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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
4,064 ( 2,702)

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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 USA:

$10,626,507, 23 November 1997, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$45,856,732, 15 March 1998
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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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 »

Connections

Version of The Rainmaker 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

 
Do not compare to the book.
6 April 2007 | by See all my reviews

Readers are usually disappointed when a favorite book is translated to film. If you are looking for a Grisham thriller here, you will be disappointed. But, if you are looking for a courtroom drama with a great cast, then this is a great film.

Matt Damon shines as Rudy, recently out of law school, who sets up an office with Deck Schifflet (Danny DeVito) who is still trying to pass his bar exam. He also finds a place to stay with Miss Birdie (Teresa Wright) who has hired him to handle her estate papers.

Rudy is drawn to the plight of Kelly (Claire Danes), a working-class girl whose husband has battered her with a baseball bat. But the real drama is centered on Great Benefit, an insurance company that has refused to pay a claim of one of its policy holders.

Dot Black (Mary Kay Place) whose son is dying of leukemia is suing the company for denying her claim. In the courtroom, the unpolished Rudy is forced to square off against Leo F. Drummond (Jon Voight), a corporate lawyer who knows all the tricks of the trade. This David versus Goliath battle is well worth watching.

Damon, De Vito and Voight, along with Claire Danes and Danny Glover shine in this film.

So, forget the book and enjoy a great film.


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