that would be perfect for the role of a prison guard. See more »

Goofs

When Adam is giving his argument, he states "Men rea - to do the deed". "Men rea" is the intent portion of a crime. "Actus reaus" is the act. See more »

Quotes

Nora Stark: You're in Mississippi now - land of the secrets. There are bodies buried everywhere.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Conspiracy Theory (1997) See more »

Soundtracks

Miles of Blue (Blue Miles)
Written and Performed by Joe Sample
Courtesy of Warner Bros. Records Inc.
By Arrangement with Warner Special Products
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Interesting political film
26 March 2011 | by 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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