A law student uncovers a conspiracy, putting herself and others in danger.

Director:

Alan J. Pakula

Writers:

John Grisham (book), Alan J. Pakula (screenplay)
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Popularity
384 ( 3,853)
1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Julia Roberts ... Darby Shaw
Denzel Washington ... Gray Grantham
Sam Shepard ... Thomas Callahan
John Heard ... Gavin Vereek
Tony Goldwyn ... Fletcher Coal
James Sikking ... FBI Director Denton Voyles (as James B. Sikking)
William Atherton ... Bob Gminski
Robert Culp ... President
Stanley Tucci ... Khamel
Hume Cronyn ... Justice Rosenberg
John Lithgow ... Smith Keen
Anthony Heald ... Marty Velmano
Nicholas Woodeson ... Stump
Stanley Anderson ... Edwin Sneller
John Finn ... Matthew Barr
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Storyline

Two Supreme Court Justices have been killed. Now a college professor, who clerked for one of the two men and who is also having an affair with one of his students, is given a brief by her that states who probably wanted to see these two men dead. He then gives it to one of his friends, who works for the FBI. When the FBI director reads it, he is fascinated by it. One of the president's men who read it is afraid that if it ever got out, the president could be smeared. So he advises the president to tell the director to drop it, which he does. But later the professor and the girl were out and he was drunk and when he refused to give her the keys, she stepped out of the car. When he started it, it blew up. She then discovers that her place has been burglarized and what was taken were her computer and her disks. Obviously, her brief has someone agitated. She then turns to her boyfriend's friend at the FBI. He agrees to come meet her but before he does, someone shoots him and takes his ... Written by rcs0411@yahoo.com

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Taglines:

From the author of "The Firm" and "The Client" and the director of "Presumed Innocent" and "All The President's Men." See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for momentary language and some violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The characters that Julia Roberts and Denzel Washington play in the film become lovers in Grisham's novel. Although Roberts was interested in bringing that romance to the screen, Washington disagreed, feeling that target audiences did not want to see an interracial romance. See more »

Goofs

As the camera panes over the dead body of Chief Justice Rosenberg, he is still breathing. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Justice Rosenberg: Any of those signs got my name on 'em?
Gray Grantham: Quite a few.
Justice Rosenberg: What do they say?
Gray Grantham: The usual: Death to Rosenberg, Retire Rosenberg, Cut off the oxygen.
Justice Rosenberg: [laughs] That's my favorite. Of course you, Mr Grantham, did pretty good by me your last time out: Rosenberg equals the government over business, the individual over government, the environment over everything. And the Indians? Oh, give 'em whatever they want.
Gray Grantham: Well with all due respects sir, that wasn't my line, that was a quote.
Justice Rosenberg: From one of your ...
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Connections

Referenced in The Simpsons: Lisa the Drama Queen (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

Choral 'Komm, O Tod, Du Schlafes Bruder'
Written by Johann Sebastian Bach
Performed by Neues Bachisches Collegium Musicum Leipzig
Courtesy of Capriccio
By Arrangement with Source/Q
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User Reviews

 
Engrossing, exasperating, enjoyably silly...
8 July 2006 | by moonspinner55See all my reviews

John Grisham's bestseller becomes paranoia thriller directed capably by Alan J. Pakula. "Eager beaver" Louisiana law student Julia Roberts does some home research trying to connect the backgrounds of two Washington, D.C. Supreme Court Justices who were murdered; her theories regarding the two men--who wanted them dead and why--turns out to be scarily accurate. The brief manages to get into the hands of top Presidential aides, and soon a contract is put out on her life. Shady political business is mixed with detective yarn and a (semi) love story between Roberts and stalwart newspaper journalist Denzel Washington, who is excellent. Smoothly done commercial package, well-paced and entertaining, though exceptionally far-fetched (which parlays into the enjoyment factor). Roberts pouts too much, and her first meeting with Washington (talking in a weepy whisper) is awful, but there is chemistry between the two and they help gloss over the more nonsensical parts of the script (such as a chase through a parking garage--full of cars but no witnesses--and the ridiculous, fatuous way the writers explain Roberts' seemingly unending credit and cash flow--"I have the money my father left me"). The supporting cast is filled with recognizable character actors all playing two-faced sons-of-bitches, with the minor exception of John Lithgow doing a nicely benign turn as the editor at Washington's paper. *** from ****


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

17 December 1993 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Pelican Brief See more »

Filming Locations:

Louisiana, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$45,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$16,864,404, 19 December 1993

Gross USA:

$100,768,056

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$195,268,056
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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