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The Rainmaker (1997)

An underdog lawyer takes on a fraudulent insurance company.

Writers:

(novel), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
Popularity
3,559 ( 513)

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Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 2 wins & 9 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Kelly Riker
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Judge Harvey Hale
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Jackie Lemancyzk
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Cliff Riker
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Buddy Black
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Donny Ray Black
Wayne Emmons ...
Prince Thomas
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Butch
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Wilfred Keeley
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

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

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

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Language:

Release Date:

21 November 1997 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

John Grisham's The Rainmaker  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Budget:

$40,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$10,626,507 (USA) (23 November 1997)

Gross:

$45,856,732 (USA) (15 March 1998)
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Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Francis Ford Coppola chose Composer Elmer Bernstein for the film, for a couple of reasons. First, he wanted a score that featured a Hammond B-Organ in the style of the late jazz musician Jimmy Smith. Throughout the better part of a decade, Bernstein had featured an instrument, called the "Ondes Martinot", played by soloists Cynthia Millar or Jeanne Leoad (Heavy Metal) in many of his original scores, which had quite a similar sound to the Hammond organ. Second, he was looking to bring a dramatic depth to the story, and referenced Bernstein's classic score from To Kill A Mockingbird (1962) as an exemplar for the kind of score that he wanted. Pianist Michael Lang performed the piano and Hammond Organ solos on this score. See more »

Goofs

When Cliff is attacking Rudy and Kelly, the positions of Rudy's arms change between shots. See more »

Quotes

[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 ...
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Crazy Credits

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


Soundtracks

You Are My Sunshine
Written by Jimmie Davis and Charles Mitchell
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Amiable yet smooth adaption.
24 April 2002 | by (Sauk City, Wisconsin) – See all my reviews

Amiable yet smooth adaption of the John Grisham novel, that closely follows an inexperienced Memphis lawyer, Rudy Baylor (Matt Damon), who gets the unexpected feeling of being in the profession by taking three cases right away. The cases vary from an old woman who is unsure about what to do with some money, a savagely abused domestic victim, and a lawsuit involving a major health insurance company.

Writer-director Francis Ford Coppola and one of his writers from "Apocalypse Now", Michael Herr, handle the adaption fairly well in knowing what to keep from the story in and what to leave out. For someone who made himself a legend by adapting "The Godfather" and "Heart of Darkness", Coppola sure knows how to use a novel as the main source for creating a good tale here.

Plus, the movie has an excellent supporting cast (Danny DeVito, Jon Voight, Mary Kay Place, Claire Danes, Dean Stockwell, Virginia Madsen, Mickey Rourke, Roy Scheider, and Danny Glover) to be in the movie alongside Damon. Among the ones that come to mind, DeVito is great Deck, as a crafty (and humorous) para-lawyer who has trouble with the bar exam and helps Rudy in adjusting to the line of work, Voight's fine as the not-so-totally slimey lawyer that Rudy faces in the lawsuit, just looking at the Danes character for a second alone, is a really sad and Rourke is amusing as Brusier, the employer that Deck and Rudy desert when they find out that he's the target of a federal probe.

In conclusion, "The Rainmaker" may not be as highly memorable as "The Godfather" or "Apocalypse Now", however; it shows that Coppola still has the skills to be a great film-maker. It's nice to see someone who has been on hard times, bounce back with a good movie.


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