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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 42,849 users   Metascore: 72/100
Reviews: 137 user | 90 critic | 19 from

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 <>

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?


The first two paragraphs of the news article about the FBI investigation read: "The defendants are pillars of the local legal establishment, with long ties to the community and lots of friends in high places. They accusers, for the most part, are outsiders, newly arrived from out of town and still eyed with some suspicion by the clubby residents of Memphis. For 18 months, while federal prosecutors and FBI agents probed the illicit links between the former Memphis judges and a prominent trial attorney, there had been sub rosa grumbling among other judges and lawyers." See more »


When Deck and Rudy are having dinner at the restaurant, the veggies on Deck's plate change from mostly broccoli to cauliflower and broccoli, then back to broccoli. 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 »


Features The Lover (1992) See more »


Baby Scratch My Back
Written by James Moore
Performed by James Moore (as Slim Harpo)
Courtesy of MCA Records
Under license from Universal Music Special Markets
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Supporting cast steals the show.
21 December 2001 | by (Houston) – See all my reviews

This film hits on all cylinders, at least until the ending. I have read the Grisham novel, but it was far enough in the past that it did not spoil the film for me, at least for the most part. Matt Damon was OK here, but the supporting cast stole the show, DeVito, Claire Danes, Jon Voight. Especially good in a small part was Virginia Madsen. And it was very interesting seeing Teresa Wright, the teenage star of Hitchcock's "Shadow of a Doubt" as the elderly Miss Birdie. The film's ending seemed like it just ran out of steam, though. Maybe it's just because I had read the book. I recommend this movie anyway. Grade: B

17 of 23 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
F'in murderer -spoils joadaliscious
Why isn't Danny Glover mentioned in the cast? rossanna-1
Why was Danny Glover uncredited? fishpucky
Ending donny619
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