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The Rainmaker (1997)

PG-13  |   |  Crime, Drama, Thriller  |  21 November 1997 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 43,421 users   Metascore: 72/100
Reviews: 137 user | 90 critic | 19 from Metacritic.com

An underdog lawyer takes on a fraudulent Insurance company.


(novel), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 2 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Kelly Riker
Wayne Emmons ...


Rudy Baylor is a jobless young attorney. However, he is also the only hope of an elderly couple whose insurance company will not pay for an operation that could save their son's life. In this judicial drama, Rudy learns to hate corporate America as he falls in love with a battered young married woman. Will he be up to the task? Written by Steve Richer <sricher@sympatico.ca>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


They were totally unqualified to try the case of a lifetime... but every underdog has his day.


Crime | Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for a strong beating and elements of domestic abuse | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

21 November 1997 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

John Grisham's The Rainmaker  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$40,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$10,626,507 (USA) (21 November 1997)


£823,492 (UK) (8 May 1998)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Curious to understand the appeal of John Grisham's work, Francis Ford Coppola picked up a copy of the book at the airport. He ended up finishing it on the flight, taking notes and decided that he wanted to make the book his next project. See more »


When Deck Shifflet is staging the juror's call to Rudy Baylor's office, a crew member walks onto the set and backs off when he realizes the situation. See more »


[first lines]
Rudy Baylor: My father hated lawyers all his life. He wasn't a great guy, my old man. He drank and beat up my mother; he beat me up too. So you might think I became a lawyer just to piss him off. But you'd be wrong. I wanted to be a lawyer ever since I read about the Civil Rights lawyers in the 50s and 60s, and the amazing uses they found for the law. They did what a lot of people thought was the impossible. They gave lawyers a good name. And so I went to law school. And it did piss my father ...
See more »

Crazy Credits

There is a credit for "Poet in Residence". See more »


Woman You Must Be Crazy
Written by T-Bone Walker
Performed by Big Joe Turner
Courtesy of Fantasy, Inc.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Enjoyable, but doesn't have the greatness of the novel
23 February 2005 | by (someplace) – See all my reviews

I have hardly ever seen a movie that is as good as the novel it is based upon, so I wasn't expecting this movie to be better than the novel. The story isn't as interesting in this movie, but the cast is great, the entertainment value is excellent, and veteran Director Francis Ford Coppola is behind the camera here. Coppola has directed movies like the epic mob masterpiece The Godfather and plenty of other great movies.

This was released a couple of weeks before Matt Damon's huge hit Good Will Hunting, so this is one of his first big roles in a movie. Danny De Vito does a great job in adding plenty of humor to the movie, and Jon Voight adds a lot of dramatic effect to his character.

The story follows a young lawyer who is representing the family of a boy with leukemia who could have had proper treatment, but couldn't because of a seedy insurance company. The movie pretty much follows the book, but the problem is that the book had a few great sub plots that seem absent from the movie, and one scene that happens in the middle of the movie happens in the end of the book. The scene is very intense, but it seems more like it belonged at the end of the movie, rather than the middle.

This is worth watching, it is one of the best Grisham films, and there are plenty of great qualities in it.

18 of 19 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Why no Bluray? sashko_stefanov
Ok movie, awful soundtrack wd_40
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Ending donny619
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