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The Rainmaker (1997)

An underdog lawyer takes on a fraudulent Insurance company.

Writers:

(novel), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Popularity
3,031 ( 401)

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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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Wayne Emmons ...
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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) (21 November 1997)

Gross:

$45,856,732 (USA) (13 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

One of four films shot back to back to back by Matt Damon. The first was Good Will Hunting which would open in December 1997. The second was The Rainmaker which would open in November 1997, a few weeks before Good Will Hunting, his Oscar winning film. Saving Private Ryan, which is his first post Oscar winning film starring Oscar Winner Tom Hanks would be released in July 1998. The last one was Rounders co-starring Edward Norton which was filming in late November/December 1997 when both The Rainmaker and Good Will Hunting were released theatrically. Rounders wouldn't be released until September 1998 just two months after Saving Private Ryan would be released. See more »

Goofs

When handed a computer printout to read on the stand, Wilfred Keeley played by Roy Scheider opens the printout like a book and finds the data. Closeups show the printout is in landscape mode and couldn't be read as Keeley does. As the reading wasn't challenged by Baylor (Matt Damon) the position of the printout wasn't scripted. 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

How Blue Can You Get
Written by Jane Feather
Performed by B.B. King
Courtesy of MCA Records
Under license from Universal Music Special Markets
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Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
John Grisham, Francis Ford Coppola The Rainmaker has to be good!
17 June 2002 | by (Fresno, CA USA) – See all my reviews

A story about an aspiring young lawyer who tries to break down an insurance company, Matt Damon plays Rudy Baylor, a Memphis St. Law School graduate who can't seem to find a job anywhere, until he meets "Bruiser" Stone (Mickey Rourke). Stone is an ambulance chaser, who does whatever it takes, legal or not, to win a case. Rudy, as most law students are when they graduate, wants to take the high road, do everything by the book, and win. What he finds is that sometimes you need to get down and dirty to help your client. In this case, his client is a young boy, dying of leukemia.

Seems the insurance company won't pay for a bone marrow transplant that would save his life. Rudy sets out to help the young man and his family, in what turns out to be one of the biggest cases Tennessee has ever seen. Along with his partner Deck Shifflet (Danny DeVito), Rudy sets out to try and prove to the world that the insurance company is nothing more than a big time scam artist. Along the way Rudy meets (and falls in love with) a young woman (Clare Danes) who gets beat up regularly by her husband. This part of the story seemed somewhat strange to me. I couldn't figure out what it was there to do. Was it to give Rudy a love interest? Was it just to give the movie another case so the entire film wasn't centered on the insurance trial? I feel it gave the movie some heart, and showed that Rudy would fight for what he believed in, both in court and in life. But I think the movie could have been done without it.

I enjoyed the trial scenes and all the grunt work that went behind it (being a future lawyer myself (I hope)). And the cast was wonderful. Each person added a little more to the movie, and each gave a great performance. Danny Glover as the (2nd) judge gave a little humor to the movie, but also made you feel good about Rudy's chances in court. He was going to play fair, but hew as also going to give Rudy the benefit of the doubt. Jon Voight played the insurance company's lead lawyer, and he played his character to it's swarmy best. He is what people think lawyers are like, out only for money; win at all costs, no soul (I know attorneys like that). And he was convincing. And of course DeVito and Damon carried the film.

I had my doubts about Damon playing a lawyer, but the more I watched, the more I realized that he looked like people I see at work everyday. He had the same fear in his eyes that we all do, but also that dog-eat-dog determination to prove to the world that he could do the job. The Rainmaker was more about the performances than the story. And the performances won me over. Give it a shot, it's worth it.


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