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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.

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(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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...
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E. Garner Goodman
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Rollie Wedge / Donnie Cayhall (as Raymond Barry)
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Sgt. Clyde Packer
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Nora Stark
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Gov. David McAllister
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Judge Flynn F. Slattery
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Atty. Gen. Roxburgh
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Wyn Lettner
Greg Goossen ...
J.B. Gullitt (as Gregory Goossen)
Seth Isler ...
Marvin B. Kramer
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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

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Genres:

Crime | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

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Details

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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:

$14,402,821 (USA) (13 December 1996)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

One of three cinema movies where actor Gene Hackman played a character with the first name of "Sam". The feature films are Bite the Bullet (1975) - Sam Clayton ; Company Business (1991) - Sam Boyd ; and The Chamber (1996) - Sam Cayhall. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

E. Garner Goodman: How much do you know about the death penalty?
Adam Hall: I've read everything there is.
E. Garner Goodman: Then you know nothing.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Bad Girls: Episode #6.4 (2004) See more »

Soundtracks

Temenos (Here Come The Shakes)
Written by Shelby Tate
Performed by Remy Zero
Courtesy of DGC Records
By Arrangement with MCA Special Markets & Products
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User Reviews

 
The Gene-ius of Hackman
20 August 2012 | by (Baltimore MD) – See all my reviews

"The Chamber" is worth seeing for one reason -- a superb performance by Gene Hackman. As a Ku Klux Klansman on death row for the murder of a civil rights lawyer and his children, he is crusty, belligerent, alternately fierce and thoughtful, a man whose eyes often contradict the hate he is spewing. Unfortunately, "The Chamber" was helmed by James Foley whose direction tends to be heavy-handed and humorless. The result is to squeeze a lot of the style and irony from the Grisham original -- and to make what was good storytelling in print seem threadbare on screen. Chris O'Donnell does a workmanlike job as Hackman's grandson, a young lawyer who is determined to save Hackman from execution for murky reasons -- and who foolishly drops in on a "good ol' boy" rally to get his head kicked in . Faye Dunaway contributes boozy hysterics as Hackman's daughter who has made the jump from "poor white trash" to southern belle. Not a great movie. But watch it for Hackman and you'll see screen acting at its best.


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